When the Year of Storytelling opens in Malå on Saturday, several local museums will take the opportunity to hold an open day. These include the Local Heritage Centre with the Museum of the 1960s, the Göta & Verner Museum and the newest addition, the Malå Sami Museum.
The Sami museum, located in the old Handelsbanken building, was established by the Malå Sami Association and contains tools and clothing from the home of reindeer herders Anna-Sara and Lars Sjulsson in Setsele.
There is also a small exhibition about Christina Catharina Larsdotter, better known as Stor-Stina or the The Tall Laponia Girl, whose fate has been noted both in literature and on the stage.
Eva Stenberg Arthursson, chair of the Malå Sami Association, says that the museum is a way of making the Sami more visible and the Sami culture accessible to more people. The museum will also serve as a meeting place and a place to sell Sami handicrafts.
The fact that the museum is opening at the start of the Year of Storytelling feels right.
– When the Sami had neither television nor radio, people sat around the fire and talked about the old days. We hope to be able to do that again here, says Eva Stenberg Arthursson.
Overall, there is a strong storytelling tradition in Malå, something that will be highlighted during the inauguration day. Among other things, there will be a guided bus tour with Åke Lundgren and Inga-Britt Hultmar as narrators - a tour that ends at Stor-Stina's site in Brännäs and which along the way has stops at the museums and at the official inauguration in the square.
The program also includes a storytelling trail with the local poetry group Kaleidoscope, competitions, music, and much more.
– We look forward to a wonderful day where we finally get to kick off our storytelling year properly, says Maria Larsson, responsible for culture at Malå municipality.
The storytelling year runs during the second half of 2023 and the first half of 2024 and will be filled with activities that associations, organizations, and other local forces are behind. Some are already planned, including storytelling cafés, the day's poem to music at the hotel, and efforts at the school.
The Storytelling Community of the Year in Västerbotten is organized annually by the Nordic Storytelling Center and Västerbotten Museum in collaboration with the municipality that received the award.
"We are so impressed by the commitment that exists in Malå. There are lots of exciting ideas and plans for events," says Theresia Eriksson, Nordic Storytelling Center in a press release.