Jokkmokks marknad

Day 22 – the winter market in Jokkmokk

The first weekend in February is the traditional date for the winter market in Jokkmokk – the Jokkmokks marknad – that took place the 410th time this year. Quite a long history – the first market, long before Jokkmokk exists, was 1605.

I’ve been in Jokkmokk on Thursday, which is the quietest day. From Murjek, where I’m just now, it’s round an hour car drive to Jokkmokk. I arrived 9:00, quite early. Most marketers just started to unfold their market stalls or to unpack their goods. I went down to the lake where the dog sledging was prepared. Most of the dogs were still in their stables in the car trailer, but they longed to come out and to run. But it was only a matter of time until ten dogs where attached to the sledge and the first tourists could take a small tour over the lake.

Tore Sankari, FinlandI went back to the market and met Tore Sankari, one of the marketers that I already met in Byske some months ago. He has been trading fur and many other goods for more than 45 years. But he told me, that the market is smaller than usual this year. Some of the long-established marketers didn’t come. And I could see as well, that some of the streets, packed with stalls some years ago where empty this year.

I talked to some marketers. Many of them are old men, travelling around, buying and selling goods as fur products, knives, warm clothes and things for everyday life. I guess some of them had stopped their businesses, some other will do it in the next years. Will there be a younger generation to follow or will this half-nomadic lifestyle extinct? I don’t have an answer.

What is traded on the Jokkmokks market? I would divide it in three parts:

  • Traditional goods, Swedish and Samian. Shoes made of reindeer skin, woolen Lovikka mittens, fur products, knifes.
  • Modern everyday goods. Sweets, toys, fishing equipment, tractors.
  • Art handicrafts. Samian fashion, jewellery, paintings, thinks made of birch root and bark.

But have a look by yourself. Just some examples:

At two o’clock i went to the reindeer race. It’s always fun to see the reindeers galloping drawing a sledge with a man or woman cheering their draught animal.

Seven hours after arrival I left the winter market and drove back. Actually I thought about visiting the market twice but I left it with the impression, that I have seen all. Next day I wanted to be out in the nature again. And that’s what I did.

5 comments to “Jokkmokks marknad”

  1. Ricarda 2015-02-07 19:20

    Kann mir schon vorstellen, daß so ein Rentier-Rennen Spaß macht….. :)
    Danke wieder für die schönen Fotos, so bekommen wir doch ein paar wunderbare Eindrücke vermittelt.
    Schönes Wochenende noch !

  2. way-up-north 2015-02-07 21:02

    Dir auch ein schönes Wochenende, Ricarda.

  3. Sandra 2015-02-09 07:41

    A beautiful insigth from Jokkmokks market. Too bad, he comes smaler and smaler. I hope the young Generation continues the very old traditon!

    Have always a good journey and be carefull!

    Sandra

  4. Elijah 2015-02-12 08:55

    There’s no dog with a similar divaesque and quizzical expression than a husky!
    If I only could have a bunch of these wonderful creatures….

  5. way-up-north 2015-02-12 10:09

    Yes, it’s a pity, Sandra. But there is another explanation, too:

    Since last summer there have been new tax rules that make it more complicated for the marketers. Many markets are diminish in size now.

    I agree, Elijah, Huskies are great dogs. But as long as I have an office job, I’ll have no dog at all.

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