Maria Magdalena Mathsdotter, Part 5. Del 5 om Maria från Fjällfjäll, Vilhelmina som for till kungs två gånger

image301Foto: Fredrika Bremer (från FB-förbundet)
Part 5 Maria Magdalena Mathsdotter, by MARGARET HOWITT
During the summer, Sara Albertina's family 
cross over to the Norway side of the mountains, 
the Swedish side being too hot, and the rein- 
deer cannot live without snow. In this way 
her family have learned Norwegian, which they 
speak with great fluency. Her own father is 
dead, and her step-father, for her mother has 
married again, is much younger than his wife, 
though both look like old people. The herd- 
life, which is one of great hardship, tells upon the constitution, and at sixty a Laplander is quite aged. The Laplanders are very kind to 
their old people, the nomades boarding their 
aged relatives in the families of the stationary 
Laps. The number of reindeer is annually 
diminishing, owing to the change which is 
gradually creeping over the country. 

Poor Sara Albertina has had a great sorrow 
since she has been in Stockholm. Her hus- 
band, who came with her last summer, returning 
home was drowned in crossing a river when 
near the end of his journey. She is now, 
therefore, a widow, and her one child, a little 
^girl, is with its maternal grandmother. This 
next summer she hopes to return to her beloved 
Lapland. She is not happy here ; but more so 
than she was at first. The morning after her 
arrival her heart dreadfully failed her ; there 
seemed to be so many people and so much 
loise that she burst into tears, and leaving 
;he town went into a wood, where she spent 
;he day by herself, and eould feel more at 
lome. Poor little woman ! 

She told us many Lap words ; thus, when 
.he Laplanders meet they accost each other 
IS cousin, hoo-rest-lavecuiy good day, cousin; 
when they part it is goo-nat-i-ie, farewell 
to you, of course from the Swedish god natt, 
which they have picked up ; goot-sa, goot-sa, 
thank you ; moorsia^ betrothed girl ; fria, 
her lover ; hoot-sa, rein-deer ; cootee, a tent ; 
taloee, winter ; yar-may-am, death ; Lotnistia, 
the Saviour ; alle-me, heaven. I write these 
words as they sounded, having no idea of 
the spelling. She repeated to us the Lord's 
Prayer, gave us the call of the deer, and sang 
us a Lap song, but said that all sounded much 
better when heard in the forest. The singing 
reminded me of the joddling of the Swiss 
peasants. Every Laplander has his own 
peculiar song, by which he is distinguished in 
the distance. It was Pappus Vim, her father's 
peculiar song, which she gave us. The call of 
the deer was a kind of koo-hoo-Tco i 

The next morning Miss Bremer's Sara 
fetched me upstairs, Maria Magdalena having 
arrived, together with Sara Albertina, who had 
again been invited to meet her. Until now they 
were strangers to each other. I stood for some 
little time with Tante Fredrika, listening to the 
two talking together in the adjoining room. 
Their language was by no means unpleasing in 
sound. We then joined them, and refreshments 
were brought in. 

Maria Magdalena wore a little red cap and 
a black and white checked shawl, which 
she had probably obtained from the mission- 
aries, fastened with a shawl-pin, the head 
of which was a little photograph portrait 
of the I^ng. Her dress was of dark green 
woollen cloth, almost as thick as a blanket, but 
light enough to fall in rich folds, though it 
reached but little below the knee. Her stock- 
ings were of dark blue, and she wore little 
boots with reindeer fur outside. Her shidor 
had been left at Gefle. 

Maria Magdalena has the same free and 
confiding manners as Sara Albertina. They 
walked about the room, inspecting everything, 
and making their remarks in open, honest 
Swedish. A case of humming-birds especially 
drew their attention. Maria Magdalena, sup- 
posing them to be alive, was corrected by her 
companion, who was naturally supposed to pos- 
sess superior knowledge. Greatly, therefore, 
was she taken aback when, being here again on 
Easter Day, a friend of Miss Bremer's, who has 
the faculty of imitating birds' songs, began to 
twitter as for the humming-bircls. She stood con- 
founded at the thought of her former mistake. 


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