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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the role of the traditional dance of the Skolt Sámi in Finland in constructing and producing identity. The Skolt Sámi are a culturally and linguistically distinct group of the Eastern Sámi. Originally they lived in a widespread area, from Lake Inari eastward to the Russian city of Murmansk. Today most Skolts live near Lake Inari in Finnish Lapland, where they were relocated after World War II. The multiple identities of the Skolts are actualized in many ways—including in language, music, and clothing—but perhaps most distinctively in their dancing. Their dancing traditions, especially the quadrille, separate them from other Sámi in Finland and connect them to Northern Russian culture. Despite their dramatic past, the Skolts have preserved their culture and distinctive identities. The quadrille has a special place among the Skolts, and it continues in a new context as a part of their embodied culture.

Keywords: traditional dance, Skolt Sámi, identity, dance, quadrille, Finland

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