• Adjágas (Lawra Somby and Sara Marielle Gaup)

The Sámi are an indigenous Scandinavian ethnic group in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula of northwest Russia who for many years were known mostly as “Laplanders” or “Lapps,” terms many of them consider derogatory. According to The Rough Guide to World Music there are between 50,000 and 75,000 people in those areas who identify as Sámi “in terms of heredity, lifestyle, or language.” Musically, the Sámi are responsible for an arresting and distinctive vocal tradition known as joik, a largely improvised style rich in nonverbal elements and abstract phrases. Most traditional joik is used to embody a specific person as a kind of memorial—whether the subject is dead or alive.