The 1670 voyage of la Martinière

A Sami and his cat

When la Martinière arrived in eastern Finnmark, in May 1670, he noticed that every Sami family had a large black cat. The cats would follow when the Sami went hunting. The Sami sought advice from their cats and held long chats with the animals. To a Christian, such a sight was abominable, wrote the Frenchman. He was convinced that these creatures were demons disguised as cats.

   © University Library of Tromsø - 1999.
The Northern Lights Route is part of The Council of Europe Cultural Routes. The Cultural Routes are an invitation to Europeans to wander the paths and explore the places where the unity and diversity of our European identity were forged.