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Sami Art

CybaFaeries and WolfDragons CD cover art


The images from the CybaFaeries and WolfDragons CD come from my Sami family culture. Sami, sometimes referred to as indigenous Europeans or Fairy's, come from the northern Norway / Sweden / Finland area going back some 8000 years BCE.

My family language of Northern Sami was illegal for 200 years up until 1958. Speaking Sami or practicing traditional Sami culture, singing traditional Sami songs 'Yoiks', was punishable by death, typically burned alive in so called racist 'Witch trials', Male and Female and children. Very nasty stuff, and it didn't stop us.

Usually we'd be called 'fairy' or 'Faeries' as a derogatory term much the same as Nigger for people with black skin. I have typical European white skin, type A European blood, and I'm classified as White, but for racists I'm too White and referred to as Asian by Nazi's. I'm not offended to be referred to as Asian.

Actually, I find the whole concept of Race to be just formalised bigotry and I practice, as my culture does. We treat and relate to people as individuals, not a gender, class, race or religion, just people. All individuals, most good, some bad, just like everywhere the world over. Most treat me just as an individual too, but some folk are different and feel they have to address you by gender, race or religion for them to understand themselves, I find that sad and restricted.

Even today in 21st century Australia I get called racist terms 'Albino Nigger' or 'White Caveman' and have to be very careful with some bigots who will often shock unsuspecting friends by suddenly spitting on me and refusing to allow me into their houses. It would be easier to understand if I was of Asian or local Australian indigenous or black African appearance.

But I'm used to it, from when I was a young kid at school. I'd go home to friends houses from school and suddenly the parents would go ballistic with racist rants, and demand I got out of there immediately, didn't stop my friends associating with me at school though.

I've never really experienced such racism in the Melbourne Underground community, which is a part of the reason I like it. Pretty much everyone is trying to get away from some sort of bigotry and prejudice in traditional or mainstream culture, and everyone is generally accepted and treated as an individual, not a gender, race or religion.

Noaidis are believed to be able to prophesy and predict the future using a drum, like the shape of the oval line figure in the centre of the CD artworks (Pics above and below). Our family in the Noaidi tradition also kept and passed on the myths, rites and historical stories of our culture and healed illness with herbs.

We simply prefer to be called the 'Wise Ones' - If you must use labels. Wisdom is what happens when you accumulate knowledge and understanding over long periods of time. You get to spot things coming from a long way off after a while, you can read the signs like storm clouds on a horizon. We always had folk coming around to the family home to seek wisdom in all sorts of stages of life, and still do today. My aunts conducted traditional weddings with a formally ordained Scottish Presbyterian Minister and his wife as legal witness for decades. Lots of gay weddings and straight weddings, my aunts would play the music and they had hundreds of hours of wedding party music on reel-to-reel tape, a lot of them I have inherited.

My grandmother who was born in Bergen Norway 1880, sang Yoiks to me as a kid, often to my bemusement thinking they were the weirdest songs I'd ever heard. I use the cycle nature of the Sami music which normally doesn't have words like western lyrics, but does have melodies and is repeated in loops as we call them today, particularly with 'trance' music. The style of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) I use on the CybaFaeries and WolfDragons album is generically called 'psy-trance' in Melbourne, it's a good term. The Sami music of my family is like that, it's circular and fluid with no real beginning or end and the melody is used to convey emotion and relate in a personal way to people hearing it.

Drumming is important in Sami music, and quite noticeable in mine on the album. Particularly the bass and associated rhythms. To me they tend to emanate from the centre the same as a lot of the lines in the artwork coming from a stylised oval Shaman drum shape, with the line across the middle. The line is a handle on the drum on the back and a brace, if you tilt it sideways it looks like the half-moon, a shaman symbol.

So am I Magic, is what I do Magic ?

I just call it Art, you can call it that if you like too, or something else. They're just words, labels, they don't change what it is or what I am. :-)