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The Sámi creation story of the White Reindeer

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

In a time when the Earth lay shrouded in dark, icy slumber, a cosmic drama of breathtaking proportions was set to unfold. The Great Spirit, Ipmil, a master weaver of dreams, beheld a vision of a new world, one destined to carve a profound divide between the underground depths and the celestial heights.

With cosmic authority, Ipmil summoned his son, Beaivi, the Sun, radiant and resplendent. "Harness your sunrays," he commanded, "and summon forth from the heavenly realms the most exquisite of all creatures: Gabba, the white reindeer, embodiment of purity and rebirth. Let this celestial envoy descend upon our world."

And so, on the Sun's tender rays, Gabba descended from the heavens, a majestic figure of resplendent white. The ceremony unfolded with a sense of divine purpose, as Ipmil himself parted the reindeer's form.

The magnificent horns were offered to the underworld spirits, destined to become a bridge linking two disparate worlds.

From Gabba's sacred bones, the Earth's skeleton emerged, rising as grand mountains and craggy rocks. Fur, transformed into lush greenery and sprawling trees, adorned the world's surface. Gabbas blood flowed into the Earth, forming rivers and lakes, coursing through the land like life's very essence.

Yet, it was Gabba's celestial eyes that held a special fate. Transformed into the morning and evening stars, they graced the heavens, one in the north and one in the south, eternally guiding travelers on their journeys.

The reindeer's skull bore yet another destiny, for from it, Ipmil conjured the firmament—a celestial shield that would safeguard the nascent Earth from the scorching brilliance of the heavens.

In a final act of profound significance, Ipmil placed Gabba's heart at the very core of the Earth, proclaiming, "As long as this heart beats within the Earth's embrace, hope will endure." Thus, whenever one found themselves adrift, alone, or severed from their inner truth, one need only press their ear against the Earth's bosom, embracing the profound silence, and therein, hear the heartbeat resonating—a celestial rhythm leading them back to the sanctuary of their own hearts.

This tale of cosmic creation and eternal hope promises a journey filled with wonder, a tapestry woven by the hands of gods and the whispers of nature itself, all set against the backdrop of a world reborn in celestial splendor.

Listen to the story here:

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