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What is a Gumpi?

Joar Nango explores space, architecture, and its relationship to indigenous identities. Since his studies of architecture in Trondheim, he has created different platforms to advance the discussion around Sámi architecture.

“As Indigenous People, we really need this type of autonomous platform where we can discuss self-representation through architecture. Where we also can meet each other on an eye to eye, without necessarily always dealing with the sort of  ´us and them´ conflicts and challenges that we so often are exposed to when we work with architecture and indigenous representation”, says Joar Nango.

Joar Nango’s long-term project Girjegumpi is built into a so-called “Gumpi”, a type of cabin traditionally used by reindeer herders when they move with their reindeer herds from the winter grazing land to the coastal summer area. It’s a mobile home used for the spring migration that it’s usually self-made, and it has different forms and shapes.

Girjegumpi, the Library of Sámi Architecture began its journey in Harstad, south of Tromsø, for the yearly festival Festspilene. Joar Nango invited builders and designers, craftsmen and Sámi architects to take part in the building of the library itself. Since then, Girjegumpi has visited Jokkmokk, Ottawa, a cultural festival in the Marka-Sámi area Skánit, Harstad, Karasjok,and Bergen.

Discover more about the construction and visit the places Girjegumpin traveled to at gumpi.space.