Tagged: Oulu

To mend a house

In November hubby and I made a trip to Oulu. We couldn’t find the museum then, but last week we did. It wasn’t easy, though. Yes, we could locate it on the maps, but getting there is really not the simplest matter. No parking close to it, just to mention one thing. But, we’ve been there, and it was worth all the trouble. I found much more of interest to a textile person, all very well displayed. Most of the items are stored and not on display, but I got an impression that if you know what you’re looking for it’s not at all difficult to get permission to see them. There are also departments for tar production and seafare, the big trades in old Oulu.

I want to show just one thing from the museum in this post, a Sami summer pole tent, “vaatekota”, made from various pieces of fabric, old clothes, darned and patched in extreme. It was made by reindeer herder Ander Andersen Spein and his wife Inga during WWI. This was the home for as many as ten persons. The Sami peoples in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia had different kinds of kota tents. The vaatekota was easy to mount and take apart, and light to transport from one place to another during the transhumance up to the mountains with the reindeer in the summer. The Sami have been living in wooden houses since the late 19th century, so the vaatekota in the Oulu museum is one of the last that’s  been in use.

I hope the photos give at least a hint of how wonderfully the married couple have used the textiles they had. There’s cloth they have bought, as in the man’s jacket, and home made as in the rough piece of fabric (woven in an oppstadgogn, the old type of upright loom) with patches from other fabrics in it. The last photo shows the inside of the tent with the hearth, cooking utensils, and beds of reindeer skins. The cloth hanging over the tent are symbolic Northern Lights.

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Trip to Oulu

We visited my lovely mother-in-law in Oulu yesterday. Oulu is a nice town with a university, a botanical garden with plants that survive in Northern Scandinavia, lively business centers, beautiful parks and some interesting old buildings. It’s a technology city as well, so going to the Technopolis is a thing you don’t want to miss if you like technique.

This time of the year darkness is part of your days if you live in the northern hemisphere. The sun barely rises, and it’s setting at once. It’s also cloudy most of the time. All daytime photos in this post were taken between 10 am and 3 pm.

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We don’t have much snow yet, but enough to make the landscape lighter. White, gray, dark green, brown in the woods. Blue road signs. Colorful advertising. Red houses and barns in the countryside. Red lights in the cities. Are there any green lights? Hubby thinks not. Not enough anyway. He’s the one who drives, I just meditate, so I don’t mind looking at red.

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I like the street lamps in central Oulu.

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We wanted to go to the museum in Oulu, but we couldn’t find it before my bad ankles stopped co-operating… I wanted to look at the kind of backstrap riddle heddle looms we have in the Nordic countries, but it’ll have to wait. Maybe next time. I’ve said so for the last 20 years. I think there’s an evil spirit preventing me from going to the museum in Oulu. But now we thing we know in which area it supposedly is, hiding and lurking amidst the trees in a park.

On the way home it was totally black except for the electric lights and car lamps. You may have seen the photos of the lights on earth: it’s impossible to see the stars in many parts of the world. We can still see the Milky Way where hubby and I live in the countryside.

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If we don’t get our roof fixed within reasonable time we may see the Milky Way from inside the house… roof tiles came down in the last storm, luckily only a few of them. We’re waiting for a person who’s promised to come and have a look and maybe do something to get the tiles back. It’s not the nicest weather for roof work today. The day after the storm was clear and bright, as it so very often happens.

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