Mihku-Ilmár - Arctic Indigenous Design Archives (AIDA)
Portrait of Mihku-Ilmár: elderly man looking to a camera indoors.



Duojár and Teacher

Mihku-Ilmár, also known by the name Ilmari Laiti, is a duojár of traditional and art duodji as well as a teacher, born in 1943 by the Inari River (Inarijoki). His childhood family was rich-in-children and the income came from i.a. duodji prepared and sold by the parents.


Mihku-Ilmár has made a noticeable long career not only as a duojár but also in the Sámi Education Centre, Inari, as a lector of duodji, head of the duodji department and as a vice-rector. His career in Inari began as a teacher of duodji in 1972. Before this Mihku-Ilmár was employed by the Johannes Lauri tm in Rovaniemi and Vocational Course Centre of Rovaniemi as the head of duodji education.

Mihku-Ilmár has had many Positions of Trust through his lifetime. He has been a member in the Arts Council of Lapland of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) from 1972 to 1974 as well as a member of the Planning Board of Region of Lapland’s secondary level education. In addition, he has consulted Lapin läänin Kotiteollisuusyhdistys (Home-based Industries Federation of the Region of Lapland) and Sápmelaš Duodjárat ry (“Sami Handicrafters”, Sami Duodji rs (Finland)).

Mihku-Ilmár/Ilmari Laiti’s Archive contains biographical material from 1950’s to present: exchange of letters and a vast collection of different materials related to his career as an expert, teacher and actions in society. At the same the Archive’s subcontext is history of duodji-education and development of Sami home-based, handicraft and design industries’ education curriculums and competence based-qualifications in Finland. The Archive contains also noteworthy collection of event posters from Sápmiland.