SDÁ 2-2010: Katri Somby

Nuorttanaste – vuoiŋŋalaš bláđđi vai sámi servvodatguoddi?

Katri Somby (Sámi allaskuvla)

Viečča artihkkala dás (pdf).

Nuorttanaste: Christian magazine or a builder of Sami society?

This article is about the Sami magazine Nuorttanaste (English: the eastern star), established in 1898 in Finnmark, Norway. The year 2010 will mark its 112th edition, making the magazine the oldest still-published magazine in Sami history. The magazine has been published twice a month throughout most of its history, including during Second World War. Nuorttanaste was founded by the Norwegian Lutheran Evangelic Free Church in 1898, its main purpose being to spread the Lutheran Christian message to the indigenous Sami people living in Norway in their native tongue. It soon began to also publish letters from readers, in addition to publishing regular news and other non-religious content. Its editors were mostly Sami themselves, who had to choose between pleasing their Norwegian Christian owners who wanted mainly religious content in the magazine, and the Sami public that demanded news and current affairs as well.

For most of the 20th century it was the only publication in the Northern Sami language, and it has thus been extremely important for the literacy of the Sami people, especially to people who did not understand Norwegian. One of the conclusions of this article is that Nuorttanaste was vital for the development of understanding of the written Sami language. Children learned to write and read with it, and its function as bringer of information was extremely important. It was highly popular, and especially significant for the maintaining of the Sami language and culture in Norway in the first half of the 20th century.