Ánde Somby

Ánde Somby is deeply rooted in the yoik tradition of the Sami people. Sami are the nomadic people living above the North pole circle in Scandinavia. Although suppressed in history, Yoiking is according to some one of the longest-living music traditions in Europe. It is traditional singing evoking animals, persons or places. Somby keeps this tradition alive and kicking, learned by his mother and father. Today, in another part of Europe, Yoiking sounds as outworldish as the most extreme vocal poetry, using radical expressive vocal techniques and confronting listeners with their own embodied potential.
15 February 2017 | AG 9

About the Yoiker

ánde Somby

I am Ánde, and I am a Sami person. My home is within me. I always carry it with me. My homevillage is Sirbma, and my homeland is Samiland. Our people are the indigenous people of the North-West of Europe, and as many other indigenous peoples they were considered as pagans. I also carry that within me.

By formal training I am a doctor of Law. Now I am an Associate professor, and I work at the Faculty of Law at Nothernmost University of the World, which is located in Tromsoe. Before I started my career there, I worked at the Norwegian ministery of Municipal Affairs for one year. Later I served another year as an assistant judge in the primary court of Ofoten district, which was located in Narvik. Finally I was a practising lawyer in Vadsoe for three years.

My research is focused on legal philosophy with a special emphasis on jurisprudence. I finsihed my doctoral thesis 27th of February 1999. The thesis is about Rhetoric of Law or so called Legal Resoning. I have also been lecturing in Legal Philosophy and Sami Law. At the moment I am in a post doc. scholarship. I am doing a researchproject where the emphasis is the significance of the cultural and the situational context within legal resoning.          

Until I started with my post doc, I also was the Chairman of the board of Centre for Sami Studies here at Tromsoe University. Beside that I am a member of the Council of the Arctic University, and I am a member of the programcomittee of the Norwegian researchprogram on social and cultural preconditions on information and communication technology (SKIKT). I am also a member of the program-comittee of the Sami cultural festival Riddu Riððu.

Beside those more serious things, I have some even more serious activities. I yoik. I do some design. And if you want to look at my sculpture – You are Welcome. I also have some photos from a visit to the Sea Sami world. If you want to see what I look like you can have a look in my portraitgallery.

It is a long way from our small village to the university. My track goes from a political emphasis focused on Sami and indigenous peoples rights. Despite that fact I have never been in any heavy involvement with the Sami organisations. In my younger days my heart was closer to activism than to being an organisational bureucrat. I took part in the demonstrations against the Alta dam(1979). Since then I am a spectator and occasionally a commentator of Sami politics.

About yoiking


Yoik is the Sami or Laplandic Way of singing or chanting. There are yoiks for persons, animals and landscapes. The musical modus of yoiks is totally different from what is known in Euro-American music. Some say that yoiks are the oldest musical tradition still alive in Europe.

Traditionally our people were deeply respected for their spiritual strength. Spirituality is about caring and sharing. I am going to show my care by sharing lots of lots of information, pictures, yoiks and creativity. I want to carry out the power of my people's colors.

For me yoiks are not just music. They are drama and literature - poems and stories. They are a way of understanding the world – who we are - what knowledge is - what is important with life. I have tried to approach these aspects of yoik in a very brief scientific article that I once wrote.

Yoiks were very important in our ancient religious practices. In the old times the shamans used yoiks and drums to travel to different worlds. At the time beeing yoiks are totally vocal phenomenons. Our drums were collected and burned by the Christian missionaries. Now they just represents fragments of dreams. Foreign types of drums and other instruments are used more and more by the more or less commercialized NEW YOIKers.