Joik is a traditional Sami (northern Scandinavian) musical form. Some say it is reminiscent of the Native American chants esp. those of the Plains Indians. I have listened to quite a few online and to me it sounds like my Norwegian grandfather’s cow calling. It is said that a singer joiks someone or something, and does not joik about the person or object. I wonder if this means that the singer calls the object into existence by means of acknowledgment or remembrance. The tradition has evolved but it never died out. Modern performers are making the public more aware of the joik. My great grandfather who was sort of a wandering nomad stayed with the Sami in their camps and drank coffee with reindeer butter in it. I think he was related to them but like the people in this country who claim Native American ancestry, I can’t prove it. I don’t really have a need to prove anything.


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