Created for the modern man and woman, Anna’s jewelry fuses old Sámi traditions with contemporary design. Its wearer proudly celebrates Nordic indigenous handcraft, sustainable fashion, and self empowerment
By combining the wisdom and methods of her ancestors and Sámi heritage with her sense of contemporary design and sustainable fashion, Simply Sámi was born in February 2016. Anna Lengstrand merges her deep passion for traditional Sámi handcraft (doudji) into each piece of jewelry that she is hand making in her rural mountainside studio in Pemberton, BC. Anna was born and raised in Sweden, but left in her mid twenties to do a ski season in Canada. The vast wilderness and the endless mountains pulled her to stay longer. Now, almost 11 years later, she has one foot in Sweden and one foot in Canada.
Anna’s reindeer jewelry are inspired by her ancient Nordic indigenous Sámi heritage and dedicated to her grandfather Algot who comes from the old Sámi family Pokka. Algot grew up in a small forest village called Juoksuvaara in Northern Sweden (Sápmi – the land of the Sámi people). He was the youngest of seven children, herding reindeer, living off the land, far away from the rest of civilization.
The Sámi are the indigenous reindeer herding people of the Arctic Circle who once roamed freely where Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia now stitch up borders. Anna is very similar to her grandfather. A strong Sámi mountain man whose lifelong passion to work with Sámi handcraft was Anna’s main inspiration (and support) to start her own journey with the craft.
Anna Lengstrandwith her grandparents
Her sami bracelets are traditional Sámi handiwork—hand-spun silver and pewter thread woven on a wristband of reindeer leather, into patterns that bring to mind ancient Celts and Norse warriors. The buttons are hand carved from shed reindeer antlers. The leather was originally stitched with a piece of reindeer ligament. The craft is infused with the no trace, zero waste ethos of the Sámi. Check out some of Anna’s designs: https://www.simplysami.ca/collections/all
Anna believes in keeping old indigenous traditions alive in our modern world, and to celebrate our heritages. To be proud. It’s very important to Anna that the world knows what Sámi bracelets symbolize and represent: traditional Sámi handcraft and culture. But also sustainable fashion. Anna feels a great pride to have the opportunity to spread her passion for duodji to the rest of the world as well as spreading knowledge about, and speak up for, Sámi people. She also hoped that her jewelry will reconnect people with the power of nature, just as it has been traditionally.