Thursday, May 8, 2008

Urhon neljan tuulen hattu ja Utsjoen puku

Urho's four winds hat and a woman's Utsjoki outfit. On my walk today, even through the scrub bushes that my neighbour and I weasled through to get to the train tracks that run along Water Street to reach the traffic lights at the end of Bay Street, I carried Urho's hat and the dress made by his friend from Utsjoki (she is dead now) in my bag to return them to him. But he was not at the Hoito this morning for his coffee today. I wore the Utsjoki puku (outfit) on Sunday, but not the hat. He said, wear the hat, no one will know it is a man's hat. I said no, someone will know. Someone will know we are mixing genders. Someone would know right away. He even dropped the hat off at my house and left messages for me to wear it.

The 4 winds hat is not just a hat; it has a history. In the past, the 4 winds hat was criminalized. Wearing one was a crime, a sin, as Sami people were seen as pagans needing the civilizing influence of Christianity. There were witchhunts, the drums of the shamans were confiscated; people were burned at the stake. Urho proudly wears his 4 winds hat today.

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