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Songs in a Vanishing Tongue
Alex Steffen, 29 Oct 04

We've written before about the Sámi people and their efforts to use technology to preserve their traditional cultures. This is much along the same lines as networked reindeer:

Pálgáh, a new CD by Inari Sámi singer Aune Kuuva, contains what is perhaps the rarest music in the world. She has composed the songs and written the lyrics in the language of the Inari Sámi people in the eastern part of Finnish Lapland. It is apparently the only recording in a language that is teetering on the brink of extinction...

Kuuva grew up in a small village near Nellim on the eastern shore of Lake Inari. The closest neighbour lived four kilometres away. A teacher by the name of Taimi travelled around the villages with a harmonium, teaching the children Finnish. "The harmonium enchanted me. It was the first time that I had heard music played on an instrument." Later she saw a gramophone for the first time. Her brother had won it in a card game at a logging camp.

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