– It is completely natural that the drum gets its permanent home at the museum to which it has a historical affiliation, and where it has otherwise been exhibited for many years, says Denmark’s Minister of Culture Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen in a press release. It writes NTB.
– Goavddis is a Sami word for this type of drum made of rikule, says director of Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat / The Sami Collections Jelena Porsanger. Rikule is an outgrowth on trees.
– There is talk of the drum being incorporated into the museum collection of our museum, Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat. We belong to the museum foundation RiddoDuottarMuseat, which has no collections like that, but is an umbrella organization for four Sami museums in Western Finnmark and a Sami art magazine, Porsanger explains in an email to Ballade.no – and that is where the drum has been in recent years , but it was actually going back to Copenhagen before the Danes said «OK, fine enough».
The drum was confiscated in Sápmi during the witchcraft trials – persecution of those whom the Christian authorities saw as different and a threat to Christianity – in 1691. The drum was sent to Copenhagen for storage at the Danish National Museum.
Since 1979, the drum has been back on Sami soil at the Sami Museum in Karasjok (RiddoDuottarMuseat), but only on the loan agreement which expired on 1 December last year. In connection with the deadline expiring, several Norwegian politicians have become involved in the case, and Norway’s Minister of Culture Anette Trettebergstuen has been clear that she believes the formal ownership of the drum should be transferred to the Sami Parliament in Norway.
The drum was owned by Anders Poulsen, who was arrested in 1691 in the Nesseby area. He was accused of possessing an oval object called “Rune-Bomme”. With this instrument, he had “practiced the evil and wicked magic art,” it was stated in the indictment, according to Ságat.
The “rune bomb” as it was mistakenly referred to as (it is not runes, but old Sami signs of it) was confiscated and sent to Copenhagen, while Poulsen risks the death sentence for his deeds. While Poulsen was awaiting sentencing, however, he was killed with an ax by the sheriff’s boy while he was asleep.