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Experience a little bit of the Jokkmokk Market…

Every time I go to the Jokkmokk Market in northern Sweden, I always have an adventure. The little village of Jokkmokk has been on an established trade route since the Viking Age, and the market has been held each winter since 1605.  The 3,000 inhabitants have had generations of practice hosting visitors.  In modern times, the Jokkmokk Market draws 30,000 - 40,000 visitors during the week of festivities.  Take a look at the pictures I captured.

The Jokkmokk Market is a celebration of Saami art and culture. The Saami are the indigenous people who live north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Originally they followed the reindeer herds.  Today many modern Saami have a more settled life  However, reindeer remain important in the culture, diet, arts, and economy of the Saami people. As I looked around the market, I saw the beautiful reindeer being led by proud owners.  I noticed the warm boots and mittens made from reindeer hide, and I browsed through the crafts which had used reindeer horn in innumerable ways.  All of that left no doubt in my mind about the importance of these animals to the Saami.

The market starts with a parade, which for decades has been led by Per Kuhmunen and his reindeer.  Per and his family are synonymous with Jokkmokk Market; they have been instrumental in its growth and development.  "Vild" Hasse, "Wild" Hasse, is also a Jokkmokk regular and almost as familiar a figure there as Per.  Other Saami residents join the parade, all in their colorful and handcrafted traditional costumes.  

Housing the handcrafts made by master artisans, the Duodji is the main building of the market. As I worked my way through this building, I met several of these incredible artists, including Jesper Eriksson, who was recognized by the government of Sweden for his exceptional traditional artwork.  I asked Jesper how long it took to make a piece of jewelry.

“First I have to find the right materials from the forest,” he replied.  “A reindeer horn has to dry and age for two years. Carving the horn can take months, especially when I am making inlay.  I don’t calculate hours.  I take my time and get each element of the piece just right.  That is what is important to me.”

I was pleased to find several pieces of Jesper’s jewelry for our Stockholm store.

Jon Tomas Utsi, a previous recipient of Sweden's stipend for traditional crafts, was also at the Duodji.  Jon Tomas finds all the materials for his jewelry and wooden boxes in the forest, too. He searches for the perfect burl to carve and the perfect reindeer horn for inlay.  Similar to prior generations of Saami artists, Jon Tomas spends long hours creating pieces that will be treasured for generations. I purchased several of his items for the Stockholm store.  I also bought an array of unique pieces from a variety of artists.

I invite you to stop by, see these amazing Saami handcrafts, and experience a little bit of the Jokkmokk Market for yourself.  Right now, Ingebretsen's av Stockholm is open weekends.

We’d love to see you again,
Diane and staff
Ingebretsen’s av Stockholm