Lonely Planet review
One of Finland’s finest museums, Siida should not be missed. It’s a comprehensive overview of the Sámi and their environment, and it’s actually two museums skilfully interwoven. The main exhibition hall consists of a fabulous nature exhibition around the edge, detailing northern Lapland’s ecology by season, with some wonderful photos and information panels. In the centre of the room is detailed information on the Sámi, from their former seminomadic existence to modern times. In an adjacent hall is a timeline framing Sámi prehistory and history, alongside other world events. Two other halls have excellent temporary exhibitions of Sámi crafts and traditions.
Outside is the original museum, a complex of open-air buildings that reflect postnomadic Sámi life. They are mostly original buildings brought here and include farmhouses, storage huts and a courthouse, where miscreants scratched their names on the wooden walls while awaiting a likely flogging.
Back inside, a theatrette shows pretty visuals of the aurora borealis and Inarijärvi a few times a day; there’s also a fine craft shop and a good cafe for lunch.
Siida’s website is itself worth a mention: via the ‘web exhibitions’ page you can access a series of excellent pages on the Inari and Skolt Sámi cultures.