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Sámi people ask that sacred ritual drum be returned to them

For centuries the Church labeled many forms of non-Christian spirituality as ”demonic” and ”witchcraft”. Shamans and other practitioners of these faiths were put on trial as witches and killed, often in sadistic fashion such as being burned alive. One group of people who were particularly hated by the Church were Sámi people who continued to follow their indigenous spiritual traditions.

During the forced Christianization of the Sámi people, many nåjds (Sámi shamans and wisepeople) fell victim to witch-hunts. Anders Poulsson was one of them. In 1691, he was convicted of witchcraft and imprisoned. A ritual drum was used during the trial as evidence of his ”crime”. That drum was confiscated and became part of the Danish royal family’s art collection.

Now, Sámi activists are asking that this sacred historical artefact be returned:


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