Life in a Zoo
“When I arrive at the so-called Sami Camp, I think: this isn’t me. There is nothing Sami about this. I get sad when I’m there. Seeing reindeer panting from the heat, that strange little house (I really don’t get what it’s supposed to represent), and someone in a costume sitting in a hut (kåta), who only amplifies every cliché about what the Sami look like, or how they live. I don’t see the modern Sami depicted here at all. And I don’t want tourists and Sweden to think that this is a realistic picture of Sami life.”
In 1891, the decision was made to depict Sami families in the Laplander camp of Stockholm’s Skansen zoo and museum. A young girl grew up in this environment.
Until the 1920s, Sami families spent many seasons here, just like the reindeer. In the 21st century, it was decided to hire outsiders to recreate the Sami lifestyle.