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Niiles-Jouni Aikio

Niiles-Jouni Aikio

 

The Sámi reindeer herder and joikha singer Niiles-Jouni was born in 1947 in chimeneyless smoke sauna at Lemmenjoki in Inari. Through his father and his grandfather the famil traces its descent from the renowned Aikio family of reindeer herders in Lapland. Niiles-Jouni´s mother was the granddauughter of the legendary Shaman Salkko Niila. 
 
In the early 1950s the family migrated regularly whit their reindeer from Lemmenjoki to Ivalon-Matti on the Ivalojoki River, where Niiles-Joini still has a reindeer grazing property. From Ivalon-Matti, Niiles-Jouni has travelled, when the herding has permitted, to perform in various part of the world, singing his joikhas in Tokio, Osaka, Moscow, Lusaka, Harare and many other places. 
 
In 1973, Niiles-Jouni appeared in Rauni Mollberg´s renowned film  The Earth in a Sinful Song, playing in the  lead role of Oula Nahkamaa, a Sámi reindeer herder. Niiles-Jouni has also composed, adapted and written the lyrics of several joikhas for other performers. The unique Sámi joikha has gradually spread to all parts fo the world. 
 

Together whit his partner Anne, Niiles-Jouni has introduced both Finis and foreign visitors to the Sámi way of life. Growing popularity led Niiles-Jouni open Saamen Kammi, a restaurant serving traditional Sámi fare, in 2005 at Levi.