Drawing of a Saami cradle

Drawing of a Saami cradle
Accession number: 
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

Drawing in pencil by Arthur Evans of a Saami child in a cradle suspended from a beam.

Artist: Arthur John Evans
Date of drawing: 11 September 1873
Continent: Europe
Geographical area: Northern Europe
Country: Finland
Region/Place: Lapland; Armonjarvi
Cultural group: European Saami
Format: Drawing (mounted on card)
Size: 74 x 83 mm; 173 x 244 mm (with mount)
Acquisition: Joan Evans. Donated August 1941


Primary documentation: ‘[p.588] Dr. JOAN EVANS, from the property of the late SIR ARTHUR EVANS, Youlbury, Boars Hill, Oxford. [List of items follows]’; ‘[p.590] 15 original pencil sketches of types & scenery, chiefly round ENARE, LAPPMARK, FINLAND. Made on journey in 1873. Mounted’: Pitt Rivers Museum accession records (Donations X, 1937–1941), pp.588, 590. Annotations on mount: ‘Lapp “Katkem” or cradle; hung from beam -/ Armonjärvi. Nr. Peltovuoma, Torneå Lappmark’ (written on mount in brown ink).

Research notes: It has been established by Philip Grover that this drawing was made by Arthur Evans on 11 September 1873, when his travelling party was at Armonjarvi. Evans wrote in his journal of the voyage to Finnish Lapland: ‘Half a dozen versts [Russian unit of distance] brought us to a Nybyggare Lapp hut, where we were glad to get some hot milk - There was little distinctively Lapp about the place, except the cradle which was the true Lapp “Kätkem”’ (entry dated 11 September 1873): Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Sir Arthur Evans Archive, B/2/1, Box 1, Notebook 2, p.118. ​For more information on Arthur Evans’ voyage to Finnish Lapland in 1873, see Joan Evans, Time and Chance: The Story of Arthur Evans and His Forebears (London, 1943), pp.172–176; Ann Brown, Before Knossos...: Arthur Evans’s Travels in the Balkans and Crete (Oxford, 1993), pp.14–16, 90; and Tony Lurcock, No Particular Hurry: British Travellers in Finland, 1830-1917 (London, 2013), pp.123–134, 250.