“Kiälláseh” by Amoc, featuring Ailu Valle

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I’m proud of my Sámi roots.  And part of that pride is the ability to survive the threat of extinction that hovers over so many indigenous groups.  I was reading recently that Sámi, Ojibwe, and Inuit cultures look like they will have longevity due to their cultural strength.  Amoc’s “Kiälláseh” featuring Ailu Valle is part of that Sámi muscle.  There is a pulsing beauty to the Sámi language and it’s heard in the rhythms of Amoc’s “psykedelij” lyrics of áárvuh and jaska and siälu piälust, words that flash across the screen in the video in large letters that help to further shout out the need for continuance, of linguistic existence.  Hip-hop has frequently addressed genocide and survival and Amoc is its leading voice for the Saamelaiset.  Each time I hear it, I feel thenuórahtu in my bones, the north wind, my Arctic heart that assimilation tries to drown.

-Ron Riekki


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Ron Riekki
‘s books include U.P.: a novel (Sewanee Writers Series and Great Michigan Read nominated),The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (2014 Michigan Notable Book from the Library of Michigan and finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award/Grand Prize shortlist, Midwest Book Award, Foreword Book of the Year, and Next Generation Indie Book Award), Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (2016 IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal Great Lakes—Best Regional Fiction and Next Generation Indie Book Award—Short Story finalist), and And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (Michigan State University Press, 2017).

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Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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