Sámi people ask Danish queen to return sacred witchcraft trial drum

Norway’s indigenous people seek permanent ownership of artefact seized after 17th-century trial

Norway’s indigenous people are asking for a sacred drum confiscated by Denmark after a witchcraft trial in 1691 to be returned to them permanently, and they have asked the Danish queen for help.

The drum belonged to a Sámi shaman, Anders Poulsson, who was arrested and imprisoned, according to court records. It was confiscated and became part of the Danish royal family’s art collection before being transferred to Denmark’s National Museum in 1849.

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