Niillas Holmberg

Sole by the Sami poet Niillas Holmberg is a poetic manifest which emphasizes the connection with land as the defining matter for those with concerns over tomorrow. This compilation celebrates traditional knowledge while questioning its adequacy with the modern world and mind.

The Sami are struggling to protect their lands and livelihoods from the ongoing exploitation by the industrial societies. But what is it that prevents the States from taking everything at once?
The answer is the people.

What are the challenges in preserving the immediate relationship with land. It states that we must return to the feet because that’s where we’re connected. This brings us to another central symbol: The moment we put on the warm and comfortable Shoes offered by Shoemaker we offer ourselves to the mechanism of politics, oppression and false promises. Replace sustainability with egoism and individuality.

What to do with a family member who devotes himself to Shoemaker? If a corrupt person is part of land, does that make land corrupt as well? These are questions tickling the foot sole.

All the poems appear underneath an endless line that continues from page to page. The line forms a circle, thus symbolizing the cyclic conception of time, the basis of the indigenous world view. Illustrations by Inga-Wiktoria Påve.

Niillas Holmberg

Niillas Holmberg

Niillas Holmberg (b. 1990) is a Sami poet and a musician from Ohcejohka (Utsjok), Samiland (occupied by Finland). He is a leading Sami environmental activist known from demonstrations and barricades.

Inga-Wiktoria Påve
belongs to the new wave of Sami artists. She is from Láttevárri (Lannavaara), Samiland (occupied by Sweden).

Other titles

Oaidnaleapmái, Čáhcesiellu 2016
Amas amas amasmuvvat 2013
Så den fremmede ikke blir mer fremmed 2015
Dego livččen oaidnán iežan 2009

Foreign rights

e-mail: [email protected]


Saami Council's Prize for Literature 2014
Nominated for the 2015 Nordic Council Literature Prize

Edited August 15, 2019 by DAT