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How children were created

When a new child was to be created, Mailmenraedie, the greatest god of the Sámi, sent a soul to Maadteraahkas, the primal mother. She sent it on to her daughters Saaraahka, Joeksaahka and Oksaahka.

Saaraahka, goddess of fire, made flesh grow around the soul in the mother’s womb. Offerings were made to Saaraahka for a good birth. Joeksaahka, goddess of the bow, could make the child into a boy whilst it lay in the womb. She would only do this if she received a good offering, because once she had made the child male she gave it up to her mother’s and sisters’ enemy, the hunting god Liejpålmaj. Offerings were also made to Oksaahka, the door goddess, so that she would guard the door and look after the child, once it had been born and begun to walk.

This explanation of how children were created comes from the south Sámi area, so the south Sámi names for the gods have been used.

Jens Kildal om ”siælers afkom”

Reahpen. Govva/Foto: Mihkku Solbakk