In many regions, the traditional Sámi vocal music dialects (Sámi music) were the first thing that disappeared or were forgotten because of the assimilation policy that the Sámi were subjected to. The foundation of Sámi Music Academy’s activities is the revitalisation of the traditional Sámi vocal music dialects. This is done by training teachers and musicians and also grassroots Sámi who intend to adopt and revive the musical tradition of their own family. The musical tradition may be revived within a family with just a single master of the tradition.
Church eager opponent
The mainstream cultures did not entirely succeed in destroying the Sámi music, though this was actively attempted for centuries. The Church was the most eager opponent of Sámi music, because the Church regarded Sámi music as involving the worship of Sámi gods. In the eyes of the Church, traditional Sámi music was a sin and a method of practising witchcraft. Traditional Sámi music has also been associated with other negative issues, such as alcoholism. Because of belittling attitudes, the state assimilation policy and the opposition of the Church, the traditional Sámi vocal music dialects were close to disappearing before the renaissance of the Sámi culture initiated in the 1960s.
Sámi Music Academy has a particular method for reviving the musical tradition of ancestors and family. Whilst seeking one’s own musical tradition, students also learn about the history, people and locales of their family. Finding the lost musical tradition is an empowering experience.