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Nils-Aslak Valkeapää


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Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, (Sami language Áillohaš, also kown as “Ailu”) (March 23 1943 - November 26 2001) was a writer, musician and artist of Finnish citizenship born in Enontekiö in the Finnish part of Lapland. Significant portions of his life he lived in Käsivarsi, close to the border to Sweden, and also in Skibotn in Norway. It is sometimes said that Valkeapää is the Sami person who is most well known internationally. Valkeapää was born in a family of the traditional trade of herding reindeer, but was trained as a school teacher.

The traditional sami singing was important in his art, in music as well as in painting and in writing. The yoik also was the first genre he got recognised in. During the 1960s, young Sami searched for their cultural roots and Valkeapää was one of the most prominent persons as a yoiker. His first recording, ‘’Jojkuja’’ from 1968 contained modernised yoik. Valkeapeää wrote the music to the motion picture internationally known as “Ofelaš” or “The Pathfinder” 1987, that was directed by Nils Gaup. He performed at the opening ceremony of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

Re recorded several albums with the Finnish synthesizer and keyboards artist Esa Kotilainen

As a writer, he mainly wrote in Sami and was translated to Finnish as well as to the Nordic languages. He is particularly well known in Norway. The first thing he published, was a political pamphlet. He eventually published eight collections of poems. One of the more well known is ‘’Beaivi áhčážan’’ that has been translated to English titled “The Sun, My Father”.

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  • Dok-Kizmit

    The Shaman Poet. His soul truly exudes love and a deep understanding of the world that is foreign to many. To experience his art is surreal and beautiful.

    5 Mar 2014 Reply
  • cruezivigot

    buore beivvi

    2 Jun 2010 Reply