08 February 2022

ALF RAGNAR NIELSSEN: Book launch 4 February – 10 March 2022

Alf Ragnar Nielssen’s book Sami past in Lofoten is launched in Moskenes, Vestvågøy and Vågan as part of the celebrations around the Sami national day. The launch series continues into March 2022.

In the Sami past in Lofoten, Alf Ragnar Nielssen presents the Sami history in Lofoten for the first time in a clear and transparent way. Today, Lofoten is mainly perceived as non-Sami. Before 1900, on the other hand, Lofoten was an integral part of the coastal Sami Norway, an aspect that today is little known and hardly described in the academic literature. This is an important and unknown part of Northern Norwegian and Norwegian history, which for the first time is presented collectively to a wider public.

We invite you to meet the author in person and hear a presentation of the book. Afterwards there will be refreshments and conversation. The events are free, but tickets for the first events must be booked on Museum Nord’s website due to infection control measures.


4 February 2022

Reine Kultursenter, Kirkeveien 38, 16:00 (30 seats)

5 February 2022

Lofotr Viking Museum, Borg. In the auditorium/movie hall, 16.00 (50 seats)

6 February 2022

Gallery Espolin, Storvågan, 2 events: 12:00 and 13:30 (20 seats at each event). Included in the commemoration of the Sami national day in Vågan.

9 February 2022

Vågan Library, Svolvær: 18:00

10 February 2022

Sortland Museum and Sortland Library, Kulturfabrikken: 19:00

23 February 2022

Stormen Kulturhus, Bodø

28 February 2022

Árran Lule Sami Center: 7 p.m.

10 March 2022

Leknes Library: 18:00


Museum Nord is pleased to present Alf Ragnar Nielssen’s book Sami past in Lofoten. 

The book is an important contribution to the overall mapping of Sami history in Norway. Now, in many ways, the last piece of the puzzle about the Sami past on the outer islands of northern Nordland and Sør-Troms falls into place. There have previously been representations of the History of the Sami people on Senja, Hinnøya and Vesterålen? most recently the book Samene ved storhavet by Johan Borgos, which Orkana publishing house published in 2020. But Lofoten has long excelled with its absence.

If we go back a hundred years or more, Lofoten was actually an integral part of Samiland, with both the sea sami and the reindeer herding industry. The author has used a multidisciplinary approach, with written sources, archaeology, place names and oral tradition as building blocks. The book also contributes to knowledge about trade relations between Sami and Norwegians, as well as Sami participation in the Lofoten fishery. It will therefore have special significance for the dissemination of coastal and fisheries history at the local departments of Museum Nord through our cultural programme and also for the upcoming SKREI centre in Storvågan.

Broad presentation of Loftens Sami history

It has been a pleasure for Museum Nord to work with Alf Ragnar Nielssen and Orkana publishing house about the publication. After a long collaboration, we have achieved a long-standing goal. The background for the publication was a request from MUSAM (The Museum Collaboration in Lofoten) for a popular scientific booklet. This was never published, and the script has instead been extended to this more basic production.  

We hope that this new and broad presentation of Lofoten’s Sami history will stimulate debate about the ethnic history of the region. The book is for everyone who has an interest in Sami history in Norway. We have attached great importance to making the text easy to read with many illustrations and thus adapted for a wide audience.

The book is the second publication in Museum Nord’s writing series. We thank Orkana publishers for their cooperation over many years. We would also like to thank Nordland County Council, the Fritt Ord Foundation, the Sámi Parliament and the Arts Council Norway for their financial support for the publication. 

Sami National Day

The Sami National Day is the 6th of February. The launch programme for Sami past in Lofoten is held around this important day. In Vågan, several actors have joined forces to organize a large open event, including the Nordnorsk Artist Center, the Art and Film College in Kabelvåg, Museum Nord and many others.

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