What is Yoik?
Yoik is Sami singing. Though maybe it’s easier to show than tell.
The Sami are an indigenous people from Northern Europe. The more familiar term Lapp, or Laplander is actually offensive. Lapp is Swedish for patch, a reference to the patched clothing of the poorer northern people. They are most commonly known for being the reindeer herders of the far north.
The Sami people have a long rich history and culture of their own. Their traditional homeland spans Norway, Sweden, Finland and parts of Russia. Some of these countries treat the Sami well, in other places they still struggle for their rights, particularly to maintain their traditional herding, hunting and fishing grounds.
Singing and drumming are vital parts of the Sami’s heritage and in recent years there has been a movement to revitalize the ancient tradition of yoik.
I’ve posted my soundtrack for previous Bear Naked books. As I start in on Bear Naked Four, yoik has joined the playlist, including Sofia Jannock’s White.
What does Sami singing have to do with the plot of Bear Naked? Remember from Bear Naked 2, Jay has agreed to train as a Noaidi, a pathfinder, which is a kind of Sami shaman or medicine man with Corey’s uncle. So while the wolves have their big council to deal with, Jay’s got a subplot of his own in this installment.
For now I will leave you with another example of yoik: