Mari Boine

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Mari Boine in July 2007

Mari Boine (born November 8, 1956 in Gámehisnjárga, Karasjok , Norway ), previously also known by her family name Mari Boine Persen , is a Sami singer whose style is noticeable through simple melodies and economical accompaniment.

Work and themes

Mari Boine's texts alternate between her Sami mother tongue , English and Norwegian. Her style combines echoes of so-called joik singing with jazz , folk and rock to create a “ world music ” mixture. The rhythm is often linked to the music of North American Indians , in which, in contrast to the Sami, the drumming is of central importance.

Lyrically, she largely makes the cause of her own indigenous people her own . In her most famous piece, Gula Gula , it says (free, summarizing translation): “Listen, brother. Listen, sister. […] Hear the voices of the foremothers. They ask you why the earth is poisoned and consumed. They remind you of where you came from. They want to remind you that the earth is our mother. If we take her life, we will die with her. ” With this, she ties in with the motif of“ Mother Earth ”, which was of central importance for the political movements of indigenous peoples that were on the rise around the world in the early 1990s.

Mari Boine and band at the 2007 Kongsberg Jazz Festival

The Norwegians called Mari Boine in the only sung in Norwegian title Oppskrift for Herre Folk her CD Gula Gula as a " master race ", accusing them of tyranny, discrimination and forced proselytizing in Vilges Suola they appear in the form of "white thief". In It Šat Duolmma Mu , too , she processes the experiences of the Sami who had to put up with the forced incapacitation of their children and the admission of their children to state-controlled boarding schools. She particularly frequently addresses the role of women among the Sami, who appear to her as “wise grandmothers” and guardians of culture (Duinne, Eadnán Bákti, both on the Gula Gula CD ) .

While Mari Boine worked as a teacher, she rediscovered the traditional Sami culture, which is still alive, from 1980 onwards and is now known as an ambassador for her people outside of Scandinavia. She also plays a role as a prominent figure of integration for the cohesion of the Sami people, who are split up into four states ( Sweden , Finland , Norway , Russia ), for example through her appearances in Lowosero , the most important Sami settlement on the Russian Kola Peninsula .

Rüdiger Sünner sees her as a representative of neo-paganism in popular music. In this way she reactivates the spiritual world of the Sami and creatively implements their shamanistic singing practice, but is also open to other cultures.


The 1985 debut album Jaskatvuođa Maŋŋá and its successor Gula Gula (1989/1990) both appeared under their full names Mari Boine Persen, as did the 1991 album Salmer på veien hjem from the collaboration with Kari Bremnes and Ole Paus . From 1992 she called herself Mari Boine. The lyrics of their little-known first release are already in the Sami language throughout, but the music is a relatively common pop sound, including a cover version of John Lennon's Working Class Hero with Sami lyrics.

She achieved her international breakthrough with Gula Gula , which first appeared in Norway in 1989 with the additional title Hør Stammødrenes stemme and was republished a year later by Peter Gabriel and his label Real World . It was only on this album that she found her characteristic world music mélange and thus founded her success. Later she also cooperated with other musicians, such as the Norwegian jazz saxophonist Jan Garbarek or the Russian multi-instrumentalist Sergey Starostin and the singer Inna Zhelannaya from the funk folk group Farlanders .

Although Mari Boine is the most important representative of Sami culture, her music has relatively little to do with the Sami singing tradition of joik . Unlike the late Nils-Aslak Valkeapää , Mari Boine does not interpret traditional yoiks, but mostly self-written, modern songs in the Sami language, which usually exude a spherical, mystical atmosphere. The guttural, onomatopoeic, often textless yoiks, which are traditionally sung unaccompanied, cannot be heard in their recordings.

A highlight of her career was her vocal performance in 2001 at the church wedding of the Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon with Mette-Marit . In 2003 she received the Nordic Council Music Prize . On September 18, 2009, Boine was awarded the "Knight First Class of the St. Olav Order " because of her versatile artistic achievements .


Also includes remixes and cover versions:

  • 1985: Jaskatvuođa Maŋŋá - Etter breastfeeding
  • 1989: Gula Gula - Hør Stammødrenes stemme (Scandinavian original edition)
  • 1990: Gula Gula ( re-release on Peter Gabriel's label Real World)
  • 1991: Salmer på veien hjem (in cooperation with Kari Bremnes and Ole Paus)
  • 1992: Møte i Moskva (in cooperation with the band Allians )
  • 1993: Goaskinviellja - Eagle Brother (DE: Gold in the Jazz Award)
  • 1994: Leahkastin - Unfolding (DE: Gold in the Jazz Award)
  • 1996: Eallin / Live (DE: Gold in the Jazz Award)
  • 1996: Radiant Warmth
  • 1998: Bálvvoslatjna - Room of Worship
  • 2001: Eight Seasons - Gávcci Jahkejuogu
  • 2001: Mari Boine Remixed By Odda Hámis
  • 2001: Mari Boine / Inna Zhelannaya / Sergey Starostin: Winter in Moscow (already recorded in 1992) identical to Mari Boine with band Allians - Møte i Moskva
  • 2006: Idjagieđas - In the Hand of the Night
  • 2006: Vuoi Vuoi Me - Henrik-Schwarz-Remix
  • 2008: It Ain't Necessarily Evil (Remix Emarcy / Universal)
  • 2009: Čuovgga Áirras - Sterna Paradisea
  • 2011: Áiggi asskis - An Introduction to Mari Boine
  • 2017: See the Woman

Web links

Commons : Mari Boine  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Rüdiger Sünner : Black Sun: Unleashing and Abuse of Myths in National Socialism and Right Esotericism. Pp. 201-203, ISBN 978-3-927369-44-3 .
  2. Announcement on the website of the Norwegian Royal Family (in Norwegian)
  3. ^ Gold / platinum database of the Federal Association of the Music Industry, accessed on June 25, 2016