Yoik and the "good life" - Investigating a living cultural expression and its relation to quality of life.

The cultural expression yoik is an ancient form of singing and a living oral tradition particular to the Sami culture. The results of a pilot study revealed that yoik is deeply connected to the individuals as well as to the Sami cultural identity. The statements of the participants were associated with feelings of belonging, happiness, and joyfulness. Positive emotions, optimism, and social support have long been established as health-protective factors against stress. The aim of this qualitative study is to investigate, whether yoik is related to quality of life and potentially an innate resilience factor within Sami culture. Methodology: Indigenous methodology with strong user involvement is used.

The focus lies on the common people, who use yoik in everyday life. User involvement is the corner stone of indigenous methodology and will be applied throughout the whole study. Participants from different Sami regions are included likewise.

Expected impact: The knowledge about the relationship between yoik and quality of life can support the yoik revitalizing efforts throughout the Sami communities. Yoik might be applicable in larger extent for several purposes in e.g. educational and healthcare services. Moreover, knowledge of yoik could be transferable and beneficial for public services for other minority cultures beyond the Sami communities.


Prosjektleder: Frauke Musial

Forsker: Soile Päivikki Hämäläinen


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