Photo by: © Iris Egilsdatter Somby

BIOGRAPHY

Photo by: © Árvu

 

Risten Anine and Sara Marielle are sisters who grew up in the Northern-Sámi town Guovdageaidnu, with four other siblings and with parents who worked hard to teach and pass on Sámi knowledge to their children.

Their father is from a reindeer herding family and is a well known juoigi (yoiker) and storyteller, as well as a teacher in Sámi language. Their mother grew up in a village by the sea, a place where the Sámi language and culture was well hidden and almost forgotten. This due to the colonization and assimilation politics that Norway led towards the indigenous people who lived on the land where they founded the state of Norway. Their mother has been a key figure in the revitalization of the local duodji (traditional handicrafts) in her area, and today there are many users and makers of the gákti (traditional Sámi clothes), a skill that was almost gone. 

 

Risten Anine and Sara Marielle are traditional and modern juoigit (yoikers) and have performed on stage with luohti (yoik), theatre and other cultural communication since childhood. They are passionate about Sápmi, have a strong Sámi identity and are determined to preserve their cultural heritage. Because of the colonization and christianization of Sápmi that led to a severe decrease and almost disappearance of the Sámi culture, the sisters longstanding project has always been to preserve traditional Sámi yoik and teach it to children and youth in order to spark their interest for keeping this tradition alive.

Risten Anine and Sara Marielle formed OZAS as a continuance of a lifelong artistic collaboration and their shared values, passion and engagement, and to create a platform for their heart projects and cultural expressions.

Risten Anine is one of the youngest of the siblings, she is a mother, a duojár (Sámi handicrafter) and a physiotherapist. All her life she has worked with luohti, duodji and  art in her everyday life and on stage. In 2019 she decided to focus on her music, and she now works full time as a juoigi and artist. In addition to being a member of OZAS, she is passionate about Sámi children getting a close relationship to Sámi storytelling and yoik, and does performance lectures and workshops for children of all ages.

Photo by: © Iris Egilsdatter Somby

Sara Marielle has been a central profile on the Sámi music scene during the past 20 years, and has been a full time artist and juoigi for 16 years. She is most known for being one of two vocalists and composers in the music groups Adjágas and Arvvas, and for teaching luohti to members of her people who did not learn this at home. Sara Marielle is a mother, a duojár and she works with decolonization on many levels together with her family. This includes to be active in the environmental

cause, both in Sápmi and internationally. In 2016-17 she spent several weeks in Standing Rock supporting the Native Americans in North America to protect their water and land. 

Photo by: © Iris Egilsdatter Somby