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The noaidi’s training

When a noaidi died, his helper spirits noaidegázzi or sáivugázzi, chose a new person whom they offered to train in the noaidi arts, noaidevuohta.

Being chosen was often a heavy burden. The noaidis carried great responsibility for people’s welfare. They controlled powers which could also harm others. They also went through great physical and mental strain during the period of learning and could become ill or mad for several years.

But it was difficult to say no, because the alternative was hardly better. Gázzi forced the chosen one into learning through torment and torture. Those who didn’t accept their offer risked being tortured to death.

In south Sámi areas they believed that the noaidis were trained by saajve (south Sámi), the spirits which lived in the holy mountains. It is unclear whether the saajve were helper spirits, ancestor spirits or dead noaidis.

Sources:
Bäckman, Louise, 2003: Noajdens initiation, i Erikson, Jřrgen: Samisk shamanism.
Ottar 4,1997: Noaidier og trommer.
Om noaider

Noaiden i samisk tradisjon

 
Govva/Foto: Mihkku Solbakk