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Sami Rock Art

15 March 2013

At www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/03/2013/mattarahkka-mother-ear… … we have a lovely piece, several pages of printout, on Sami rock art, by Inga-Marie Mulk, an archaeologist from northern Sweden. It is a interpretation of images scratched, etched and engraved, or even painted on rocks in northern Fenno-Scandia, some of which is thought to represent an earth mother goddess.

The Sami, or Lapps, occupy the northern zone of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola peninsular in Russia, and their language has linguistic connections to Finnish, Estonian, and various languages found across northern Eurasia.

There are a lot of images in the piece and some of them pop up in Rens Van Der Sluijs books and the presentations of Dave Talbot and Tony Perratt. These are described as anthropomorphic. Linguistic research, she says in the concluding paragraphs, the Earth Mother was conflated with a mythical reindeer cow and an elk cow. Female elks occur in rock art right across northern Eurasia. This is interesting as it illustrates similarities in what was seen in the north with what was seen elsewhere in the world – the Cow Hathor, in Egypt, springs to mind, or the Holy Cow of the Hindu faith, the Cow that jumped over the Moon, and any number of similar motifs.

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