The Importance of the Sun Symbol in the Restoration of Sámi Spiritual Traditions and Healing Practice

Francis Joy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
147 Downloads (Pure)


Today, artefacts of the past have immense value for Sámi shamans, artists, and custodians of culture who are reengaging with their spiritual traditions. A cultural revival is taking place through various applications and approaches. Henceforth, there is an ongoing process of creating a restorative framework mainly based on the work of individuals, through which, drum making and decoration, joiking, sacrificial acts, and forms of divination consisting of various sorts of practices are emerging. One of the central symbols that features prominently amongst the Sámi in relation to their prehistoric cosmology and reuse of symbolism in different contexts with regard to spiritual traditions that helps link past with the present is the Sun. Therefore, the purpose of the descriptive analysis in this research paper examines the application of the Sun symbol to new types of drums made by Peter Armstrand who is a Sámi person, for healing and identity building and some of the contexts that appear within. As a method to elaborate on how the past is utilized in the present, the research material constitutes one short case study involving Armstrand who is a Sámi drum maker and likewise, a healer. To help broaden the fieldwork materials collected, I also refer to an old photograph of a drum and its cosmological landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Article number270
Pages (from-to)1-22
Journal Religions
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2020
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Sámi shamanism
  • drums
  • cosmological landscapes
  • healing
  • cultural heritage
  • art
  • spirits
  • sun
  • Art
  • Spirits
  • Cultural heritage
  • Sun
  • Healing
  • Cosmological landscapes
  • Drums

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


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