3 / 2003

Sweden - Lapland - Saami reindeer-skin ankle-boot

Lapland or Saapmi comprises Northern Scandinavia, Finland and the Kola peninsula of Russia. The indigenous people, who prefer to be referred to as "Saami", are herding nomads, depending entirely on their huge herds of reindeer. This animal provides them with everything they need to survive in the harsh environment above the arctic circle. The ankle-boots shown here called "Lad’ de Gabmagat" are made of the leg-parts of the reindeer-skin. The top part is made of colourful felt. The soles are sewn with the pelt at the toe-part going in the opposite direction of the pelt at the heel-part for better traction and to prevent slipping while walking on snowy surfaces. In winter-time the boots are stuffed with senna-grass for warmth and insulation.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland