Mari Boine

Mari Boine

born on 8/11/1956 in Finnmark, Norway

Mari Boine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Mari Boine

Mari Boine, previously known as Mari Boine Persen, née Mari Boine Olsen (born 8 November 1956) is a Norwegian Sami musician known for having added jazz and rock to the yoiks of her native people. Gula Gula (first released by Iut, 1989, later re-released by Real World) was her breakthrough release, and she continued to record popular albums throughout the 1990s.[1] In 2008, she was appointed Professor of musicology at Nesna University College.[2]


Boine was born and raised in Gámehisnjárga, a village on the river Anarjohka in Karasjok municipality in Finnmark, in the far north of Norway.[3]

Boine's parents were Sami. They made a living from salmon fishing and farming. She grew up steeped in the region's natural environment, but also amidst the strict Laestadian Christian movement with discrimination against her people: for example, singing in the traditional Sami joik style was considered 'the devil's work'. The local school that Boine attended reflected a very different world from her family's. All the teaching was in Norwegian.[4]


As Boine grew up, she started to rebel against the prejudiced attitude of being an inferior "Lappish" woman in Norwegian society. For instance, the booklet accompanying the CD 'Leahkastin' (Unfolding) is illustrated with photographs with racist captions like "Lapps report for anthropological measurement", "Typical female Lapp", "A well-nourished Lapp"; and it ends with a photo of Boine herself as a girl, captioned "Mari, one of the rugged Lapp-girl types" and attributed "(Photo: Unidentified priest)".[5]

When Boine's album Gula Gula was first released on Peter Gabriel's RealWorld label in July 1990, its front cover (see illustration) showed an iconic image of the tundra of the far north, the eye of a Snowy Owl. The front cover curiously did not show the name of the album, or the name or face of Mari Boine herself; the back cover printed the name 'Mari Boine Persen', the Persen surname identifying her as a Norwegian rather than a Sami.[6] On the 2007 release on her own Lean label,[7] the album cover explicitly names Mari Boine with her Sami surname, and shows her (see illustration) in full Sami costume as a shamanistic dancer of her own people, while the white background, like the Snowy Owl of the original release, hints at the snows of the north.

Boine was asked to perform at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, but refused because she perceived the invitation as an attempt to bring a token minority to the ceremonies.[8]

Musical style

Boine's songs are strongly rooted in her experience of being in a despised minority. For example, the song 'Oppskrift for Herrefolk' (Recipe for a Master Race) on her breakthrough CD 'Gula Gula', sung in Norwegian unlike the rest of the songs which are in Sami, speaks directly of 'discrimination and hate', and ironically recommends ways of oppressing a minority: "Use bible and booze and bayonet"; "Use articles of law against ancient rights".[9]

Boine's other songs are more positive, often singing of the beauty and wildness of Sapmi (Lapland). The title track of 'Gula Gula' asks the listener to remember 'that the earth is our mother'.[10]

Boine sings in a traditional folk style, using the yodelling 'yoik' voice, with a range of accompanying instruments and percussion. For example, on 'Gula Gula' the instruments used are drum, guitar, electric bass clarinet, dozo n'koni, ganga, claypot, darboka, tambourine, seed rattles, cymbal, clarinet, piano, frame drum, saz, drone drum, hammered dulcimer, bosoki, overtone flute, bells, bass, quena, charango and antara.[11]


Rootsworld, interviewing Boine in 2002, described her as "an unofficial Sami cultural ambassador".[12]

The Guardian, in its 2010 F&M playlist of songs "they just can't turn off", describes My Friend of Angel Tribe with the words "Norwegian Sami singer Boine, with this soft, melancholy and utterly mesmerising song."[13]

Johnny Loftus, reviewing Boine's Eight Seasons, wrote that "Boine seems to have been inspired, collaborating with producer Bugge Wesseltoft for a collection of pieces weaving her alternately supple and intimate, angry and otherworldly vocals into moody arrangements tinged with jazz influence and electronic programming."[14] While there was a degree of cliche in that, wrote Loftus, it worked well, concluding: "Boine's voice, filtered at first behind the halting notes of a guitar, builds in strength over the brooding electronic rhythm, until her Joik overtakes the electronics completely, becoming fully responsible for the song's deep, chilly atmosphere. Let's see a keyboard's hard drive do that."[14]


In 2003, Boine was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize. She was appointed knight, first class in the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for her artistic diversity on September 18, 2009.[15] On 7 October 2012, Boine was appointed as a "statsstipendiat", an artist with national funding, the highest honour that can be bestowed upon any artist in Norway.[16]

Boine has received other awards as follows:


Jaskatvuoa maá / Etter stillheten / After the Silence (1985)
A.1. Alla Hearra Guhkkin Oslos
A.2. Oktavuohta
A.3. Ceavlas Galbma Garvvuid Sis(te)
A.4. Mearrasapmelazzii
A.5. Sii Navccahuhttet Mu
B.1. Idja Lea Mannan
B.2. Anuheapmi
B.3. Koffor E Det Sa Stille
B.4. Na Darvanii Jahkku *
B.5. Oainnat Go Mo Cuvggoda Dal
* Mari Boine (first) lyrics, set to John Lennon's Working Class Hero music
Gula Gula / Hør stammødrenes stemme / Hear the Voices of the Foremothers (1989)
  1. Gula Gula (Hear the Voices of the Foremothers)
  2. Vilges Suola (White Thief)
  3. Balu Badjel Go Vuoittán (When I Win Against Fear)
  4. Du Lahka (Near You)
  5. It at Duolmma Mu (Free at Last)
  6. Eadnán Bákti (To Woman)
  7. Oppskrift For Herrefolk (Recipe for a Master Race)
  8. Duinne (To You)

Bonus tracks on the 2003 remastered reissue:

  1. Oarbbis Leat
  2. uovgi Liekkas
  3. Gula Gula - Chilluminati Mix
Goaskinviellja / Ørnebror / Eagle Brother (1993)
  1. uvges Vuovttat, Duoala albmi (Hair of Light, Solemn Eye)
  2. Sámi Eatnan Duoddarat (Samilands Rippling Tundra)
  3. Modjás Kátrin (Katrin Who Smiles)
  4. Dás Áiggun uout (Within Myself)
  5. Dolgesuorbmageiiguin (A Feathered Touch)
  6. Skádja (The Reverberation)
  7. Goaskinviellja (Eagle Brother)
  8. Ráhkesvuoain (Feather the World)
  9. Mu Áhkku (My Grandma)
  10. Ále Ále Don (Don't Go... Not You)
Leahkastin / Unfolding (1994)
  1. Gumppet Holvot (The Wolves Howl)
  2. Ále at (No More)
  3. uovgi Liekkas (Radiant Warmth)
  4. Áhai (To My Father)
  5. Maid Áiggot Muinna Eallin (What Do You Want Life?)
  6. Mielahisvuohta (Lunacy Lunacy)
  7. Gilvve Gollát (Sow Your Gold)
  8. Gulan Du (Hearing You)
  9. Vuolgge Mu Mielde Bassivárrái (Come with Me to the Sacred Mountain)
  10. Mun Da'han Lean Oaivámu (Just When I Had...)
  11. Dá Lean Mun (Here I Am)
Radiant Warmth (1996)

(Compilation from 'Goaskinviellja' and 'Leahkastin')

  1. Goaskinviellja (Eagle Brother)
  2. Ale Sat (No More)
  3. Cuovgi Liekkas (Radiant Warmth)
  4. Skádja (Reverberation)
  5. Cuvges Vuovttat, Duodalas Calbmi (Hair of Light, Solemn Eye)
  6. Modjás Kátrin (Katrin Who Smiles)
  7. Mielahisvuohta (Lunacy, Lunacy)
  8. Gilvve Gollát (Sow Your Gold)
  9. Gulan Du (Hearing You)
  10. Vuolgge Mu Mielde Bassivárrái (Come with Me to the Sacred Mountain)
  11. Ráhkesvuodain (Feather the World)
  12. Mu Ahkku (Grandma)
  13. Ale Ale Don (Don't Go... Not You)
Eallin / Life (1996)

(recorded live)

  1. Mielahisvuohta (State of Mind Where Your Intellect Is Disconnected)
  2. Dás Áiggun uout (Within Myself)
  3. Orbina (The Orphan)
  4. Gula Gula (Hear The Voices of the Foremothers)
  5. Modjás Katrin (Katrin Who Smiles)
  6. Eco (Echo)
  7. Skádja (Reverberation)
  8. Vuolgge Mu Mielde Bassivárrái (Come with Me to the Sacred Mountain)
  9. It at Duolmma Mu (Free)
  10. Dutjne (To You)
Bálvvoslatjna / Room of Worship (1998)
  1. Eallin (Life)
  2. Beaivvi Nieida (Daughter Of Sun)
  3. Risten
  4. Eagle Man / Changing Woman (Girdi Olmmái / Geaidi Nissun)
  5. Álddagasat Ipmilat (Gods Of Nature)
  6. Oarjjabeal Beaivvi Ja Mánu (West Of Moon And Sun)
  7. Mu Váhkar Lásse (My Youngest)
  8. Alit Go Buot Várit (Higher Than All Mountains)
  9. Don It Galgan (Thou Shalt Not)
  10. Etno Jenny (Ethno Jenny)
Winter in Moscow (2001)

(Mari Boine with Inna Zhelannaya and Sergey Starostin)

  1. Dás Áiggun Cuout (Here Will I Stand)
  2. Pjesna Ljesorubov (Song Of The Lumberjacks)
  3. Korridorsangen (The Corridor Song)
  4. Sjestra Maja Notsj (The Night Is My Sister)
  5. Vozlje Tvojej Ljobvi (Near Your Love)
  6. Odinotsjestvo-Sestritsa (Sister Loneliness)
  7. Roahkkadit Rohtte Luodi, Mánázan (Joik With Pride, My Child!)
  8. Balada O Gorje (Ballad Of Grief)
Gávcci Jahkejuogu / Eight Seasons (2002)
  1. Boaan Nuppi Bealde (I Come From The Other Side)
  2. Song For The Unborn (Reagákeahtes)
  3. Sáráhka Viina (Sáráhka's Wine)
  4. Guovssahasaid Ájagáttis (By The Source Of Aurora B)
  5. Sielu Dálkkas (Soul Medicine)
  6. Mu Váibmu Vádjul Doppe (Hymn)
  7. Butterfly (Beaivelottá)
  8. Liegga Gokas Sis' (In A Blanket Of Warmth)
  9. It Diee (You Never Know)
  10. Duottar Rássi (Tundra Flower)
  11. Silba Várjala (Let Silver Protect)
  12. Bottoa Dáhtun (Give Me A Break)
Idjagieas / I Nattens Hand / In the Hand of the Night (2006)
  1. Vuoi Vuoi Mu (Vuoi Vuoi Me)
  2. Idjagieas (In the Hand of the Night)
  3. Suoivva (The Shadow)
  4. Gos Bat Munno iat Leat? (Where Did All Our Colours Go?)
  5. Mu Ustit, Egeliid Sogala (My Friend of Angel Tribe)
  6. Davvi Bávttiin (On the Fells of the North)
  7. Lottá (Little Bird)
  8. Diamántta Spáillit (Reindeer of Diamond)
  9. Geasuha (Irresistible)
  10. Áfruvvá (The Mermaid)
  11. Uldda Nieida (Uldda Girl)
  12. Big Medicine (Fápmodálkkas)
Kautokeino-opprøret (2008)

Soundtrack from the film Kautokeino-opprøret.

  1. Elen Skum
  2. Válddi vuoigna (The Spirit of Power)
  3. Deaivideapmi (Confrontation)
  4. Doaivut ja vuoimmehuvvat (Hope and Defeat)
uovgga Áirras / Sterna Paradisea (2009)
  1. Lene Májjá
  2. Ipmiliin háleteapmi (Conversation with God)
  3. Soagosilbbat (Courting Jewellery)
  4. Soria Moria Palássa (Soria Moria Palace)
  5. uovgga áirras (Sterna Paradisea)
  6. Claudiinna lávlla (Claudine's Song)
  7. Skealbma (The Mischievous)
  8. Iitveiggodettin (Dawn)
  9. De mana, ráhkásan (For My Daughter)
  10. Lihkahusat (Entranced)
  11. Go idja nuossala (When Night Is Almost Done)
Gilve gollát - Sow Your Gold (2013)
  1. Trilobihta lávlla (Song from a trilobite)
  2. Gula Gula (Hear the voices of the foremothers)
  3. Goaskinviellja (Eaglebrother)
  4. Dutnje (To you)
  5. Jearrat biekkas (To ask the wind)
  6. Boadan nuppi bealde (I come from the other side)
  7. Beaivelottá (Butterfly)
  8. Elle
  9. Mu váibmu vádjul doppe (Hymn)
  10. Gilvve gollát (Sow your gold)

Also appears on

  • Nordic Woman (2012)
  • Beginner's Guide to Scandinavia 3CD set (2011)
  • One World One Voice (1990)

With Jan Garbarek

  • Twelve Moons (ECM, 1992)
  • Visible World (ECM, 1995)

With Future Prophecies

  • Warlords Rising (Beatservice Records, 2005)


  1. Harris, Craig. [Mari Boine at All Music Guide Biography: Mari Boine]. Allmusic. Retrieved on 4 July 2010.
  3. Unofficial Biography of Mari Boine, 1996.
  4. Mari Boine, Biography,
  5. Booklet accompanying CD 'Leahkastin', Mari Boine, Verve World (523889-2), 1994.
  6. RealWorld. Gula Gula. (July 1990). Retrieved on November 11, 2011.
  7. Erdal, Silje F. (23 March 2011). Lean Record Label. The one and only - Mari Boine. Retrieved on 11 November 2011.
  8. Artist Direct, Mari Boine Biography.
  9. Lyrics for 25/iii 2004, Oppskrift for Herrefolk,
  10. Mari Boine Persen, Gula Gula lyrics.
  11. Booklet accompanying CD, Gula Gula, Mari Boine Persen, Real World Records (CDRW13), 1990.
  12. Lipp, Marty (2002). RootsWorld Recording Review. Looking to the future from the past. Retrieved on November 11, 2011.
  13. Salmon, Chris (20 May 2010). The Guardian: Playlist. F&M playlist. Retrieved on November 11, 2011.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Loftus, Johnny. Review. Eight Seasons. Allmusic. Retrieved on January 24, 2012.
  15. The announcement on
  16. Nordseth, Pål (7 October 2012). Hadia overrasket med statsstipend på døra Nå får Mari Boine 416 000 statlige kroner i året til hun blir pensjonist.. Retrieved on 23 February 2013.

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This page was last modified 20.12.2013 09:05:20

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