Sárdni Freavnantjahke gievrie sirdinseremoniijas

Sámediggepresideanta Silje Karine Muotka lea oassálastán lullisámi goavdása Freavnantjahke gievrie sirdinseremoniijas Meiningen museas Duiskkas golggotmánu 20. beaivvi 2023.  Dá lea su sárdni (dušše eŋgelasgillii):

and then
when I drum
                        you leave
the skin of the drum comes alive
the earth pounds
the heart of the earth beats
                                               and you travel
            across the drum
                                    the grazing lands, camps
                                                                                   the trekways of life

This is a poem by our late Nils Aslak Valkepää, Áillohaš, from Beaivi áhčážan / The sun, my father.

Secretary of State Thuringia and Chair of the board of trustees, Frau Tina Beer
Mayor and Deputy Chair of the board of trustees, Herr Fabian Giesder,
Deputy Chair of the Landtag (Parliament) of Thuringia, Herr Henry Worm,
Board of the Kulturstiftung Meiningen-Eisenach, Herrn Intendanten Jens Neundorff von Enzberg und Herrn Museumsdirektor Dr. Philipp Adlung 
Dear friends,

Cultural heritage is an important part of all people's identity and belonging. Knowing one's history is a central part of our formation as individuals and as a society.

Sámi drums are an important part of the Sámi cultural heritage and are particularly important in ceremonial contexts. The drums are sacred and guides in life.

Freavnantjahken gievrie is one of our Sámi cultural treasures, which has been outside Saepmie. This is a result of the Christianization and missionization of the Sámi.

As we know the history of Freavnantjahken gievrie, it must be from the 17th century. It was Bendix Andersen and Jon Torchelsen who owned the drum when it was seized by the missionary Thomas von Westen in 1723, 300 years ago.

The intricate road to Elisabethenburg Castle here in Meiningen in Germany went via Copenhagen, which was the capital of the Danish-Norway colonial power.

Here, the Freavnantjahken gievrie has been looked after as part of the collection to the Meiningen Museum. The drum is very well preserved.

I will remember today with great gratification. It is the day Freavnantjahken gievrie is finally on its way back to Sapmie.

By returning til Saepmie and the Sámi people I hope it will be a new awakening for the Freavnantjahken gievrie. That it will become alive as our late Nils Aslak Valkepääs, Áillohaš states in his poem.

Todays event is the result of good conversations between the Saemien Sijte, the Meiningen museum, the Ministry of Culture and Equality in Norway, the Norwegian Embassy in Germany and the Sámi Parliament.

These conversations have resulted in the decision by the Museum board meeting on 21 June 2023 to return the Freavnantjahken gievrie back to Sapmie.

Today has an international significance. Today there are a number of processes where nations and countries get their cultural and historical objects returned. This also applies to Indigenous Peoples.

I would like to refer to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and in particular article 12, point 1, which says, among other things:

«Indigenous peoples have right to manifest, practice, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects».

The return of the Freavnantjahken  gievrie to Saepmie is in line with international indigenous rights. The return of our cultural treasures is significant in our process of restitution.

Dear colleagues,

Far too many of our cultural treasures are outside Saepmie. That is why it is significant that Freavnantjahken gievrie is on its way home to Saempie after 300 years.

There are many individuals to thank today.

Saemien Sijte, our Southern Sámi museum, with director Dr. Birgitta Fossum has taken a crusual initiative in requesting for the return of the Freavnantjahken gievrie.

This initiative has led to a favorable dialogue with director Dr. Philipp Adlung at the Meiningen Museum.

The Ministry of Culture and Equality in Norway and the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin have been valuable conversation partners.

And finally, the board of the Meiningen Museum has made a commendable and important decision about the return itself.

I am thankful for the outcome. And I would like to point out that this excellent dialogue could be a guiding light for the future. This could be the start of a positive and extensive collaboration between Saepmie, Norway and Germany.

Gæjhtoe - Thank you for your attention