- Project Runeberg -  A tour through Sweden, Swedish-Lapland, Finland and Denmark. In a series of letters /

(1815) Author: Matthew Consett - Tema: Sápmi and the Sami
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their flocks. You have heard no doubt of
their conjuring drums. I met with one in
the possession of a priest at Uma, who had
attended a reformed pagan in his dying
moments. His original opinions he had
long since changed, but retained this piece
of ancient superstition to delude the
ignorant, and supply his own necessities.

This instrument is of an oval form, made
of the bark of the fir, pine, or birch tree;
one end of which is covered with a sort of
parchment dressed from the rein-deer skin.
This is loaded with brass rings artfully
fastened to it. The conjuror then beats it
upon his breast with a variety of frantic
postures. After this he besmears it with
blood, and draws upon it rude figures of
various kinds. When he has gone through
all his manæuvres, he informs his credulous
audience what they wish to know, which
he says was communicated to him during
the paroxism of his attitudes. Like other
fortune-tellers, his answers are generally of
a favourable kind, for which he receives
presents of brandy, which adds fuel to fair
frenzy and renders him mighty wise.

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