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Tradition, pride & sustainability

INDIGENOUS NORDIC SÁMI JEWELRY

a handcrafted Sámi family tradition passed down to Swedish Anna Lengstrand
who designs and sews from her horse ranch in beautiful British Columbia, Canada

SÁMI HERITAGE

“I’m very similar to my grandfather and very proud to be a Pokka – we both have our veins filled with Sámi blood that brings out a very strong passion for life and a determined mind. Along with respect for the land, nature, and the animals. We both also share the passion of working with our hands and Sámi handcraft, which is referred to as duodji” .

Anna’s reindeer jewelry is inspired by her ancient Nordic indigenous heritage and dedicated to her grandfather Algot who comes from the old Sámi family Pokka.

“For me, my jewelry is my way to express identity. To stand up for what I believe in. It’s bond back to my family’s roots… a bond with nature. I’m weaving my indigenous Sámi roots together with my present life here in BC as I work the tin thread. I’m building a bridge between traditional and modern times. This heart project of mine, that I call Simply Sámi, is bigger than the jewelry that I’m making… It’s about preserving traditional cultures world wide. And do educate people around the world what this type of handcraft stands for and represents. By making Sámi bracelets I’m keeping this old indigenous tradition alive wherever I go and I can spread the awareness about Sámi culture to a wider audience. I want to create jewelry that reconnect people with the power of nature, just as it has been traditionally”

Anna’s grandfather Algot grew up in Northern Sweden above the arctic circle, the youngest of seven children, raised by his Sámi mother, herding reindeer, living off the land, far away from the rest of civilization.

The Sámi are the indigenous reindeer-herding people of the Arctic Circle who once roamed freely where Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia now have set strict national borderlines, log the formerly dense forestry, dig deep mines, damaging the sacred land. The landscape has always been a very important part of the Sámi, and the Sámi way of life is based on respect for nature and to very gently use the land to serve their needs. Go anywhere but leave no trace behind.

Anna had been wearing her aunt’s bracelets forever, and felt this huge calling to start weaving and sewing her own versions. In February 2016 Anna started this craft business that she today calls Simply Sámi (it was called Simply Swedish for the first 2.5 years). Anna feels a great pride to have the opportunity to spread her passion for this ancient handcraft to the rest of the world as well as spreading the knowledge about, and speak up for, the Sámi people, and our planet. Anna also strongly believe in timeless, conscious, and sustainable fashion, which is something that Sámi jewelry represent. Sustainability is the Sámi foundation, culture and everyone future.

“I have loved Sámi bracelets my whole life… I have worn them since I was a young girl and one of my favourite things to do was watching my aunt make bracelets. It feels absolutely amazing to be able to work with something that I truly believe in and are very passionate about. I’m representing my whole family, our Pokka blood, the traditions and culture. I’m tying my heritage from back home to what I do here in Canada today, the life that I live here… Sámi people are people of the wind and the sun. Wherever we go, all over Earth, we will be greeted and supported by the sun and the wind. They will always follow our path… I really feel supported and at home here in the Canadian Coastal mountains” .

Blessing from Algot

(Anna’s grandfather, Sámi handcrafter)

“Anna makes extraordinary pieces of Sámi handcraft. They are very well done. I’m so proud of Anna, that she’s choosing to dedicate her time making this ancient handcraft. This is very important to me and means a lot. Anna has a wonderful gift. Her handcraft also shows that she’s a very persistent and hard working person with a great eye for details with smooth fingers, as this handcraft is not easy to master like she does.
I’m very proud that Anna is honouring my family, our Pokka blood, Norrbotten (Lapland), and the Sámi people by making reindeer bracelets all the way over there in Canada. She’s putting us on the world map, and standing up for us. God Bless you Anna, I love you so much.

Blessing from Sixten Keisu

(relative, reindeer herder, and Sámi handcrafter)

“I’m very proud of Anna. She is a very talented jewelry maker and make beautiful pieces. And most importantly, she has her heart in the right place.

Blessing from Lisbeth Nilsson Nirlén

(Anna’s aunt, reindeer bracelet handcrafter)

“Anna has been very interested in Sámi handcraft since she was a young child. Every time she visited me, she was admiring my pewter thread bracelets and gathered more for her wrist. Anna is very meticulous with traditional Sámi weaving and sewing, and she makes beautiful and long lasting jewelry pieces. I wish her all the best with the new collection!

Where tradition & art

and fashion collide.

Each item purchased through this website is individually made and handcrafted by Anna in her studio in Pemberton, British Columbia

  • Traditional Sámi Handcraft – Duodji
    Anna’s reindeer bracelets (tenntrådsarmband or samearmband in Swedish) are traditional Sámi handcraft. Hand spun pewter and sterling silver thread woven on a band of reindeer leather, into patterns that bring to mind ancient Celts and Norse Warriors.
  • Traditional Sámi Materials 
    The buttons are carved from shed reindeer antlers. Most of the hides Anna is using are traditionally and naturally dyed with bark from trees like alder, willow and birch. The leather was originally stitched together with reindeer ligaments, but Anna is using a modern sinew alternative. The craft is infused with the no trace, zero waste ethos of the Sámi. It’s their statement piece of everyday jewelry.
  • Sámi Family Tradition
    Metals like silver and tin were originally introduced and adopted to the Sámi through trade with outsiders like the Vikings and other Europeans via the arctic shore line. The oldest discovery so far of tin thread embroidery is believed to be from the 11th century. Pewter jewelry has been widespread among the reindeer herding Sámi people of northern Scandinavia since at least the 1700s, and this unique handcraft has been brought down to Anna from her older family members.

Nature has it’s music

for those who will listen…

Anna hopes her handcraft will inspire you to get back to your roots, stand up for who you are and what you believe in, and find harmony in Nature. As an artist and jewelry designer, Anna is weaving a bridge back to her roots from her ranch in the rural Pemberton of British Columbia

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