Norway's Indigenous People Seek Queen's Help in Returning Centuries-Old Shaman's Drum

© AP Photo / Jens Dresling/PolfotoThe Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II celebrates her 75th birthday on the balcony looking out at the crowd below, at Christian VII’s Palace, Amalienborg, Thursday, April 16 2015.
The Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II celebrates her 75th birthday on the balcony looking out at the crowd below, at Christian VII’s Palace, Amalienborg, Thursday, April 16 2015. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.10.2021
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The president of the Sami Parliament of Norway reportedly said that she hopes Margrethe II, the Queen of Denmark, “may act as the conscience of the Danish people and the Danish state."
Sami indigenous people in Norway are seeking the help of the Queen of Denmark to reclaim a cultural artefact confiscated by Denmark over three hundred years ago, The Guardian reports.
According to the newspaper, the object in question is a drum that belonged to a Sami shaman named Anders Poulsson. It was confiscated following a witchcraft trial in 1691 and ended up in the art collection of the Danish royal family.
In 1849, the drum was transferred to Denmark’s National Museum and since 1979, the artefact has been on loan to the Sami Museum in Karasjok, Norway, though the loan agreement is set to expire on 1 December.
"This is a ceremonial, sacred object of high cultural value – used to predict the future and get in touch with the spirit world by Sámi shamans throughout history," said Aili Keskitalo, president of the Sami parliament of Norway, who issued a statement to both Norwegian and Danish press demanding the return of the artefact.
The Sami Museum in Karasjok already sent a request to the Danish National Museum earlier this year to formally take ownership of the object.
Keskitalo also expressed hope that Margrethe II, the Queen of Denmark, "may act as the conscience of the Danish people and the Danish state."
"I am hopeful that if she says the ownership should be transferred, it will be transferred," Keskitalo said.
As the newspaper points out, however, the queen hasn’t yet responded.
Meanwhile, the head of research of the National Museum of Denmark reportedly announced that his team was considering the Sami claim.
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