Siida's anniversary exhibition, produced by the Sámi Museum, tells about Johan Nuorgam, the founder of the Sámi Museum. The exhibition will be opened in Siida on 27 March 2018 at 3:30 p.m., and it be available for the public until 6 January 2019.
Siida's new temporary exhibition "Johan Nuorgam – A Sámi Cultural Broker" tells about Johan Nuorgam (1910–78) from Lake Iijärvi, who was an early cultural intermediary in cross-cultural situations dealing with the Sámi. He was a connoisseur of Sámi traditions with high proficiency in the Sámi language, and many researchers used him as their source. In the 1930s, he was employed as a guide in the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum of the Finnish National Museum, collecting artefacts himself too. He turned into a journalist, politician and culturally oriented person who founded the Inari Sámi Museum in the late 1950s.
The exhibition's photographs, recordings and press cuttings on Nuorgam's life give us a surprising picture of the networks this Sámi man had both in Finnish and Sámi society. The exhibition is built around the rare set of artefacts Nuorgam collected, and this collection is, at the same time, the first set of artefacts restored to the Sámi Museum by the Finnish National Museum. The number of repatriated objects is close to 70. They also include a few real treasures.
Nuorgam was an active man, who worked as a contributor and editor of the magazine Sabmelaš and as a journalist of the newspaper Tunturisanomat which was published both in Finnish and Sámi; in addition, he was one of the founders of the Sámi Radio in Finland. His deep knowledge of Sámi culture is manifested in the book "The Lapps in Finland up to 1945" by T. I. Itkonen, and, in Siida's exhibition, visitors can listen to him telling stories both in Sámi and Finnish. The exhibition also shows the significance of Nuorgam as a person who initiated and carried out the founding of the Inari Sámi Museum and was ahead of his time as concerns the museum field.