Siedi, and other offering sites

Sámi offering sites might be special natural formations such as outstanding cliffs or large, cloven stone blocks, or they might be smaller stones with a special appearance or wooden figures made by people.

Such offering stones or wooden figures were called sieidi. Sieidi can be found by holy mountains, lakes, islands or headlands or near important hunting grounds or fishing lakes.

Everyday offerings to the sieidi might include fish oil or fish entrails, the products of hunting like meat and blood or small metal objects or coins (šiella). The offering was tailored to suit the thing one was offering for and who one was making an offering to.

Reindeer was the most usual offering for special situations. The noaidi was able to find out exactly which animal the gods and spirits demanded as an offering. Sometimes the reindeer was eaten as an offering meal and only the bones and certain parts of the animal were buried. At other times the reindeer would be buried whole, with only the antlers above ground. You may still find remains of reindeer antlers at many old offering sites.

Some sources state that women were not allowed to come near the offering sites. To offend or destroy such a sacred place, for example with fire, was considered a great sin and was severely punished.

Mebius, Hans, 1968: Värro.
Mebius, Hans, 1972: Sjiele.
Mebius, Hans, 2007: Bissie.