Materials for Tools

The materials for the objects that were used daily came from wood, birch-bark, root, branches, brushwood and gnarls. These were made into dishes (low dishes, buckets, tubs, salt bottles, cheese moulds, cups, scoops, butter boxes, fish dippers, milk casks and dishes, churns, spoons, whisks, stave dishes, handles and sheaths of knives) and means of communication (Sámi sleds, sleighs, sledges, skis, ski poles, handles, shafts, spears and ice chisels). The material gave rise to the shape of the article and determined the right time for preparing it.


Old rakes

Getting around

People have needed various means of communication for getting around. Wooden skis, poles and boats were probably the oldest means of communication in the north. These and other practical objects were mostly made from birch and pine, although, all the available timber species were used – each for a special purpose. The roots of trees were used for withes and the toe strap bindings of skis. The tar of the wood protected skis, driving equipment and boats against wear and tear.


Leg of sleigh

Natural Toys

In the old days, children played with reindeer, cows and sheep made from pine cones. Boats were made from wood and birch-bark. For fishing, you wove a loop from willow withes and attached it to a stick. Timber was also made into such toys as spinning tops, discuses, throwing sticks, pinwheels, etc. A wooden “javelin” was made of a shaft that was about 40 cm long and a head made from the bill of a goosander or a red-throated diver. The bow and the arrow were the hunting gear that children used when playing. Angelica stems were made into flutes that children could play.