Famed Sami dies


Nils-Aslak Valkeapää (1943-2001) or “Aillohas” in Sami, renowned Sami writer, artist and yoik performer, died in Espoo, Finland on Nov. 26.

From the 1960s on, when Aillohas started to revive and promote the performance of yoik, the traditional Sami song, he became a cultural icon for Sami within the Sami territory, Sápmi, as well as throughout the Arctic and other continents.

Aillohas attended the founding meeting of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference in Barrow in 1977.

During his life he was honored with many awards for his artistic works, including the 1991 Nordic Council Literature Prize in 1991.

He designed and performed the opening ceremony at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994

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