We  love the local jewellery creations from Lapland’s indigenous people, the Sámi, and Julevu Sweden offers a collection of the most beautiful handmade reindeer leather and braided spun Pewter-wire bracelets.

The Sámi

Aboriginal Sámi artisans reside near the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden. They share 5,000 years or more history with other Sámi in Norway, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula in Russia and have lived on these lands before the rest of the Scandinavians arrived.

The Sámi are historically known as Laplanders, but now this term is no longer used as it is viewed as somewhat derogatory. However the term Lapland for the area in northern scandinavia that the Sámi populate is still in use and can be traced back to old Swedish or Finnish language, meaning ‘wilderness in the north’.

The only people in Sweden allowed to own reindeer, some 3,000 of the 17,000 Sámi in Sweden own herds which are their livelihood – others rely on fishing. The Sámi have herded reindeer in northern Scandinavia for thousands of years. The reindeer are semi-domesticated and allowed to roam freely in the Lapland pastures. They supply the Sámi with meat, fur and leather – the latter being used in the creation of traditional items of clothing, tools and jewellery.

To make up for unfortunate past suppression and in some ways discrimination, as well as cultural and environmental threats such as oil exploration, tourism and other commercial development, the authorities of Norway, Sweden and Finland now make an effort to build up Sámi cultural institutions and promote Sámi culture and language.

One way to support the small indigenous Sámi people is through buying their handmade products. Duodji is the term for their handicraft originating from the time when they were self-supporting nomads.

The men used mostly wood, bone and reindeer antlers to make such useful tools as knives. Women used leather and roots to make clothes and baskets. Nowadays more modern produce such as wool is used to create items of clothing. The jewellery however, is made of purely traditional Sámi materials like reindeer leather and reindeer antler and have become admired and sought after worldwide.

Sámi embroidery with pewter wire on reindeer leather and fabric has been done for hundreds of years in the Sámi culture, and Sámi actually invented the spun pewter wire by melting tin and spinning it around reindeer sinew. This type of embroidery was used for festive adornment of items of jewellery and clothing.

Handmade bracelets by Julevu

Julevu’s bracelets are completely handmade in Swedish Lapland using reindeer leather, reindeer horn and hand-braided spun Pewter wire.

Julevu’s objective is to bring the beautiful tradition of handmade jewellery and handicraft from Swedish Lapland to a broader international audience.

They are a Swedish company based in the northern town of Luleå continuing a family tradition of handicraft and bracelet making that goes back 40 years. Their main focus is on artisanal workmanship and locally sourced materials, using no machines for sewing or braiding and naturally tanned quality reindeer leather.

The bracelets are based on a leather band, bearing braided 4% silver spun pewter wire, and buttons made from shed Reindeer antlers. Some bracelets have pearls of Sterling Silver. Julevu offers a large and varied selection of men’s and women’s bracelets and clients can also make a custom orders specifying colour, size etc.

Julevu want bring the beautiful tradition of handmade jewelry and handicraft from Swedish Lapland to a broader international audience. Their products are already sold at retailers in North America, Australia, Japan and numerous European countries.

For more information about the brand and to view the collection visit

julevu.com

 

 

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