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    The Sámi night sky

    Part of the Sámi tradition surrounding the night sky has survived via written sources.

    One of the motifs of the Sámi sky is a great hunting scene in which many hunters pursue their most prized quarry, Sárvas, a great elk or reindeer.

    One of the hunters is Fávdna and his bow, Fávnnadávgi, is the handle or “bow” of what is known in Norse tradition as “Karlsvogna”, in English “The big dipper”. The story of the hunt varies from place to place, as oral traditions often do, but the main element of the story is that this hunt through the heavens has been continuing since time immemorial without anyone ever succeeding in felling Sárvas. If this should ever happen, this will signal the end of the world.

    If you consider the hunting story and follow the heavens during the course of the night you can see how the stars, and thereby the various figures of fable, move across the heavens as the hunt unfolds.

    Sources:
    Sara Gaup Vars. Ikke en stjerne tapt - Den samiske stjernehimmel”, Astronomi nr 4/2001.
    Jelena Sergejeva. Noen samiske stjernebilder

     
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