Discipline, Desire, and Knowledge. The Colonial fight over Goavddis.
This article deals with goavddis (ceremonial Sami drums) as objects at the centre of colonial struggle between Swedish officials and the Sami in the decades around 1700. For the Sami, goavddis were a matter of cultural and religious identity, and of the relation between the profane and the sacred; they were aesthetic objects whose meaning and power was actualized in ritual and musical performances. For the colonizers, the goavddis were caught up in ambivalent acts of discipline and desire. As instruments for heathen practice they were confiscated by Swedish officials and clergy in a systematic, often brutal, effort to discipline the Sami population and conform it to the Orthodox Lutheran State church. At the very same time, however, they became desirable collectibles among the Swedish and European elites. The need to destroy and the desire to possess – so this article claims – were two sides of the same coin. It was about taking control of the goavddis, subordinating them to the gaze of the colonizer, and ranging them under a colonial system of knowledge.
Malmö, 2014. no 2, 65-77 p.