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NORDLAND - TROMS - FINNMARK - SVALBARD 

 Holmengrå laksefiskevær

 
Holmengrå laksefiskevær ( Holmengrå Fishing Hamlet)
Local fishermen call the labyrinth at Holmengrå "skolteringen", the Skolts' circle. The Skolt Sámi is a distinct group within the indigenous Sámi people. They live in eastern Finnmark, northern Finland and on the Kola peninsula. This labyrinth is one of the best kept ones in coastal Finmark and it is estimated to date from the first and second millennia BC.

The oldest remains of settlements at Holmengrå date back to the period 4500-1800 BC. The Skolt Sámi is the oldest known population in the region. There are archeological finds from the last millennium BC that are directly linked to Skolt Sámi culture and identity. There are many other remains in and around the hamlet that confirm the Skolt Sámi presence in ancient times. There are no written sources, but oral tradition has been documented about Skolt Sámi from Pasvik going to Holmengrå for summer salmon fishing.

Most of the historical remains at Holmengrå such as traces of dwellings, lavvo (Sámi tent) sites, the labyrinth, graves/hollows and standing stones as well as WW2 installations are mainly automatically given protected status in accordance with the Norwegian Cultural Heritage Act. Many are most likely from the Skolt Sámi people whilst others were made by the first Kven salmon fishermen.

Photographer: I.H.U.



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