Sámi Grandmother, pastel, 12x9 in (30x23 cm.)

The Sámi are the native population of Lapland, in Northern Sweden. Like any native population in the world, they have been misunderstood, mistreated, their rights ignored, their land invaded and stolen by the "civilized" groups that came later to the land. These "newcomers" are us, who think in terms of "conquering" nature. The Sámis live IN nature, with it, respecting it. In Lapp mythology there are seven female divine beings, and three of them are most important, the daughters of Maadter-Aahkka--the Earth Mother. The word Aahka means something good and safe, grandmother. Aahka is also an honorary title and symbol of respect.