Marit Susanna Eira - Arctic Indigenous Design Archives (AIDA)

Marit Susanna Eira

Student of duodji and design

Migál Elle Iŋggá Máret Susánná or Marit Susanna Eira is from Guovdageaidnu. She works as a teacher at the Sámi High School and Reindeer Husbandry School. She is currently student at Sámi University of Applied Sciences and is taking a Bachelor degree in Duodji and Design. She chose to study duodji because she is brought up in a family of duojárat (duodji artisans) and she has crafted since she was a child. When she started with further education, it felt natural to follow the path of duodji. Máret Susánná thinks it is important to keep traditions. Also, to further develop and renew duodji, to keep the Sámi duodji alive.

Spoon of luck - Lihkkobaste

In the Duodji and Digital Stories course Máret Susánná was given a task with the theme "Johtin" (Eng. relocation). Her first relocation was when she moved from her childhood home to a new house. In the soil outside this house, she found an old spoon made of antler, which for her became a treasurable memory of this relocation. On this theme, she crafted a spoon out of birch, resembling the spoon of antler, and she named it Lihkkobaste or the spoon of luck. The course supervisor Jøgge Sundqvist taught them how to craft with axe and knife. The spoon has carvings with meanings. The uppermost carving is a flower with six leaves, which means luck. Triangles form four S letters. In her family, the name Susanna has been inherited from generation to generation. In this spoon, this symbolizes the love between a mother and her child. Two silver rings hang from the spoon. Silver is šiella, an item that protects you from the ulddat, underground beings.

Buttons for a belt - Boagánboalut

Máret Susánná is a woman who, as a ten-year-old, learned how to weave and later also how to use the dávlen embroidery method in weaving. After she had been using the method for a while she created a embroidery design on her own. For decoration she used the usual Sámi decorations called “Ovllá” and “Dikkel”.

In this task she drew buttons for a belt and added decorations from her own heddle design the buttons. The buttons are made of silver and the decorations of antler. From antler she also crafted a piece for the end of the belt, and this has a centre of silver. These buttons reveal how she have developed as a duojár, an artisan. First, she learned traditional weaving. Then, she made her own design. Now she has made buttons of antler and silver based on the design.