The Smi are Europe's only recognized indigenous people living across regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Russian Kola peninsula. The subjects of a history of Christianization, land dispossession, and cultural assimilation, the Smi have through their self-organization since World War II worked towards Smi political self-determination across the Nordic states and helped forge a global indigenous community. Accompanying this process was the emergence of a Smi music scene, in which the revival of the distinct and formerly suppressed unaccompanied vocal tradition of joik was central. Through joiking with instrumental accompaniment, incorporating joik into forms of popular music, performing on stage and releasing recordings, Smi musicians have played a key role in articulating a Smi identity, strengthening Smi languages, and reviving a nature-based cosmology.Thomas Hilder offers the first book-length study of this diverse and dynamic music scene and its intersection with the politics of indigeneity. Based on extensive ethnographic research, Hilder provides portraits of numerous Smi musicians, studies the significance of Smi festivals, analyzes the emergence of a Smi recording industry, and examines musical projects and cultural institutions that have sought to strengthen the transmission of Smi music. Through his engaging narrative, Hilder discusses a wide range of issuesrevival, sovereignty, time, environment, repatriation and cosmopolitanismto highlight the myriad ways in which Smi musical performance helps shape notions of national belonging, transnational activism, and processes of democracy in the Nordic peninsula.Smi Musical Performance and the Politics of Indigeneity in Northern Europe will not only appeal to enthusiasts of Nordic music, but, by drawing on current interdisciplinary debates, will also speak to a wider audience interested in the interplay of music and politics. Unearthing the challenges, contradictions and potentials presented by international indigenous politics, Hilder demonstrates the significance of this unique musical scene for the wider cultural and political transformations in twenty-first-century Europe and global modernity.
Sami Musical Performance and the Politics of Indigeneity in Northern Europe
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers