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Kautokeino


Kautokeino in Norway Kautokeino municipality coat of arms

Population:
2,914

Areal:
9.704,0 km2


Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu Norway´s largest municipality. Surface area are 9.704,0 km2 with approximately 3.000 inhabitants. Kautokeino/Guovdageaidnuis the southernmost municipality of Finnmark and shares border with Alta, to the north, Kárájohka - Karasjok to the east, Nordreisa and Kvænangen in Troms county to the west, and Enontekiö / Hetta (Finland) to the south. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu. The municipality was part of the old Kistrand municipality until 1851.

A total of approximately 10,000 lakes cover 640 square kilometres (247 sq mi). A significant part of Finnmarksvidda (Finnmark plateau) is located in Kautokeino municipality. The nearest airports are Alta Airport, 140 km from Kautokeino, and Enontekiö Airport, 90 km from Kautokeino. Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu is one of Norway´s largest Saami municipalities. The district is the natural gateway when arriving in Finnmark from Sweden and Finland. You can visit Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu all year round. In wintertime when the Saami reindeer herders are present - this is the time when the district is at its best.

Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu has become a Saami cultural, educational and research centre. Significant institutions: Nordisk Samisk Institutt. Samisk Educational Council, Saami Theatre, Saami Regional College and Bajos (the reindeer farmers own development company).

VILLAGES

In addition to the administrative centre of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu, the municipality has 15 smaller villages:

Masi (Máze) is the largest of the villages. Máze is located in a river valley. There is a school and a church located in Máze. The current church has 150 seats and was built of wood in 1965. The first chapel was built in the 17th century. The second by Thomas von Westen in 1721. This church was burnt during World War II in 1944. It was the site of a major political controversy in the late 1970s and early 80s, when it was proposed to flood village to build a large hydroelectric dam.

Láhpoluoppal is a village located northeast of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu at the Láhppojávri lake. The village has a school, chapel and mountain hut. The chapel has 70 seats and was built in 1967.

Sihccajávri is located south-east of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute has a weather observation station in the village, and often the place has the lowest temperature in Norway.

Ávzi is a village 10 kilometres (6 mi) east of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu. During the Sami revolt in Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu, the group of Samis that captured the rebellions was organized here.

Siebe is a village south of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu.

Mieron is a village north of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu. Many of the Samis who traveled to Canada to teach the Inuit about reindeer herding were from Mieron.

Stornes is a village north of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu. Close to Stornes is a slate field with distinct green quartzite marketed as Naranas.

Sjuossjávri is a village northeast of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu near the border with Karasjok with a chapel and a mountain hut. The chapel was built in 1968 and has 75 seats.

Cunovuohppi is a small village with few houses and is 11 kilometres (7 mi) west of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu. The village has a mountain hut (staffed by Madame Bongo).

Suolovuopmi is north of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu near the border with Alta. It is the location of a mountain hut, and is used for metrological observations.

Gálaniitu is southwest of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu and has a mountain hut.

Áidejávri is south of Kautokeino/Guovdageaidnu close to the Finnish border.

Økseidet (Áksomuotki) is south of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu.

Soahtefielbma is about 10 kilometres (6 mi) west of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu.

CULTURAL EVENTS

Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu is perhaps the cultural center of Northern Sámi today, and hosts several of the most well known Sami cultural events. The biggest event is the Sámi Easter Festival. Easter has traditionally been the time when the Sámis gather to celebrate weddings and confirmations. Today, also the Sami culture is celebrated with many yoik concerts, Sami theater shows, reindeer races, snowmobile races, ice fishing competitions, parties, and the Sámi Melody Grand Prix; a Sámi version of the Eurovision Song Contest where in addition to the best song, the best yoik is also selected. In addition, the Sami Film Festival is usually held during the Easter, which is notable for having an outdoor cinema made of snow.

In June, the annual Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu Walk / Bicycle Ride, has Sámis return to Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu, just to walk a few kilometers, or ride a bicycle for twice the distance.

In August, there is the White Fish festival, as well as the Autumn Festival. The latter is a weekend-long party full of concerts, but also includes Snowmobile races on the (unfrozen) river. If you go too slow or make too sharp a turn, the snowmobile will sink.

MIDNIGHT SUN

The Midnight Sun stays above the horizon, and it is light 24 hours a day. The sky must be clear and there must be unobstructed visibility northwards in order to see the Midnight Sun. A summer night on the fjord or in the mountains is an experience not to be missed, you can go fishing in the fjord, which contains splendid variation of fish, or you can take a walk in the wilderness surrounding.

NORTHERN LIGHTS

Aurora Borealis is the Latin name for the Northern Lights – solar winds that meet the atmosphere in a zone around the magnetic North Pole. The Northern Lights are only visible when the sky is dark and clear, from August to April, and they are most intense from 10 pm to midnight. The region on the 700 northern latitude is a fantastic place for experiencing the beautiful and intense play of colours given off by the Northern Lights.

POLAR NIGHT

The dark time, or the long, dark Polar Night, lasts from 30th November - 12th January - there is only a twilight-dusk type of light (the blue light) for a few hours during the middle of the day. This does not mean that it becomes totally dark, however. The aurora borealis trails its multicoloured banner across the sky and the moon lights the scene just like the nightlight of Our Lord. The experience of the winter with the uniqueness of the light, the northern lights and snow is fantastic. Especially beautiful is the blue light southwards, just before it becomes dark.

BIRD WATCHING

Lying south in the county, and bordering with Finland, Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu has a very interesting birdlife. There are virtually thousands of lakes in the municipality, and these combined with the Alta waterway system provide habitats for a whole host of wetland species. Whooper Swan can sometimes be found while Spotted Redshank are not uncommon.

FISHING

Pikefossen waterfall in the Alta-Kautokeino river, Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu municipality. Salmon fishing in Altaelva river. The Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu River runs from a lake at the Finnish border, north through the villages of Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu and Máze before it leaves into Alta municipality and changes name to Altaelva. The river is collectively known as the Kautokeino / Alta-vassdraget and was the site of a major political controversy in the late 1970s and early 80s. The lake Suoikkatjávri is located on the border of the municipality with Kvænangen. Other lakes in the municipality include Guolehis Suolojávri, Bajásjávri, Bajit Spielgajávri and Biggejávri.

At the turn of the century, commercial gold sluicing took place in the riverbed. The mother lode was never found. Besides gold panning, the rivers are an experience not to be missed for canoe paddlers and salmon fishermen. You can also take a riverboat ride with the famous Saami riverboat.

GOLF

Golfclubs in Finnmark.