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Med tre röster och tusende bilder. Om den samiska trumman.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, History of Religions.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The ceremonial drum, with its drumhead filled with pictures and tightened over an oval or oviformed wooden frame or bowl, was the most important tool of the noaidi, the Sami shaman. By outsiders however, were they missionaries during the 17th century or researchers during 20th, the Sami drum has often been demonised as ‘devilish’ or belitted as ‘primitive’, and labelled ‘troll-drum’. Repudiating these opinions, the purpose of this dissertation is twofold: to give a critical assessment of what written sources and earlier research say about the Sami drums, and to analyse the functions and meanings of the drum in traditional Sami society as musical instrument, work of art, record of religion, and tool of divination.

The introduction and the first chapter present the historical context of religious confrontation during the 17th and 18th centuries, and the theoretical perspective of the investigation. The point of departure is to regard the drum not only as an object and a cultural artefact, but as a active participant in the communication between human beings and the world. In chapter 2, an overview of written information and scholarly discussions is given, from the earliest description of a Sami drum in a manuscript from the second half of the 12th century to the hypotheses about the drum pictures presented by researchers during the second half of the 20th century.

The third chapter deals with the construction of the drum, presents the different drum categories as well as the drumstick and the pointer, and summarizes the scanty information on the older sources about the ritual initiation of the drum, while chapter 4 discusses the drum in an ethnomusicologial perspective. In contrast to much earlier research, it argues in favour of the idea that the drums functioned as musical instruments, not only as sound tools.

The drum is analysed as an example of Sami iconography in chapter 5, which takes up themes like naturalism vs. abstraction, drum pictures and rock art, and drum pictures as art. Against the background of a discussion of the drum pictures, new interpretations of eight drums and five picture themes are suggested. Chapter 6 takes up the drums function as a tool of divination, accounts for tests on experimental drums, and discusses the origin and forms

of Sami drum divination.

Chapter 7, finally, gives a summary of the findings and concludes by relating them to the role of the drum as a symbol of infinite value for Sami identity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Teologiska fakulteten , 2010. , 373 p.
Religionshistoriska forskningsrapporter från Uppsala: Uppsala research reports in the history of religions, ISSN 1103-811X ; 20
Keyword [en]
church and state, drum, ecology of religion, freedom of religion, indigenous religious traditions, magic, religious encounter, rituals, Sami, shaman, world music
Keyword [sv]
Kyrka/stat, trumma, religionsekologi, religionsfrihet, ursprungsreligion, magi, religiös konflikt, rit, Same/samisk, shaman, musik
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
History Of Religions
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-111258ISBN: 978-91-506-2120-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-111258DiVA: diva2:280158
Public defence
2010-02-12, Erik Gustaf Geijersalen, Thunbegsvägen 3P, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-01-21 Created: 2009-12-08 Last updated: 2010-01-21Bibliographically approved

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