“Take me home from Lapland” – Handmade souvenirs-

About the author of this post: My name is Huong Nguyen. I used to live in the culture who appreciate the delicacy, the uniqueness in handmade products. I have personal affection for handicraft products because of the skill, the talent, the diligence, the passion that the artists rear to put into their products. Or in another words, there is no second same handicraft product can be found. Each product has its own pattern and its own mark of “the nature”. Therefore, it brings the gorgeous, prestigious feelings when one possesses handicraft products.

You have spent those last few days discovering the exotic Lapland.

You have had wonderful time taking part in activities which you can do it nowhere but in Lapland like: Reindeer safari, Husky safari, Northern Light safari, etc.

You love local people because of their hospitality, enthusiasm, honesty.

In short, you’re in love with Lapland but you’re going home tomorrow.

You’re packing your luggage and suddenly figure out that you haven’t got enough souvenirs needed for your loved ones back home.

Does this story sound familiar to you to some extent?

Finding souvenirs in Lapland is no longer a tricky “burden” as you can find many souvenir shops, especially in Santa Claus Village. In these shops, you can find thousands of products with various size, colors, materials, etc. However, in this post, I only mention some products which I-an international university student (who live in Lapland for 1 year and 8 months already) found unique to the region and worth bringing home the most. Actually, some of these Lappish souvenirs are so popular that can be found even in Helsinki.

Shaman Drums

The Shaman Drums was used by the shamans of Northern people. In ceremonies, the Shamans beat the drum with a stick made of reindeer bone until they fell into trance. In this process, they received revelation on how to solve the problem through the Spirit.

Shaman drums

Hornwork shaman drums (Source: Visit Rovaniemi)

Today, only 3 drums have been found in Finland region: two of them were found in Kemi and one in Utsjoki. All of these Finnish drums have three layers:

The Upper World represents the realms of gods and lights.

The Middle World represents the spirit side of the mundane world.

The Lower World represents the world of Animals

On the drum, there are many different symbols which mean different things. The Shamans use these symbols to foretell the events. One of my friend from America traveled to Lapland and he got a small version of Shaman drum. It is so funny to watch the video of him beating the drum while having fun “improvising” his own future event.

Marttiini

Marttiini has been known as knives manufactures in Rovaniemi. The factory has been established by Janne Marttiini since 1928. Ever since then, Marttiini has been the proud of Rovaniemi, as well as of Finland. Marttiini products includes many ranges, for example: knives for hunting, fishing, camping, household, etc.

Marttiini

Marttini’s knife

Every knives is diligently produced. The blades are usually made of stainless steel, the handle are curly birches, and the end are made of reindeer horn. In the end of many knives, there are symbols like the drum, the reindeer, the sun,… – those symbols which feature on the Shaman drums. It is said the it can chase the bad spirit away and protect the people who possess the knife. Besides, it is also possible to put your own personal touch as Marttiini ‘s staff can help you to carve your names or wishes on on the knives.

“A gift from Reindeer”

Reindeer souvenirs

Souvenirs made of Reindeer

Reindeer herding in Lapland has once been people’s way of living. Nowadays, it is not being popularly practiced like before. However, the fact that Lappish people use up all the parts of the reindeer does not change. They eat the meat of the reindeer, they use the fur to make clothes or blanket, they use antlers to make decorations. Therefore, there are various of souvenirs which have “reindeer’s touch” in it.

Reindeer mittens

Those mittens made of reindeer skin are really nice. They are not only water-proofed, wind-proof but also “cold hand-proof”.

Reindeer horns

There are many souvenirs made of reindeer horns, for example: key chains, bottle openers, candle holders, jewelry. In my opinion, they are all nicely made and useful.

Reindeer meat

Reindeer meats are delicious and can be cooked in many different dishes. They have also been produced in can so that they can be stored and transported easier. I have tried the meatball can and they are totally yummy with pasta.

Reindeer’s droppings

Probably right at this point, many people are frowning and saying out loud: “Disgusting!”. Yes, I know, but hang in there! Reindeer dropping is the name given to this kind of candy. They are covered of liquor and filled with fruit. The cool thing that they look exactly like reindeer’s dropping. So you can have fun and get ready to trick someone with the specialty of Lapland.

Author: Lapland Safaris

This is the blog of Lapland Safaris, which is a company specialized in all sort of activities in Finnish Lapland both in winter and in summertime. In winter we enjoy snowmobiling, husky and reindeer-sledge rides, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing among other things. During the summer we cruise on river boats, visit the reindeer and husky farms, and hike in the forests. Do you have questions? Ask us anything in the comments of this post. We will be happy to help you!

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