The dead and the living

The dead had their own world, but they could be called on to help in the world of the living.

For example they could help look after the reindeer herd. The dead also came back of their own accord, to tell pregnant women what their children should be called.

Jábmeáibmu seems to have been the world of the dead which most Sámi believed in. This was ruled by the goddess Jábmeáhkká. In some areas sáivu was thought to be the dwelling place of dead ancestors. In the sáivu world, everything was bigger, better and more beautiful than in the world of the living. Some sources also name Rohttuáibmu, a dismal realm of the dead. There reigned Rohttu, the god of sickness and death.

If the dead missed their living relatives, they might carry off their free souls to the realm of the dead. This made the living person ill. One of the most important tasks of the noaidi was to bring souls back from the realm of the dead.

Rydving,. Hĺkan,1995: The End of Drum-Time.
Schanche, Audhild, 2000: Graver i ur og berg.
Om noaiden

Govva/Foto: Mihkku Solbakk