Norway’s indigenous individuals are asking for a sacred drum confiscated by Denmark after a witchcraft trial in 1691 to be returned to them completely, they usually have requested the Danish queen for assist.

The drum belonged to a Sámi shaman, Anders Poulsson, who was arrested and imprisoned, in response to court docket information. It was confiscated and have become a part of the Danish royal household’s artwork assortment earlier than being transferred to Denmark’s Nationwide Museum in 1849.

Since 1979, the drum has been on mortgage from the Danes to the Sámi museum in Karasjok, Norway. The mortgage settlement expires on 1 December and the drum is anticipated to return to Denmark. However the Sámi individuals need it again.

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The Sámi Museum in Karasjok despatched a request to the Danish Nationwide Museum earlier this 12 months to formally take over possession of the drum and the president of the Sámi parliament, Aili Keskitalo, has issued a press release to Norwegian and Danish press demanding the drum’s return.

Keskitalo stated: “It is a ceremonial, sacred object of excessive cultural worth – used to foretell the long run and get in contact with the spirit world by Sámi shamans all through historical past.”

Only some such drums nonetheless exist, with most in European fingers – together with one held by the British Museum.

“It is a large situation for us,” stated Keskitalo. “That such vital objects are saved in museum cellars the place Sámi individuals can’t see or examine them.’

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The Nationwide Museum of Denmark’s head of analysis, Christian Sune Pedersen informed the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang that his staff was contemplating the declare.

He added that repatriation circumstances took longer than lending circumstances since they needed to be determined by the Danish minister of tradition. Neither the Danish Nationwide Museum nor the Ministry of Tradition had been obtainable to remark.

Keskitalo stated: “We’ve been asking for years – it’s unacceptable.”

As a result of the drum was a part of the royal assortment in Denmark earlier than it was a part of the Nationwide Museum, Keskitalo hopes the Queen of Denmark “could act because the conscience of the Danish individuals and the Danish state”.

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“I’m hopeful that if she says the possession ought to be transferred, it will likely be transferred,” stated Keskitalo.

Queen Margrethe has but to reply.

The Sámi parliament additionally factors to the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, adopted by Denmark and Norway, it says provides it the precise to personal the historic artefact.

“By way of this drum, we will clarify a lot about Sámi historical past. It tells a narrative about emancipation and the Sámi wrestle to personal our tradition,’ added Keskitalo. “The drum is the important thing to explaining our heritage.”



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