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Sacred Sites in the Arctic North and Beyond: The Challenges of Protecting Cultural Heritage and Living Traditions in a Multitude of Contexts and Cultures

Sacred sites are many and varied throughout the world (Verschuuren et al., 2012). They are repositories of knowledge and wisdom, and are predominantly aligned with local, present-day and historical cultures of peoples on whose lands or former lands they are located (Wild and McLeod, 2009). Sacred natural sites are sanctuaries for biocultural diversity (Metcalfe et al., 2009; Verschuuren et la., 2012). Sacred sites are closely tied to identity, and are crucial for the transmission of cultural memory and language, and maintenance of health and well-being (Maffi and Woodley, 2010; Quijada, 2019; Poelina, 2020). Remarkably, they are often the focus of cultural memory and, thus, linked with earlier ancestors and their lifeways as well as local spirits and powers of nature that are considered manifest, e.g., within forests (sacred groves), mountains, rivers, lakes, tundra, sun, moon and weather phenomena such as the aurora borealis (Verschuuren et al., 2012; Zannini et al., 2021). There are also sacred areas where churches, monasteries, mosques and various sorts of temples are situated that are man-made structures, which are cultural heritage sites that have value for pilgrims and adherents to certain faiths and religions (Blain and Wallis, 2004).

According to Samakov and Berkes (2017): “The sacredness of a particular site, related to local worldviews and beliefs, may be manifested in the form of tribute to ancestors, access to supernatural dimensions, and respect for spiritual entities that reside in the area” (p.425). Both historically and in the contemporary world, many sacred sites bear evidence of worship and reverence, and, among those naturally formed in the wilderness, there are locations where offerings have been given that are connected to knowledge and practices that are also secret and guarded (Helander-Renvall, 2010; Samakov and Berkes, 2017). Equally, and presently in some locations, evidence of new types of offerings is emerging (Joy, 2020) whereby at certain sites used, e.g., by reindeer and caribou herders, fishermen and hunters, these gestures reflect reciprocal relationships with the natural world and, playing a central function in practices connected with livelihoods (Helander-Renvall, 2010; Spangen and Äikäs, 2020). Such customs can illustrate how and why Indigenous peoples were persecuted for adhering to their traditional ways, but also provide evidence of new types of offerings and interactions at sacred sites that can be understood as examples of some of the ways in which the same peoples are now reclaiming their beliefs and practices, and a fortiori the freedom which was earlier restricted because spiritual principles of this ilk were forbidden (Kraft, 2020).

Certain in-dwelling powers at sacred sites are considered to protect ancestral lands and families (Helander-Renvall, 2010). Without exception, Indigenous and local communities have developed regulations, rules and norms to govern and protect sacred sites (Wild and McLeaod, 2009; Heinämäki and Xanthaki, 2017). Oral traditions are inextricably related to practices associated with sacred sites (Kim, 2021). Indigenous ways of managing sacred sites are often shaped by customary laws, taboos, guardian spirits and access restrictions or supernatural powers that reside, e.g., over sacred land and waters (Oviedo et al., 2005). Wild and McLeod (2009) highlights that: “in many societies, traditional sacred natural sites fulfill similar functions as legal protected areas. Due to the spiritual values attributed to these sites, restrictions on access and use often apply, and many such sites remain in a natural or near-natural condition. Here, human disturbance has been reduced or prevented, or careful management has taken place, often for long periods of time, with resulting high levels of biodiversity.” (p.5). In some places there exist community-instituted sacred-site guardians, i.e., people who volunteer to care after a site (Liljeblad and Verschuuren, 2019). When this is given further consideration, it is possible to comprehend how misuse and destruction of sacred sites threatens the very existence and fabric of the spiritual cultures and traditions of many Indigenous peoples.

Military conflicts (e.g., in the middle-east and now Ukraine), as well as the destruction and threats to local waters and lands resulting from extractive industries (e.g., oil and gas production, forestry and mining), and the development of an increasingly globalized world where tourism is one of the main forces shaping travel, sacred sites have been and continue to be destroyed, desecrated and eroded. Henceforth, one of the main research paradigms where concerns about the safety of sacred sites is clearly illustrated, due to multiple types of threats emerging from within sectors such as the tourism industry (Olsen, 2020). For example, tourism companies advertise sacred places as tourism destinations and locations for leisure activities, such as rock climbing and camping, and material objects of spiritual significance are commercialized as souvenirs (Joy 2019; Mathisen 2020).

Similarly, socio- environmental changes are affecting Indigenous Peoples’ local economies, which, for example, are linked with reindeer herding as well as hunting and fishing, and result in land use having to be reorganized and renegotiated. The principal reasons for these trends are: (1) in certain places inadequate laws are poorly implemented; and (2), in some cases, binding regulations are non-existent because commercial interests reign supreme in terms of business development.

In addition to the aforementioned, the creation of hydro-dams, deforestation and extractive industries such as mining, where sacred mountains have been blown-up for their mineral wealth, are all activities that have likewise contributed to the devastation of sacred sites and reduction of their value and uniqueness (Aulet and Duda, 2020). Furthermore, global warming has been causing fires, storms and flooding that can be added to the destructive factors of sacred sites and areas (Allison, 2015), some of which still remain vulnerable and under threat due to poor protection or missing recognition of their sacred status. Similar challenges are also experienced in areas beyond the Arctic regions and the Nordic countries.

One of the most visible consequences of what has been stated above may be observed locally in changes in the ways of life, implying, among other things, that the ways of knowledge transmission are also under danger. This, in turn, means a disruption in adherence to local beliefs and practices, as well as to the transmission of cultural heritage across generations, especially if adaptation to and/or mitigation of the ongoing changes is not possible (Drew, 2012).

In addition, because of persecution of Indigenous peoples in the context of originally colonial laws and policies, which were aimed at the eradication of their spiritual practices, beliefs and worldviews, these peoples have been excluded from decision-making processes by the governments of the Nation States under whose aegis they are situated, including development projects on the lands and waters where their sacred sites are located. According to the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Indigenous peoples hold the right to “maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites” (UNDRIP, 2007: Art. 12(1)). Heinämäki and Hermann (2013) analyze the formal legal and policy recognition of sacred sites. Samakov and Berkes (2017) discuss sacred sites as ‘commons’. Despite progress in some areas, evidence suggests that there is still a long way to go in attaining adequate involvement of Indigenous peoples within decision-making processes (Liljeblad and Verschuuren, 2019).

As a way of taking steps to bring into focus and highlight different issues concerning sacred sites in connection with ongoing threats and vulnerabilities, nearly 80 sacred-site guardians of indigenous communities, Indigenous peoples’ organizations, scientists and policymakers gathered in Rovaniemi and Pyhätunturi (Finland) in 2013 for the international conference on Arctic sacred sites. The conference issued a statement on the safeguarding and recognition of northern and Arctic sacred sites (2013)[1] and the conference “succeeded to create the first Arctic platform to develop innovative political ideas and sent a very clear signal to establish a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to effectively tackle the multiple issues of sacred sites in the North.” (Heinämäki and Herrmann, 2013, p.23). In the following year, the Indigenous rights-holder workshop on Experiencing and Protecting Arctic Sacred Sites and Culturally Important Landscapes – Creating Partnerships with Mutual Respect was co-organized by the Sámi Educational Institute and the Saami museum SIIDA in June 2014 in Inari/Aanaar, Finland (Heinämäki, Herrmann and Raslich, 2015).

What have we achieved since the first gathering in Rovaniemi in 2013? Where do we stand today? And looking ahead: what are the critical steps to be taken in the next years?  To answer these questions, and to critically assess the current state and develop future actions, Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, IPOs, and practitioners involved in the protection of sacred natural sites initiatives between 2013 and 2015, have reconvened as of May 2021. Other scholars, whose research is connected with this topic, joined the consortium as well. Despite progress was made regarding the protection and management of sacred sites (Liljeblad & Verschuuren, 2019), legal recognition and some levels of adequate protection are still missing in many areas, and raising awareness about the threats of sacred sites in many parts of the North is still needed, while important ethical questions remain ambiguous and unanswered. Hence, we joined forces in order to create a further research project on the protection and recognition of sacred sites. A first step will be the organization of an two-day international workshop at the Conference of the Finnish Anthropological Society, in Rovaniemi, March 21-23, 2023.

The twelve extended abstracts presented here have been submitted by the participants of the upcoming workshop. They provide insights into the wide range of concerns, initiatives and works carried out by Indigenous and non-indigenous rights holder and researchers across the circumpolar North and further afield. These abstracts are hereby published in the Icelandic scholarly e-journal Nordicum Mediterraneum, whose editor-in-chief, Giorgio Barrichello, is a member of the project.

We also want to pay tribute to Leena Heinämäki and Thora Herrmann, who were the co-organizers of the 2013 international conference in Pyhätunturi, Rovaniemi, and the 2014 rights-holder workshop, and to Inari/Aanaar, whose tireless work has created a solid foundation for this new project and made continuity possible. Dolorés André, Dawid Bunikowski, Patrick Dillon, Thora Herrmann, Francis Joy, Stefan Kirchner, Roza Laptander, Florian Stammler, and Anna Stammler-Gossmann were all involved in the earlier initiatives.


Allison, E. A. (2015). The Spiritual Significance of Glaciers in an Age of Climate Change. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change6(5), 493-508.

Aulet, S., & Duda, T. (2020). Tourism Accessibility and its Impact on the Spiritual Sustainability of Sacred Sites. Sustainability12(22), 9695.

Blain, J., & Wallis, R. J. (2004). Sacred Sites, Contested Rites/Rights: Contemporary Pagan Engagements With the Past. Journal of Material Culture9(3), 237-261.

Drew, G. (2012). A Retreating Goddess? Conflicting Perceptions of Ecological Change Near the Gangotri-Gaumukh Glacier. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture6(3). Doi: 10.1558/jsmc.v6i3.344

Dudley, N., Higgins-Zogib, L., & Mansourian, S. (2009). The Links Between Protected Areas, Faiths, and Sacred Natural Sites. Conservation Biology23(3), 568–577. http://www.jstor.org/stable/29738773

Heinämäki, L. & Herrmann, T. M. (2013). The Recognition of Sacred Natural Sites of Arctic Indigenous Peoples as a Part of Their Right to Cultural Integrity. Arctic Review of Law and Politics 4(2): 207–233.

Heinämäki, L. &Herrmann, T. M. (2013). Global Conference About Indigenous Sacred Sites in the Arctic Held in Rovaniemi Produced the First International Declaration on the Protection of Sacred Sites in the Arctic. In T. Koivurova and W. Hasanat (Eds.) Current Developments in Arctic Law, Vol 1 (pp.21-23). University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Arctic Law, The Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law (NIEM) Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland ISBN 978-952-484-719-3.

Heinämäki, L., Herrmann, T., Raslich, N. A. (Eds.) (2015). Preserving Sacred Sites

Arctic Indigenous Peoples as Cultural Heritage Rights Holders. Juridica Laponica 39, Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre University of Lapland Printing Centre, Rovaniemi. 45p. ISBN 978-952-484-882-4

Heinämäki, L., & Herrmann, T. (2017). Experiencing and Protecting Sacred Natural Sites of Sámi and other Indigenous Peoples. Cham: Springer Polar Sciences. Springer.

Heinämäki, L., & Xanthaki, A. (2017). Indigenous Peoples’ Customary Laws, Sámi People and Sacred Sites. In L. Heinämäki and T.M.Herrmann (Eds.) Experiencing and Protecting Sacred Natural Sites of Sámi and Other Indigenous Peoples (pp. 65-82). Springer, Cham.

Helander-Renvall, E. (2010). Animism, Personhood and the Nature of Reality: Sami Perspectives. Polar Record, 46(1), 44-56. Doi:10.1017/S0032247409990040

Joy, F. (2019). Sámi Cultural Heritage and Tourism in Finland. In M. Tennberg, H., Lempinen, and S. Pirnes (Eds.) Resources, Social and Cultural Sustainabilities in the Arctic (pp.144-162). Routledge: New York, NY, USA

Joy, F. (2020). The Importance of the Sun Symbol in the Restoration of Sámi Spiritual Traditions and Healing Practice. Religions11(6), 270. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11060270

Kim, D. W. (Ed.). (2021). Sacred Sites and Sacred Stories Across Cultures: Transmission of Oral Tradition, Myth, and Religiosity. Springer Nature.

Kraft, S. E. (2020). Indigenous Religion (s)–in the Making and on the Move: Sámi Activism from Alta to Standing Rock. In S. E. Kraft, B. O. Tafjord, A. Longkumer , G. D. Alles and G. Johnson (Eds.) Indigenous Religion(s). Local Grounds, Global Networks. (pp. 59–88). London and New York: Routledge.

Liljeblad, J. & Verschuuren, B. (Eds.) (2019). Indigenous Perspectives on Sacred Natural Sites: Culture, Governance and Conservation.  Abingdon and New York, Routledge. 222 p.

Maffi, L. & Woodley, E. (2010). Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook. London and New York: Routledge.

Mathisen, S. R. (2020). Souvenirs and the Commodification of Sámi Spirituality in Tourism. Religions11(9), 429. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090429

Metcalfe, K, French-Constant, R and Gordon, I (2009). Sacred Sites as Hotspots for Biodiversity: The Three Sisters Complex in Coastal Kenya. Oryx 44(1): 118–123. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605309990731.

Olsen, D. H. (2020). Pilgrimage, Religious Tourism, Biodiversity, and Natural Sacred Sites. In K.A. Shinde & D. H. Olsen (Eds.), Religious Tourism and the Environment (pp. 23-41). CAB International.

Oviedo, G., Jeanrenaud, S., & Otegui, M. (2005). Protecting Sacred Natural Sites of Indigenous and Traditional Peoples: An IUCN perspective. Gland, Switzerland. https://www.iucn.org/sites/dev/files/import/downloads/sp_protecting_sacred_natural_sites_indigenous.pdf

Poelina, A. (2020). A Coalition of Hope! A Regional Governance Approach to Indigenous Australian Cultural Wellbeing. In: A. Campbell, M. Duffy, and B. Edmondson (Eds.) Located Research. (pp 153–180) Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-32-9694-7_10

Quijada, J. B. (2019). Buddhists, Shamans, and Soviets: Rituals of History in Post-Soviet Buryatia. Oxford University Press.

Samakov, A. & Berkes, F. (2017). Spiritual Commons: Sacred Sites as Core of Community-Conserved Areas in Kyrgyzstan. International Journal of the Commons11(1), 422–444. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ijc.713

Schaaf, Th. & Lee, C. (2006) (Eds.) Conserving Cultural and Biological Diversity: The Role of Sacred Natural Sites and Cultural Landscapes. Proceedings of the international UNESCO- MAB symposium held 30 May – 2 June 2005, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan. UNESCO, Paris, France. 342 pp. ISBN 9789231040450.

Spangen, M., & Äikäs, T. (2020). Sacred Nature. Diverging Use and Understanding of Old Sámi Offering Sites in Alta, Northern Norway. Religions11(7), 317. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070317

Verschuuren,  B.  (2010) Integrating  Biocultural  Values  in  Nature  Conservation:  Perceptions  of  Cultural  Significant Sites and Species in Adaptive Management. In  Pungetti,  G.,  Oviedo,  G.  and  D.  Hooke  (Eds.), Sacred  Species  and  Sites,  Guardians  of  Biocultural Diversity (pp. 231-246). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Verschuuren, B., McNeely, J., Oviedo, G., & Wild, R. (Eds.). (2012). Sacred Natural Sites. Taylor & Francis.

Wild, R. and McLeod, C. (2008) ‘Sacred Natural Sites: Guidelines  for  Protected  Area  Managers’,  Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No 16, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland

Zannini, P., Frascaroli, F., Nascimbene, J., Persico, A., Halley, J. M., Stara, K., & Chiarucci, A. (2021). Sacred Natural Sites and Biodiversity Conservation: A Systematic Review. Biodiversity and Conservation30(13), 3747-3762.


[1] The program from this extensive international event can be found here: https://www.arcticcentre.org/loader.aspx?id=68f90aab-5bab-4cc3-b6c9-403a0b363d9e. Likewise, the conference statement regarding recommendations for sacred natural sites can be found here: https://sacrednaturalsites.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Pyh%C3%A4tunturi-Statement-2013-Recognizing-Sacred-Sites-of-Indigenous-Peoples-in-Northern-Regions1.pdf

Sacred Natural Sites in the Arctic North: Living memory, traditions, cultural heritage and exploitation through tourism and inadequate protection

The subject matters of better preservation and thus, protection of sacred sites, is a topic that is brought into focus herein because of different factors that are increasing the risks to places as such. This is due to how mining, land development and expansion of the travel industry in northern Fennoscandia have multiplied the threats to areas where sites are located. As a consequence, there is an increase in the volume of fires, camping, rock-climbing and leisure activities, which are all contributing factors in their demise. The aims and purpose of the planned research is to firstly, expand on the nature of the threats encountered by the author as demonstrated through photographic evidence at locations in the municipalities of Muonio in western Lapland, Finland. The second aim, bring into focus the different recorded narratives that help with understanding the value and indeed uniqueness these sacred sites in both the Muonio and Inari areas.

Sacred sites connected with the Sámi have been used for long periods of time in northern Finland but we currently lack a comprehensive study concerning the long-term use by different actors. However, and more recently, offerings of various kinds have been found on stones connected with sacred sites. Some of these are by visitors to the areas, whilst others suggest use by local reindeer herders (Äikäs and Ahola 2020). Within the context of this research, the aims are to examine the roles and functions of sacred places in contemporary culture and why mounting threats because of inadequate protection, need to be taken seriously as do the problems associated with them. Moreover, because of how there have been moves to assimilate sacred sites into tourism and now the proposed opening of an iron ore mine in the area of Hannukainen, which will destroy large swaths of the national park and contaminate the Äkäs river.

A further dimension to sacred sites often not taken into consideration when planning for the development of land and expansion of the tourism industry is the value of different narratives associated with locations as such because rather than being comprehended as active locations still in use today, instead they are viewed as heritage sites, which suggests something of the past. For instance, at the Kirkkopahta sieidi in Muonio, as well as both the Pakkasáivo and Äkässaivo lakes, which are also located in the Muonio areas, there are documented oral narratives that originate from within the Sámi culture. These are approximately one hundred years old. In terms of the Porviniemi sieidi likewise, in the Muonio municipality, coins found on the stone suggest personal narratives associated with more recent usage (Äikäs 2015).

The term ‘sáivo’ is Sámi and is commonly found within Sámi cosmology, in connection with an underground realm where sáivo beings are said to have lived. It is they, according to Sámi mythology, who taught the Sámi noaidi-shamans the art of magic (Pulkkinen 2005). Sáivo lakes are also commonly found in areas where the Sámi live in Norway and Sweden and there are different sources written on this subject matter by eminent Sámi scholars (e.g., Louise Bäckman 1975 and Aage Solbakk 2018) concerning this magical realm in connection to both bodies of water and other locations where the sáivo world could be accessed, e.g., through caves beneath certain mountains. These beliefs also establish links between the different Sámi groups throughout the Nordic countries, as well as the smaller Sámi group living on the Kola Peninsula in north-west Russia.

Furthermore, and in connection to what is stated above, there are certain sáivo animals that are believed to have taught and empowered the Sámi shaman. A reindeer bull, fish, snake and bird can also be his assistants and protectors. These animals are, likewise, widely documented in Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish literature with regard to Sámi cosmology. The souls of bears and other animals that were hunted and sacrificed are said to be reborn in the sáivo world.

Equally, the old Sámi noaidi drums that have survived from the seventeenth century (approximately, seventy in total), are decorated with cosmological landscapes. These consist of between three- to five realms or zones and are representative of the worldview or cosmos depicted by the Sámi shamans. Within these different areas there are many features connected with the sáivo world. These vary from offering places, where the shaman who had a reciprocal relationship with the spirit beings in the sáivo world and would sacrifice certain species of animals for help and power, to particular animals and deceased shamans residing in the sáivo world. In addition, there are painted illustrations of shamans flying to the sáivo realm depicted on different drums. Therefore, we find on these drums a visible connection between the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Sámi people, which is very old. This is linked with beliefs and practices as well as taboos and customs that are still adhered to today because contemporary drum-makers also use this older symbolism as a way of preserving and forwarding cultural memory, identity-building and maintenance, as well as making offerings at sacred sites connected with the sáivo world.

Another area of scholarship that needs to be mentioned, insofar as it also connected sacred sites with the cosmological landscapes illustrated on Sámi drums, is prehistoric hunter-gatherer rock art, which is approximately seven thousand years old. A great deal of the sites that can be found throughout Fennoscandia are located by sources of water and consist of both rock carvings and paintings.

It has only been within the past fifty years that a few studies into possible links between Sámi shaman drum landscapes from the seventeenth century and prehistoric rock art have been brought into focus, because there are numerous parallels that have been recognized between these sources (Nunez 1995,  Lahelma 2008 and 2012, and Joy 2018). Notably, in Finland, human figures among prehistoric rock paintings, where they are depicted falling and flying close to the edge of lakes, are likewise portrayed on Sámi drums from Swedish Sápmi. In addition, animals such as birds and snakes are also evident among the rock paintings in Finland, as are reindeer and human figures who are shown dancing, indicating ritualistic scenes associated with shamanism and trance.

Because of research being only fairly recent, it is not presently known if the reasons why there are only a few illustrations among the rock paintings in Finland of human figures who are depicted as being engaged in flying-falling and dancing, as well as presence of animals such as snakes and birds that are in close proximity to them, could be because they are depicted above lakes, which may have been in the past, connected with the sáivo world and therefore, were known as sáivo lakes? It might be this is why as animals as such are quite rare by comparison to other larger animals such as moose and deer.

More studies are needed in relation to this, because the painted landscapes are linked with oral narratives connected with ritual behaviour pertaining to hunting. Furthermore, some of the rock paintings’ locations in south-eastern Finland, such as Astuvansalmi and Valkeisaari, are locations where different types of offerings to the spiritual powers who dwell there have been found. Interestingly, Astuvansalmi offerings have been found under water.

A further intriguing dimension to this subject matter is that at the Äkässaivo sacred site in Muonio the location is characterized by a large anthropomorphic stone head, which has facial features, as are the Astuvansalmi and Valkeisaari rock painting sites. In the Sámi cosmology, it was believed that manifestations of a stone figure in the shape of a particular kind of animal or human-like form could be representative of one of the gods of the sáivo world and, thus, why offerings were made at these locations (Whitaker 1957). The fact sites that have similar correspondences in south-eastern Finland have rock paintings where they are located is also significant. This is because in some areas the Sámi and their genetic ancestors have had settlements during the Medieval period and, as hunter-gatherers in prehistoric times, they would have traveled extensively on seasonal hunting routes. Evidence of reindeer hunting pits is apparent in northern Karelia, close to the Hossa-Värikallio rock painting site, which is the third largest site in Finland.

Therefore, when it is taken into consideration how there are a series of interconnecting features between these different forms, it is possible to comprehend in what ways inter-species communication has taken place with regard to interactions between animals, humans and the spiritual powers within nature. Moreover, to destroy waterways connected to sacred sites because of mining, or damaging and causing harm to sacred boulders because of tourism, is to rob a country and its cultures of their rights to cultural heritage, history and spiritual values.

Among some of the major challenges today is that rivers and lakes that are connected with sacred sites are not taken into consideration in terms of such values and inter-connectivity, especially in relation to decisions about mining by planners and developers, as is the case in the Hannukainen threat to the Äkäs river, which is, significantly, linked by name to Äkässaivo. Therefore, a much broader study is needed in relation to this.


Äikäs, Tiina. (2015). From Boulders to Fells. Sacred Places in the Sámi Ritual Landscape. Monographs of the Archaeological Society of Finland 5. http://www.sarks.fi/masf/masf_5/MASF5_From_Boulders_to_Fells.pdf

Bäckman, Louise. (1975). Sájva: Föreställingar om Hjalp – och Skyddsväsen I Heliga Fjäll Bland Samerna. Acts Universitatis Stockholmiensis; Stockholm Studies in Comparative Religion 13. Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm.

Joy, Francis. (2018). Sámi Shamanism, Cosmology and Art as Systems of Embedded Knowledge. Doctoral Dissertation. Acta Universitatis Lapponiensis 367. The University of Lapland. URL: http://lauda.ulapland.fi/handle/10024/63178

Lahelma, Antti. (2008). A Touch of Red: Archaeological and Ethnographic Approaches to Interpreting Finnish Rock Paintings. Suomen Muinaismuistoyhdistys ry – Finska Fornminnesföreningen rf. The Finnish Antiquarian Society. Iskos 15. Published by The Finnish Antiquarian Society, Helsinki.

Lahelma, Antti. (2012). Kuka Maalasi Kalliot? [Who painted the rocks?]. Muinaistutkija 1/2012, 2-22

Núñez, Milton. (1995). Reflections of Finnish Rock Art and Ethnohistorical Data. In: Fennoscandia Archaeologica XXI. URL: http://www.sarks.fi/fa/PDF/FA12_123.pdf

Pulkkinen, Risto. (2005). Säiva. In: Pulkkinen, Risto. Kulonen, Ulla-Maija & Seurujärvi-Kari, Irja. (eds.) The Saami. A Cultural Encyclopedia. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society-SKS. Vammalan Kirjapaino Oy: pp. 374-375.

Solbakk, Aage. (2018). What We Believe in. Noaidevuohta – An Introduction to the Religion of the Northern Sámi. New Expanded Edition. ČálliidLágádus, Kárášjohka, Norway.

Whitaker, Ian (1957). The Holy places of the Lapps (English summary). In: Manker, Ernst. Lapparnas Heliga Ställen: Kultplatser och Offerkult I Belysning av Nordiska Museets och Landsantikvariernas Fältundersökningar. Acta Lapponica 13. Stockholm: Geber, pp. 295-306.