Svea Länta - Arctic Indigenous Design Archives (AIDA)

Svea Länta


Sámi Handcrafter

Expert of Tin Thread

Svea Länta (b. Grahn) was born in 1946 and grew up in Tjiehtele (Kittelfjäll). She lives in Jåhkåmåhkke (Jokkmokk) with her family. She produces "vätnoe", South Sami for duodji, in her home and often at the kitchen table. Svea Länta works in reindeer herding and is involved in the family business.

Svea Länta started early with crafts and already as a teenager she pulled and spun tin/pewter thread with her grandmother, whom she spent a lot of time with. Svea Länta was born as the oldest daughter in a family of ten children, which meant that she sewed a lot for the family. She went to Tärnaby Samskola and later to the Sami school in Änge. During that period she sewed her first belt with tin/pewter embroideries, and she has continued to sew items for herself and her relatives. In the 1960s, she studied at the Sami Folk-High School in Jåhkåmåhkke (Jokkmokk)and since then she has made her livelihood from "vätnoe". In the mid-1980s and 1990s, she participated in many exhibitions, often together with other Sami artists and duodjars. Sofiero in Helsingborg and Liljevalchs gallery in Stockholm are some of places where she has exhibited. Over the years, Svea Länta has sewn many tin/pewter belts and dickeys for people from the South Sami as well as from Árjapluovve (Arjeplog) and Jåhkkmåhkke area. She has also produced many tin/pewter-embroidered bags and bracelets for sale.

Svea Länta's Archive

Recurring in Svea Länta's archive is the work with tin/pewter thread, both in traditional and innovative duodje. The archive includes test pieces, photographs, exhibition catalogs, slides, newspaper clippings.