Jon Lassen’s Ume Sámi drum, made c. 1712

Of the reportedly more than one hundred Sámi drums confiscated by the missionary Thomas von Westen, this is one of the few we have a record of, as few years after being brought to Copenhagen, almost all drums were destroyed in a fire along with any documentation of them. Its owner and maker was Jon Lassen from Meløy, but the symbols on it had been drawn by Sjur Larsen from neighbouring Rødøy. The latter had learned this art from the noaidi Anders Einarsen in Meløy, while living with him and his wife Kirsti Larsdatter for ten years in his youth. The symbols had first been explained to von Westen by Jon, and later in greater detail by Sjur in 1722.

Most of the testimonies of Jon and Sjur themselves have been lost, but were used as the source for a surviving account written in 1723 by Johan Randulf, vicar in Nærøy and dean in Namdalen. This work is commonly referred to as the Nærøy manuscript (Danish “Nærø”, in Swedish and German orthography “Närö”). The original manuscript is lost, but several manuscript copies which agree closely on the text survive, of which some contain a drawing of the drum. Among the sources for this is the diary von Westen kept during his third missionary journey in 1722–23. Most of this is lost, but a single leaf of four pages survive. One of these contains part of the coerced confession of Sjur Larsen and a very crude drawing of the drum; overleaf is part of the confessions of Jon Lassen and his wife.

Rødøy and Meløy are both in the Ume Sámi area, and the drum decoration is of Ume Sámi type. Neither its size nor its construction type is known, but the number of symbols is consistent with a smaller drum, which is suggestive of a bowl drum. According to the diary fragment, the drum was made only ten years before the interrogation of Sjur in 1722, so it can be dated to very close to 1712.

The occasion leading to Randulf writing the account was a visit from von Westen in January 1723, bringing with him several drums, including this one. The text is dated to March that year, and consists of two parts. The shorter first part is the interpretation of the drum, reworked and interspersed with commentary and digressions. The longer second part is an account of Sámi beliefs and ritual practices, and is referred to in the text as the account proper. As both parts contains references to the other in the extant version, it cannot be determined which was written first.


The manuscript text refers to an accompanying illustration of the drum, and some of the copies include such a drawing. Unfortunately, not all of these copies are published or available electronically, and I have neither been able to find a complete list of illustrations nor to locate good reproductions of all I know to exist.

Accompanying one of the copies without such a drawing, XA Qv. 374 in NTNU University Library, is the single leaf from von Westen’s diary mentioned above. This forms two pairs of consecutive pages, of which only the first pair is relevant to this drum. The first page describes the circumstances of Sjur’s involvement with the drum. The text mentions a drawing of the drum having been made on an earlier page in the diary, which is now lost. In the following this will be denoted *A₁. Immediately following this comment is a second drawing of the drum, rather crudely made, which will be denoted A₂. A letter is written beside each figure, presumably as a key to a list of explanations. This list does not itself survive, but was presumably used by Randulf.


While A₂ looks quite crude, the drawings in all manuscripts known to me instead streamline and regularise the design, with the outline drawn as two semicircles connected by parallel side edges. They fall in two clearly distinct main groups, here denoted B and C, except for a late copy with features from both, which might be regarded as a group of its own. As the C drawings contains clearly secondary embellishments, group B is therefore the most important one. I know of two copies in this group: B₁, MS Thott 1569 4o in the Royal Library in Copenhagen, and B₂, XA Qv. 23 in NTNU University Library. Oddly enough, the latter is accompanied not by the Nærøy manuscript text, but the drawing and interpretation of another drum. Since that drum originated in the region neighbouring Nærøy, and is stated to only having been given up after two years of negotiations with its owner, it could hardly have been one of the drums brought by von Westen; it is more likely that it was Randulf himself who confiscated it. However, additional symbols referred to in the Nærøy manuscript account is drawn on its reverse, proving that it was originally intended to accompany a copy of that text, most likely XA Qv. 22 which from the shelfmark seems to be a sister manuscript.



The B drawings contain details not found in A₂. It is important to note that since the author might have had access to the drum itself, the earlier *A₁ drawing and the original interpretations of both Jon Lassen and Sjur Larsen, they may document details missing from the hurried drawing of A₂. Both copies accidentally omit one of the numbers beside the figures, ‘3’ in B₁ and ‘21’ in B₂. As correcting for this is trivial, this cannot be used to determine whether or not another drawing copies one of these. However, there is another omission in B₂ that is important in this regard. Whereas A₂ and B₁ both have a group of dots in front of the two figures representing bears on the left-hand side, B₂ lacks these beside the one in the lower field.

Before moving on to group C, mention must be made of two nineteenth century reproductions of manuscript drawings, whose fidelity is rather dubious. The first was published in Nordiska fornlemningar, volume 1, published by Johan Gustaf Liljegren and Carl Georg Brunius in 1823. This has a more correct shape than either of the B drawings, but seems to be based on B₁ (the accompanying text indeed states that it is based on a manuscript in the Royal Library in Copenhagen), only slightly embellishing the figures and correcting the outline based on the many real drums known by then. In his 1871 book Lappisk Mythologi (Sámi mythology), Jens Andreas Friis criticises that work for taking liberties in the reproduction, but then goes on to do the same in even greater degree himself. He bases his version on a manuscript in Trondheim which is elsewhere in the text clearly shown to be the one where B₂ is found, and the lack of dots in front of the bear figure in the lower field confirms this. He ascribes this manuscript to Thomas von Westen himself, which is highly unlikely to be correct. He knows the text of the Nærøy manuscript, but does not realise that this is the drum described there; confusingly enough, he ascribes an otherwise unknown drawing to that work.



The two versions I have found from the C group are very similar to each other. They are clearly derived from B₂, but with embellishments obviously not based on the actual drum, including text labels based on the manuscript account. However, as both of them diverge from this source in details where the other retains the earlier form, they must descend from an intermediate copy. These drawings are here denoted C₁ and C₂ respectively. Unlike A₂ and B, this group has no independent value as a source. The same is the case for a rather late copy (possibly from 1848) in Bergen Museum. It is very similar to C₁, but has additional unique embellishments. It does not contain the legends distinguishing the C group from the earlier B drawings, however, so I have chosen to put it in a group of its own as D₁.




Symbol numbering and legends

I have removed all writing not meant to represent the actual symbols on the drum from the images above. In this regard as well as in the drawing itself, A₂ differs markedly from all the others. Here, each symbol is identified with a letter, which must be presumed to refer to a now lost list of interpretations. B and C on the other hand marks each symbol with a number corresponding to the description in the account. Both the ordering and the exact selection of symbols referenced differs beween the two sets. The C drawings contain text in addition to the numbering, but this is clearly derived from the account.

The following table shows the relationship between the three redactions of the illustration. Note that on A₂, two groups containing three and two symbols respectively repeat the same letter for each symbol, and group of four symbols treated as a single unit in the text have a separate letter for each symbol. In B₁, the number ‘3’ is missing and in B₂ number ‘21’; but as it is obvious from the text which symbol it refers to, this does not prevent either of these drawings from being the source of the C group; but the lack of dots in front of the bear figure in the lower part shows that it must be B₂. In the ‘C’ column, I have written Sámi terms in boldface, Latin words in italics and Danish text in normal letters, although no such distinction is made in the drawings. Where C₁ and C₂ differ, the latter’s text is given in grey.

Illustration ‘B₂’ with the handwritten numbering replaced with clearer type in red, including the missing number 21.
A₂ B/C C
e 1 Hora Galles vel Jupiter
f 2 Varalden Olmay Saturnus
g 3 Biexa Galles Æolus
h 4 Varalde Noide
a 5 Mercurius Rutu
c 6
b 7 Sarva Vare Saro Væro Simle
d 8 Varalde Biri
9 Luften
i (1) 10 Muba Ailiches
i (2) 11 Ailiches Olmay Ailiches Olmai
i (3) 12 Gulman Ailiches
k 13 Paive
r s t u 14 Riſt Palches
w 15 Sturich
ÿ 16 Vollinere Noide
x 17 Jami Kutſke
o 18 Lucina Marium Juchſacha
p 19 Saraca Juno Lucina Saracha Juno Lucina
q 20 Rea Saturni uxor Cybilla Maderaca Maderacha Saturni uxor Cybele
m 21 Vata Ciadse Vata Ciadſe
n 22 Kuttu, Kotte Kuttu v Kotte gammen
l (1) 23 Leib Olmay Leib Olmaÿ v Björne Manden
l (2) 24 Biri Biri v. Björnen

Notes on the text and the transcription of the Nærøy manuscipt

The style of writing is characterised by rambling, repetitive and ungrammatical passages, and by frequently breaking out into sophomoric diatribes and obviously fabricated anecdotes to support vacuous arguments, with the result that the author comes across as a barely literate, dishonest bigot. The reason why several copies of the text were still made of the text, besides its purported usefulness in intimidating Sámis into confessing to devil-worship, is presumably its obsequious glorification of von Westen as a miracle-working prophet.

There are only minor variations between the various manuscript copies. The following transcription is taken from Just Qvigstad’s “Kildeskrifter til den lappiske mythologi” (1903), in difficult places controlled against scans of the manuscript XA Qv. 374 in NTNU University Library. I omit the long title and introductory paragraph, as well as the entirety of the “relation” itself; only the explanation of the symbols on the drum written between these is included. Further, I have chosen to hide the most worthless drivel either not connected to the actual drum, or so obviously invented by the author as to have no source value. These parts can be revealed by clearing the checkbox below, but have been entirely omitted from my translation.

The manuscript frequently emphasises foreign words, and oddly enough most instances of the word Finn for Sámi, by using slightly larger and clearer letterforms. Like Qvigstad, I reproduce these words in italics. Some other terms are instead emphasised using slightly larger, bolder and more angular letterforms. In Qvigstad’s edition, these are typeset with increased letter-spacing; I use boldface instead as this is closer to the custom of the original.

Hide excess verbiage:
  1. Er een af deris fornembste afGuder, som kalles Hora Galles, dend samme som de gamble Norske Hedninger kaldede Thor Gud, om hvilken der meget er at læse udj den Norske Chrønniche, af hannem haver Torsdag sit Nafn, som den endnu af os Christne næfnes; ellers er hand dend samme, som hos de gamle Græker blev kaldet Jupiter, saavelsom ogsaa af de Rommere, hvilke gafve dend samme Dag i Ugen, som vi kalder Torsdag, Nafn af hannem og kaldede den Dies Jovis.

    Denne afGud, som staaer med en Slegge udj sin eene Haand og en Krydts-Hammer i den anden Haand, tilbedis i særdelished af Finnerne, naar Torden slaar, at hand med den eene Hammer vil drive den tilbage igien, at den ikke skal skade enten dem eller deris Reins-Diur, lige saa og paakalder de hannem naar de vil have Torden og Liun-Ild udslaget ofver nogen de ere vrede paa, at hand da med siin Slegge, som hand haver i den anden Haand skal udføre sin Torden og Liun-Ild ofver dem; hvilket vel undertiden gaaer dem an; thi foruden det, at Sathan er mægtig udj Vantroens Børn, saa er det ikke at undre paa, at Gud tillader hannem undertiden at giøre ont effter hans og deris Villie, enten mod andre Finner, der ere lige saa u-gudelige og afGudiske, som de, der udsender ved deris Running saadant ont over dem, eller og mod andre Christne, der ved deres u-gudelighed giør sig lige ved Finnerne; thj naar et Menniske i sit Lefnet har unddraget sig fra at frygte og paakalde den u-dødelige og barmhiertige Gud, saa er det og ikke at undre paa, at han igien unddrager dem sin Beskiermelse, saavel imod Sathans Ondskab, som anden u-lykke og Fare, og hvormed er det vel vi Mennisker skal kunde være mægtige til at imodstaae Sathan og udslukke alle hans gloende Piile, uden ved een ifrig Bøn og stadig Troe? Thj da ere vi ret iførte Guds fulde Rustning. Ellers videre at tale om denne vederstyggelige Sathan udi Hora Galles eller Thor-Guds eller Jovis Persohn, da er det denne, som de meener skal give dem Lykke til Striid, til Skiøtterie og Veyde, og bevahre dem og deris Reins-Diur fra Ulven og Biørnen, hvor udover de med stoer Ifrighed holder endnu, den Dag i Dag er, Thors-Dagen hellig, og vil ikke giøre visse Gierninger paa den Dag, ligesom mand veed, at den Superstition endnu fuldkommelig regierer hos mange gemeene og eenfoldige Folk, baade i Danmark og Norge, ja vel ogsaa udj Tyskland og anden stets, at det er visse Gierninger de tager sig med Fliid vare for, ikke at skall giøre om Torsdagen, som er een blot Reliqve af Hedenskabet, hvilket de ingen Tanke giør sig om, men kand dog ved deres Ignorance ikke undskyldes, fordi de vide, at den store Himmelens og Jordens Skabere, der skabte de 6 Dage til at arbeyde, bød alleene om den syvende Dag, at den skulde helligholdes; hvormed jeg ingenlunde vil betage vores aparte Fester og hellige dage, som ere hos os foruden Søndagen, deris Hellighed; thj der er stor Forskiel paa de Fester, som gudelig og Christelig Øfrighed, af Gudelig Nidkierhed for Guds ære har indstifftet |: hvilket kand indtet andet end være Gud lige behagelig, som de hand selv, foruden Sabbaths-dagene, fordum indstifftede iblant Jøderne :| og paa de Fester Sathan indstiffter til sin egen ære, hvilket kand intet andet end være Gud vederstyggelige og mishagelige, hvad enten de holdes af Finnerne, videndes Thor Gud til ære celebreris, eller af andre eenfoldige Christne, der i denne Fald ikke vide hvad de derved giøre. Merkeligt var det, at som en Find udj Ofoden i Nordland, ungefæhr for et Aars Tid siden og nylig førend Lector von Westen nu nestleden Aar 1722 skulle komme did at efftersee, hvorledes det gik til med Missionen udj Nordland, Een Løver-Dag var udgangen paa Skiøtterie at veyde sig en Ref eller et andet saadant Diur, hvis Skind hand agtede at empløyere til Brendeviin, da bliver hand i Skouven vaer, at en ganske hvid Mand, som sad aller øverst i Toppen paa et Træe med et stort langt Skiæg, og som hand der over blef overmaade forfærdet |: maaskee Sathan hafde ikke tilforne giort ham den ære saa siunlig at tale med ham :| sagde samme Mand til ham, at hand skulle slet ikke frygte, han skulle intet ont vederfaris, hand var en god Engel, udsent fra Gud Fader, Søn og Hellig Aand, for at sige ham adskilligt; derpaa begynder han at opreigne ald den Synd der gik i Svang blant dem; de gik ikke flittig nok i Kirke, de gave ikke flittig nok agt paa det som Guds Mand |: saa kalder de Præsten :| prædikkede for dem; de lagde det ikke paa Hiertetog effterlevede det; thj de drak; de giorde hinanden u-rett; de sloges; de horede etc: Hvem skulle nu vel tenke at denne u-hellige Dievel skulle kunde være skiult under saa hellig en Tale, ja formaning, som denne var? Endelig kommer Løve-kløerne og Ulve-Tænderne for en Dag, i det hand siger fremdeeles: I seer jo at ald Guds Velsignelse ved saadan Guds Fortørnelse gaaer fra eder; ingen Sild, ingen Fisk, ingen Qvall eller Kobbe; ingen Størie eller Haa-Kierring faar I meere som tilforne; Skiøtterie og Veyde gaaer jo nu gandske bort fra eder, og dette som jeg nu siger dig, er ikke Aarsage der til alleene, mens end og fornemmelig dette, I arbeyder om Løverdagen paa hvilken I skulle hvile eder, paa det I kunde betids reise til Kierken om Søndagen, og over alt den gode Torsdag har I nu gandske lagt af at hellig holde; I har nu i lang Tiid ikke giort noget Offer til Hora Galles eller Thor Gud; hand er dog een god Gud, som vel fortiener, for meget got hand giør eder, at tienis og dyrkis, og vil I det giøre, da skal hand ogsaa give eder lykke til alt det, som I nu for eders grove Synder imod ham, maa savne; Derfor befaler jeg dig nu, at du strax uden Ophold begiver dig til alle de Finner, som ere i alle disse omliggende Fielde, og siger dem alt dette, som jeg nu haver sagt dig, og tillige advarer dem, at de skal ikke adlyde den Mand, som nu kommer med det første og heder Thomas von Westen; thi hand vil have dem til een nye Troe, hvorved Thor-Gud bliver grummelig vreed og fortørnet; denne din Reise skal du udj saa og saa kort Tiid afgiøre |: i det samme satte hand hannem en vis Terminum fore :| og giør du ikke eller siger alt dette jeg nu haver befalet dig, da skal jeg møde dig og rive dig i støkker, Lem fra Lem; mens effterkommer du min Befaling, da skal du tillige med alle de andre have baade Løkke oh Velsignelse paa Land og Vand.

    Seer her! her demasquerede Sathan sig! her afdrog hand siin paatagne Liusens Engels Skikkelse, endskiønt den arme eenfoldige Find ikke kiendte ham, mens troede af hans første gudelig Tale, at hand var den hand ikke var, derfore blef hand hannem ogsaa lydagtig, at hand strax uden ophold med stor Ifrighed gav sig paa Veyen at udrette sit af Sathan anbefalede Apostel-Embede til de andre Finner, og havde hand allerede mestendeel til de fleeste absolveret sit Løb, da Lector von Westen did henkom, og fik det af andre omvendte Finner at høre, hvorpaa hand af hannem strax blev hentet, men i lang Tiid var u-overtalelig til at troe andet, end at han jo af en god Engel effter Guds befalning var udsendt, indtil von Westen omsider viste ham Dievelens Kløer i den Tale hand havde holdet til hannem, da hand, lovet være Gud, aldeeles blev convinceret, og Sathan saa fiendsk som tilforne lydig. Mand veed det, at den gemeene Mand, Bønder og saadanne, endnu beteigner deris Dørre om Jule-Afften med Kors; at de krydser med Kniver over en Kande Øll eller et glas Brendeviin, naar de det skal drikke; at de ikke oplader Laaget paa een fuld Smør-Kande uden de giøre Kors der over med Knifven: Dette meener de vel skal betyde Jesu Kors, men intet mindre; Finnerne, som i lige Tilfælde bruger samme Krydsning, de have en anden Henseende der med, de see hen der ved til Thors Hammer hand holder i Haanden, hvorfore Finnernis Krydsning skal beteigne Thor-Guds Hammer, der er giort som et Kors, og dette viiser, at den gemeene Mands Krydsning er intet andet end en Lefning fra de gamle Hedenske Tiider, da de alle Tider teignet deris Mad og Drikke med Thors Hammers Tegn, som kand videre effterseeis udj Kong Hagen Adelsteens Historie og udj Snorle Sturlesens Norske Krønnike.

  2. Er deres anden store af-Gud, nest effter Hora Galles eller Thor-Gud eller Jupiter, som de kalde Waralden olmay, det er Verdens Mand, og er hand den samme som Saturnus. Den afGud afmaler de paa Runebommen med een krum Stræg over Hovedet, med adskillige Takker paa, hvilket skal beteigne Frughtbarhed, saavel af Jorden og Havet, som af Creaturer; derfore tilbeder de hannem, at hand skal give god Vext paa Korn i Landet, paa det derved maae blive got Kiøb for dennem paa Korn, paa Øll, Brendeviin og alt hvad som kommer af Korn, hvilket de vil beteigne med den Hakke, hand holder i Haanden, med hvilken Jorden af Restmand |: saa kalder de Christus :| skall tilhakkes, naar Sæden der udj er udkast; ligesaa ogsaa paakalder de ham, at hand skal frugtbar giøre Havet, at de maae faae mange Fisk |: det giør besynderlig Siøe-Finnerne :| at hand skal frugtbar giøre deris Reinsdiur, at de maae bære mange Kalver, at hand skal frugtbar giøre Mossen paa Fieldene, som deris Reinsdjur æder, paa det de maae faae vel mange Reins-Oste, Reins-Smør etc: med et Ord: alt hvad som enten kand voxe eller aufles det paakalder de Waralden Olmay eller Saturnum om. Uden ald Tvifl kommer dette af den Tanke, som har været iblandt de Rommerske Heedninger, og siden ved deris Regimente udj Asia blant de Asiatiske, af hvilke Finnerne egentlig har deris udspring: nemblig, at udj saturni Regimentis Tiid, førend hand af Jove blev forderven og dethroniseret fra den øverste guddommelige Magt, da var saa god Tiid paa alle Ting; Jorden bar da selv Frugt uden Arbeide, og alle Ting var da i saa stor overflødighed, at der manglede intet paa noget, som kunde forløste Mennisken; hvilket Fabel iblant Hedningerne, nogle har villet meene skulle være kommen af det Commercio, som var imellem Guds Folk og Hedningerne, da disse af hine har faaet at høre om den herlige Tilstand, som var før Syndefaldet, hvilken underretning siden, ved Tiidens Længde er bleven iblant Hedningerne fordervet og forandret til den Fabel om Saturni Riige, udj hvilket Aurea ætas var, som blev fordrevet ved Jovis nye Regiering, som mand kand see hos Ovidi: og mange andre. Men derjmod falder andre igien, effter mine Tanker, rettest paa denne Tanke: at fordj der udj Italien, hvor Saturnus tog sin Retirade, da hand fra sit Kongerige udi Tracien af siin Søn Jove var bleven fordreven, var saa god Tiid og overflødighet af alle Ting, som igen enten før eller siden har kundet erindre, da Saturnus udj Jani Regimentis Tiid kom i bemelte Land, og fordj hand ved siine forstandige Raad hos Janum vidste at sette Regieringen udj saadan Positur, at der var Freed og Roelighed og god Tilstand iblant Undersaatterne, hvilket siden effter Jani og Saturni Død ikke var der, altsaa canonicerede de paa deris hedenske viis begge toe, hvoraf ved Tiidens Længde den Fabel om Saturni Guddom og gode Tiid og Frugtbarhed er opkommen, hvilket vel er troeligt siden Odins Tiider iblant Finnerne der var iblant de Asiater der kom ind med ham her i de Nordiske lande er bleven conserveret indtil denne Tiid, fordj der ikke har kundet, siden Christendommens Indkomst, været saa god Opsigt paa dette slags Folk, der boede mange Miile inde op paa Fieldryggen, som paa de andre Landsens Indbyggere der boede udj Nærværelsen hos Geistlig og Verslig Øfrighed til at faa denne med andre deris Af­guderier hos dennem udryddet.

  3. Er deris 3die store afGud, som kalles Bieka Galles, den sterke Vindens Mand, denne er den samme som Æolus, hvilken de maler af udj sin høyre Haand med en Skuffel, med hvilken han skufler Vinden ind i siine Huuler, naar den har stormet nok, og med en Kiølle udj sin venstre Haand, hvormed hand skal drive Vinden ud, at den skal blæse. Denne af-Gud tilbeder de baade naar de ere paa Fieldet med deris Reins-diur at hand vil stille den Vind som giør Skade paa Diurene, saa og, naar de ere paa Havet at fiske, og der opkommer Storm saa de ere udj Lifs Fare da de love hannem Offer paa deris Alter; Naar de har noget udstaaendes med nogen, da forlanger de Vind af denne af­Gud, hvilken de indknytter udj 3de Knuder ved deris Running; naar de opløser den første, da bliver det passabel Vind; naar de opløser den anden, da blifver der saa sterk Vind, at en Jægt neppe uden Fare kand føre sit halve Forseil; men opløser de den tredie, da skeer u-feilbarlig Skibbrud; Dog er alle tiider imod denne og ald anden Sathans Magt Guds Børn udj een mægtig og u-overvindelig Beskiermelse, hvilket von Westens Exempel med mange andre, som de forgieves, effter deris egen Beretning og Bekiendelse, har prøvet deris Kunst, ved Sathans Assistence imod, noksom kand udviise.

  4. Kaldes Waralde Noyde, det er Himmelens Runnemand eller Prophete, denne staaer afteigned med een Runnebomme i sin venstre Haand og med een Hammer giort effter Thors Hammer, med hvilken hand skal slaae paa Runnebommen, i den høyre Haand. Paa det mand dis bedre kand forstaae hvad denne Waralde Noyde haver at betyde; da holder jeg fornøden at giøre derom denne Beretning: Det er ikke alle Finner som haver Runnebommer, eller om de end haver dem ved Arf, enten effter deris Forældre eller andre |: thj de gaaer i Arf og holdis krafftigst, jo ældre de ere :| saa hverken forstaaer de at spille paa dem, ikke heller vil Sathan verdige at svare den ved andre, uden alleene dem, som hand effter lang befunden troe Tieneste befinder dygtige at beskikke til sine Noyder og Propheter iblant dem, hvilke ere saa mange, disto verre, at fast hver 3die eller 4de Find en een Noyde. Naar nu en Find vil spørge sine Guder til Raads og for tilkommende Ting at vide ved Runnebommen, da i fald han ikke selv er een Noyde, lader hand ved een anden Noyde med den tilhørige Hammer, som staaer afteignet under No. 1 bag paa denne hosfølgende afteigning, slaae paa Runnebommen, effter hvilke Slag den Messing-Ring, hand haver lagt paa Runnebommen fløtter sig til det Stæd, hvor hand, Sathan, vil have den og dermed beteigner sit igienSvar, og naar den did kommer, bliver den der staaendes saa fast, at de ikke med all deris Kunst eller Magt kand bringe dend til et andet Stæd, som de tit gierne vilde, naar Ringen kommer til at staa paa et u-løkkelig Stæd, som enten beteigner dem Døden, eller anden u-løkke, med mindre de lofver Offer, enten til den eller den afGud |: hvilken de haver udvalt samme tid at søge hielp hos :| thj da skeer det at Ringen fløtter sig ved nye Slag paa Bommen og gaaer til et andet løkkeligere stæd,

    Som nu Finnerne Generaliter haver afdeelt Runnebommen udj 2de Veye, som adskilles ved No. 9, den ene Vey som hører til himmelen, eller rettere at siige, til de øverste Guders Sæde, hvor Thor, Waralden Olmay og Bieka Galles med fleere andre Ting ere, Og den anden som hører til Jorden, hvor de ringere Guder ere, hvilken sidste Vey igien er afdeelt udj Lifsens Palches eller Vey, som beteigner dem Livet paa Jorden, og Jamichusche Palches eller Dødningernes Vey, som gaaer hen til Jamichusche eller de Dødes Rige og beteigner dem Døden, altsaa haver de den Tanke, at ligesom de have Noyder eller Propheter paa Jorden, ved hvilke de tilspørger, enten de øverste eller de nederste Guder eller de Døde, som kalles Jami og bestaar af andre afdøde Finner, hvilke hersker i de dødis Land, thj de meener at naar nogen Find døer, bliver han strax til een Gud, som raader for Døden og kand befrie siine nærmeste Slegtinge derfra, naar de offrer til ham, saa skal lige saavel de øverste og nederste Guder, som de Døde i deris Riige have deris Noyder ved hvilke de runner paa en Runnebomme, om de Bønner, som giøres til dem skal bønhøris eller ey.

    Her af sees da, at denne Waralde Noyde er de 3de øverste store Guders Prophete eller Runnemand effter hvis Running i Himmelen eller rettist i det øverste guddoms Sæde, de imodtage deris Bønhørelse eller Afslag paa Jorden. Denne Waralde Noyde er anseet af dem som en Over-Engel, alleene skabt til det samme.

  5. Er giort som et langt træ med mange greene paa, og kaldes Rutu, Denne er een under-Regenter af de 3de store Guder Thor, Waralden Olmay og Bieka Galles, ved denne meene de at samme 3de afGuder udretter alt hvad de vil baade i Himmelen og paa Jorden, naar det effter den foregaaende Running, ved Waralde Noyde, først af dem er bleven besluttet. Denne Rutu aabenbarer sig gierne for Finnerne udj blaae Klæder, Mand mener hand skulle være den samme som Mercurius. Mens jeg haver andre Tanker der om, som jeg ikke kand skrive, effterdj jeg endnu ikke fuldkommelig har kundet faae nogen underretning om ham eller hans Væsen. Det veed jeg, at hand tillige med alle andre er Dievelen selv.

  6. Er en Hane som de offrer til deris 3de øverste af­Guder, hvilken paa Runnebommen ligesaa staar anteignet.

  7. Hvilken kaldes Særva Wæro eller Een Himmelen tilhørende Simle og Hun-Reinsdiur, er satt, paa det naar de slaar paa Runnebommen om, hvad offer de skal give deris 3de store afGuder, at Ringen da kand gaae til een af Deelene, hvor effter de ogsaa retter sig.

  8. Er Himmelens Biørn og kaldis Waralde Biri det er Himmelens Biørn. Denne Biørn teigner de af hos Guderne i Himmelen fordi de endog holder een hver Biørn paa Jorden for et helligt Creatur og kalder den Guds Hund, da de der imod kalder ulfven Sathans Hund, hvor om jeg videre agter at melde, naar jeg kommer til den 23de og 24de Figur.

  9. Er den Streg som deeler Himmelen fra Jorden, eller de øfverste fra de nederste Guders Væsen. Ved en øfverste Streg besluttis Himmelens Væsen, og ved den nederste der af begynder Jorden; Det Rom, som er imellem begge Stregerne, skal beteigne Lufften, som er imellem Himmelen og Jorden.

  10. Kaldes Muba Ailiches, Løverdags-Manden.

  11. Kaldes Ailiches Olmay, Søndags-Manden.

  12. Kaldes Gulman Ailiches, Fredags-Manden.

    Disse 3de ere deris under-Guder eller store Engler, som de holder for, at de 3de store Himmelske Guder have givet dem, stedse at omgaaes med paa Jorden, paa det de udj alle deris Anliggende kand være dem ved Haanden og føre deris Bønner til bemelte store Guder, besønderlig naar de have Runnebommens Raadførsel fornøden; thj da anraaber de en viss af disse tre Ailiches, nemblig Løverdags-Manden, om Runningen skal skee om Løverdagen; Søndags-Manden om den skal skee om Søndagen, og Fredags-Manden om det skal skee om Fredagen, at hand skal befordre Runningen, at den maa gaae lykkelig for sig, og recommendere deris Forespørsel til et got Svar hos de 3de store Guder, hvorfore de ogsaa afbilder dem med Vinger, som de der udj en Hast maae flyve til og fra Himmelen og Jorden. Der har nogle villet giort sig de Tanker, at Sathan ved de 3de store afGuder, hand har lært dem at tilskrive Himmelen, har villet effterabe TreEnigheden og bespotte den, og ved disse 3de Ailiches, hvilke staaer som i een Pyramide paa 3de dobbelte Streger, som udgaaer fra Paive eller Solen, de 3de Ting: Sal, Sulphur et Mercurius, ved hvilke nogle har Statueret, at Solen virker alle Ting, men jeg troer vel at Finnerne bliver ved det eenfoldigste og første, og jeg kand ikke see, hvad Interesse Sathan skulle kunde have ved at lære Finnerne |: som hand langt lettere kand tilvende sig :| saadanne Subtiliteter, med hvilke hand har giort Jacob Bøhm, og fleere til ham, reent gall.

  13. Er Paive eller Soelen, hvilken de, i henseende til dens Løb om Verdens 4re Parter, afmaler udj Een paa den Eene Kant opreist 4re Angell, saavel som staaendis paa en Foed der er huul, til hvilken der gaaer en Vey fra Jorden til at beteigne, at ligesom deris Bønner paa Jorden gaar op igiennem denne Vey til Soelen, saa kommer og ald Lius, Varme og Frugtbarhed ned igiennem denne Vey til Jorden, naar Waralden Olmay eller Saturnus vil tillade det. Besønderlig tilbeder de Soelen, naar de enten ere paa Havet, saasom Søe-Finnerne player, og Soelen vil gaae need, eller naar de ere langt borte udj Fieldene, alleene fra andre, og der bliver mørkt, saa de kand ikke see at finde til deris Rein eller Kuttu |: deris Telt :| igien, da de falder paa Knæe og beder Soelen om sit Lius, og lover Soelen et Offer, om den vil hielpe dem, hvilket de ogsaa u-brødelig effterkommer.

  14. Kaldis Rist Palches |: de Christnes Vey :| paa den haver de teignet Kierke, Huuse, Koe og Bok, til at beteigne det, som er hos de Christhe eller boe-folk og Bønder. Ved denne Vey adspørger de Runnebommen med deris Hammer og Messing-Ring om deris Handel og Omgiengelse med Præst, Borger og Bønder eller andre som ikke ere Finner.

  15. Er en Hest, som de kalder Sturich. Denne staaer paa Runnebommen eendeel for at tilspørge Runnebommen hvad Lykke de om høsten skal faae til at kiøbe Heste |: thi de æder og slagter Hæster ligesom andre Folk andre Creaturer, ja med saadan Appetit, at de hiertelig glæder sig over at Bønder og andre Folk ikke har faaet Smag paa denne Delicatesse, da de meente at der ikke blef saa got for Findmanden om Høsten at kunne faae sig et saadant støkke Mad, som de nu kand faae, naar den er gammel og udslebt hos en Bonde for 1 Rdr., som er ordinaire Prisen der paa; ja undertiden kand de faae Kiødet af en Hest for at trekke Skindet af den, hvilket den Eyende vil til sin Nøtte beholde, og den Condition antager de med allerstørste Plaisir, Dog besynderlig Søe-Finnerne, som ingen Reins-Diur kan føde :| Eendel staaer denne Sturich paa Runnebommen som een Offer-Hest, hvilken de lover naar de fornemmer at nogen skal døe, paa det at Jami |: de døde :| skal hielpe ham til rette igien, at hand endnu maae leve, hvorfore denne Hest ogsaa er sat paa Veyen til de dødis Riige, som kaldis Jamicutsche palches, det er Dødningers Vey, hvor om omstendeligere skal meldis under No. 17.

  16. Er Wollinere Noyde, Helvedis eller Gravens Prophete, vide supra udj No. 4 i Anmerkningen om Waralde Noyde, Saadan beskaffenhed har det og med denne som staaer her uden for de Dødis Riige, og skal hand med sin Hammer paa Runnebommen runne for de der ere Regentere udj de Dødis Riige, om de skal bønhøre de Bønner og antage de Løffter, som giøris af de levende for nogen der kand være dødsiug, at hand eller de skal komme sig igien eller ikke.

  17. Er Jamicutsche, de dødis Riige, hvor de mener de døde ere og have Magt at disponere over Livet og Døden for deris igienlevende Slegtninge og Frender, her udj har de satt Kirke, Huus og en Finne-kuttu og en tyk Streeg, som skal beteigne den døde, de vil kalde paa i deris Døds Nød, at skal hielpe dem, det Rom, som er oven for de dødis Riige, imellem det og Rist Palches, hvilket jeg og haver marqveret, under No. 17, kalder de Jamicutsche Palches, Veien til de dødis Riige. Naar nu een ligger for Døden og de siunes at alt Livs Haab er ude, giør de strax med sedvanlig Ceremonie, som bestaar udj at Jouge |: det er at siunge en Sathans Sang, fuld af besværelser og Formaninger om hans naadige Nærværelse ved dette deris gudelig forehavende, med visse Ord nogle slag paa Runnebommen; gaaer da Messing-Ringen hen til Jamicutsche Palches, til Dødningernes Vei, da er det et vist Teign at den siuge skal døe, hvor paa de lover da strax Offer til Jami |: de døde eller den døde, som de da paakalder :| ogsaa hænder det sig undertiden, naar de da slaar paa nyt paa Bommen, at Ringen gaaer tilbage til No. 22, som er det Sted paa Bommen der beteigner deris Finne-Hytter, hvor ved de forsikkris at den siuge ved offeret er bleven befriet fra Døden og skal endnu leve een tiid lang og beboe sine Hytter, men gaaer Ringen liige ud udj Jamicutsche, de dødis Riige, saa hielper hverken Løn eller Bøn, med den siuge maae døe, om hand end lovede alle sine Reins-Diur og var god for at kiøbe der til alle de Stiuricher, Hester, som kunde overkommis at offre oven i Kiøbet tillige med Reins-Diurene, thj man skal viide, at de meener, at udj en Hestis Offring til de døde er der sønderlig Krafft til Befrielse fra Døden.

    En besynderlig Passage maa jeg her indføre, som for 5 Aars Tiid siden er passeret udj denne Kald i Ranens Præstegjeld paa Helgeland, hvilken den Find som det er passeret med og heder Johannes, som og nu tiener udj mit Præstegield paa een Gaard ved Nafn Finne, tillige med andre Finner og deris Koner i min Præsence bekiendte for Hr. Lector von Westen her i mit Huus in Januari indeværende Aar 1723. Ofven bemelte Fin Johannes, som nu er 25 Aar gammel, var, da han for 5 Aar siden falt udj en saa hefftig Sott eller hidsig Feber, at ingen troede ham til Livet, da udj sit 20de Aar; hand Fader nafnlig Andreas Sivertsen, som havde ikkun denne eeniste Søn, gremmede sig u-sigelig over denne Sønnens Siugdom og visse forventede Død, og brugte vel lenge alle de ham bekiendte Hielpe-Midler og smaae Runnerier, men altsammen forgievis, omsider beslutter hand at tage sin Tilflugt til Runnebommen; Nu var hand vel self en stor Noyde og troe befunden Tiener af Sathan, men efferdj dette var en Sag som angik ham selv saa meget nær, i det at det var hans eegen kiødelige Søn, kunde dette effter hand diaboliske Troes Articler ikke lade sig giøre, at hand self skulle bespørge sig hos Runnebommen, derfore kaldede hand sin afdøde Huustruis Broder, som boede strax hos ham og udj ingen maade efftergav ham udj denne ædle Science, hvilken han selv besad |: dette maa observeris her jos, at saadan Running maa endelig skee ved den siuges nermeste Slegt, hvor af mand seer at der er ingen Finne-Familie udj hvilken Satan jo haver udvalt og ordineret sig nogle, i det mindste 3 eller 4re Noyder og Propheter, der skal observere hans ifrige Dyrkelse :| og lod saa ved samme siin Svoger, effter at de ovenbemeldte Ceremonier var afgiorte, legge Messing-Ringen paa Runnebommen og med Hammeren slaae derpaa; men hvad skeer! Ringen gik strax hen til Jamicutsche palches, det er, til Dødningernes Vey, som er over Dødningernis Riige, hvor paa der bled ikke een liden Consternation hos Faderen, helst da hand saae at ringen ved alle de hefftige Slag paa Runnebommen, som fremdeelis tillige med adskillige Besværelser skeede, ikke ville fløtte sig af sit første indtagne Stæd, mens der blev der paa, lige som fastlimet, u-rørlig staaendis, intil hand, effter sin Svogers Raad, lofvede til de Døde een Hun-Rein, da fløttede endelig Ringen sig ved nye Slag paa Runnebommen, gik dog ikke lengere der ifra end ud paa Rist-palches, de Christnes Vey, hvor fore Svogeren slog paa nytt igien, men Ringen gik igien til Dødningernis Vey, og da lofvede Faderen nok et Reins-Diur, som var een Oxe til Mubenaimo |: det er Sathan self :| om hans Søn maatte leve,og der paa fløttede Ringen sig igien af Dødningeernis Vey ud til de Christnis Vey, og ville endnu ikke gaae hen til No. 22, som er deris Finne-Hytters Sted på Bommen; Endelig slog Svogeren med mange Besværelser, dend 3die gang, da Ringen endnu som tilforne gik til Dødningernis Vey, og blev der staaendis, indtil Faderen endnu, foruden de 2de lovede Reinsdiur, lovede een Sturich, en Hest, til Wollinere Noyde, paa det hand skulle runne saaledis, at Ringen effter de Dødis Befalning kunde gaa hen til No. 22 Finne-Hytten, hvor ved hand maatte forsikkris, at hans Søn skulle leve, men dend gang var mindre Bønhørelse end tilforne; thi Ringen blev ved alle Slag fast staaendis paa Dødningernis Vey, saa at Faderen saae intet andet end den visse Død for sin Søn.

    Svogeren som havde forrettet denne gudelige Gierning, blev ogsaa gandske confunderet der ved og kunde ikke finde sig der udj at Ringen var u-lydigere og Sathan u-naadigere nu, da der var lofvet saa meget, end tilforne, de der ikkun blev lofvet lidet, omsider griber hand dette Raad an: hand gaaer need til Strandbredden og tog der een Steen som var langagtig hvilken maade saa velsom den der brugis ved een øxe som de besværer, er langt høyere æstimeret iblant dem, end den forespørsel som skeer ved Runnebommen, thj den kand ikkun ved de allerlærdeste Mænd, iblant dem der haver største Aand, jeg meener Dievels Aand, practiceris, samme Steen indviede hand først med mange Besværelser og Jougen eller Siungen, dernest hengte hand den udj et Hosebaand mit udj Taget af Finne-Hytten, og lod den der henge, indtil den der hang gandske stille, giorde saa sin Bøn paa sit Ansigt til den, og gik der paa til den og spurte Mubenaimo, det er Satan, hvor det kom sig, at Ringen ikke ville gaae fra Dødningernis Vey, da der dog var lovet hannem, de døde og Wollinere Noyde saa herligt og stort et Offer? Hvor paa hand af Steenen fik dette lydelige Svar, at enten maatte det lovede strax i dette samme Moment hand nu sagde dette, giveis ham og de andre Guder, eller og maatte Drengen døe, med mindre der var et andet Menniskis Liv at givis hen i Steden. Dette var haarde Vilkaar den gamle Løgnere og Mordere frem satte; thj det var Faderen u-mueligt at kunde være saa præcis i sin Betaling som Sathan prætenderede, effterdj hand hafde hverken de lovede Reinsdiur eller Hesten ved Haanden, og naar det ikke skeede, hvor vilde hand vel da efter Sathans anden Condition finde et Menniske, der skulde finde Plaisir udj at fornøye ham ved sit Livs opoffring for hans siuge Søns Livs Erholdelse? Her var ingen anden Raad, vilde Faderen have Sønnen levendes, da maatte hand selv døe, hvilket hand ogsaa glædelig resolverede, og saa snart denne Resolution var tagen, ved hvilken hand sandelig beviiste een større Kierlighed for sin Søn end for sin Siæl, slog Svogeren paa nytt igien paa Runnebommen, hvor Ringen endnu stoed paa sit forrige Sted, hvor fra den da strax afgik til No. 22 til Finne-Hytterne at beteigne den siuges Liv, hvor paa Sønnen blev da strax til Forbedring; og Faderen, i det samme Moment, dødsiug, og er det allerunderligste udj altsammen, at Sønnen om Efftermiddagen den anden Dag dereffter blef fuldkommen Restitueret, i det samme Øjeblik da Faderen ved en u-lyksalig Død overleverede sin u-lyksalige Siæl til Diefvelen. Den Taknemmelighed Sønnen, der ved Faderens Død var frelst self fra Døden, beviiste ham derfor var denne: at, effter Faderens Begiering i sit yderste, offrede hand en Oxe-Rein til hans Faders Siæl, som da, effter hans Tanke allereede var bleven til een Gud, at hand med den desto commodere kunde reise omkring udj de dødis Riige hvor hand vilde. Det er den barmhiertige naadige Gud at takke, som saa naadelig seer til denne Søn, hand er nu under Information og oplærelse hos sin Hosbonde, een vel opliust Bonde, og bliver som tieste af mig examineret. Jeg haver ved sidste Examen befundet ham i den Tilstand, at jeg vel har Aarsage at takke Gud, der med en allmægtig Haand have udrevet ham af Sathans Snarer; Gud styre ham fremdeelis i det gode for Jesu Christi Skyld, Amen.

  18. Er en Gudinde, som de kalder Juchsacha, den samme Lucina Marium, fordj hun skal give Finnernis Koner lykke til at føde Drenge-Børn. Om hende haver de den Tanke, at omendskiønt en Kone skulle allereede være frugtsommelig med et Pige-Barn, saa kand hun dog, naar de runner krafftelig nok til hende, skabe det om til et Drenge-Barn, hvorfore de ogsaa afteigner hende med een Runne-bomme i den høyre Haand, og saasom hun er meget gammel, haver de tillagt hende en Staf at helde sig paa i den venstre Haand, hvilket de ogsaa giøre med de 2de andre Guder under No. 19 og 20. Mens hvad sig ellers belanger den Troe de har om denne Gudinde, at hun giver Lykke at føde Drenge-Børn, ja, at hun end ogsaa kand forvandle et Pige-Barn i Moders Liv til et Drenge-Barn, da er min Meening derom denne: Det er ikke alle tider en Fin forlanger Sønner, besynderlig naar hand haver nogle af det Kiøn tilforne, derfore ikke heller alle gang hand begierer Juchsacha hendis Assistence, mens naar det skeer at hand skal forlange en Søn, hvilket hand u-feilbarlig troer, da skeer effter Sathans Indskydelse, som da tilforne som een Subtil Aand haver erfaret, at det er een Søn Finnens Kone gaaer Frugtsommelig med, saa giør Finnen Forespørsel ved Runnebommen til Mubmenaimo, eller og ved en Steen |: som tilforne udj No. 17 er ommeldet :| om hvad det er hans Kone laver til Barsel med, hvorpaa hand svares af Sathan, som ved et nytt Offer vil dyrkis, at det er en Pige |: hvilken Løgn hverken er hans første, ikke heller bliver hans sidste :| derpaa lover Finnen offer til Juchsacha at hun skal forandre Fosteret til en Dreng, hvilket ikke kand være Sathan nogen stor Kunst at love, effterdj hand haver erfaret tilforne, at hun gaaer med et drenge-Barn, og naar hun da omsider føder Sønnen til Verden, faaer Sathan Offer og Taksigelse for det, som dog ikke er hans, men alleene Guds Gierning.

  19. Er den anden store Gudinde, som de kalder Saracha eller Saragacha, denne er den samme, som de Rommeris Juno Lucina, paa hende kalder de udj Barns Nød, at hun skal hielpe saa vel deris Koner, som Reins-Diur at føde og blive vel forløste, med hende holder de et stort Venskab og er u-sigelig bange for at giøre hende imod, som videre udj Relationen i sig self vil forekomme.

  20. Er den tredie store Gudinde, hvilken kaldis af dem Maderacha, det er den samme som Cybille vel Rhea Saturni uxor, som blev kaldet Magna Mater Deorum. Denne tilskrive de Krafft i Almindelighed med begge Kiøn, at kunde giøre baade qvinder og Diur frugtsommelig, og der om paakalder hende.

  21. Betyder et Fiske-Vand med Fisk udj, som de kalde Wata-ciadse, det staar paa Runnebommen paa det de der ved kand tilspørge Tonsie Gud, som er deris Søe-Gud, den samme som Neptunus, om de skal faa Løkke til Fiskerie paa den salte Søe eller Hav, og er udj fersk Vand, af hvilke der er mangfoldige i Fieldene hos dem, som vedlige holdis af Elver, at de da kand tilspørge Harchild Gud, som er Flod- eller fersk-vands Gud, uden tvifl den samme, som de gamle ægyptiers Omphi, om de skal faae Lykke til fersk Vands Fiskerie det Aar; kommer Ringen mit ind udj det 4re kandtede afteignede Fiske-Vand at staae, da er det godt Teign til Fiskerie, kommer den paa kandten der af, og er dog uden for, da er det Teign at af-Guden vil have Offer, om de skal faae noget; med kommer den gandske uden for, saa den ikke rører ved nogen Kandt, da faaer de slet intet i hvad de ogsaa lover eller offrer. En død Hund er gierne Offeret som i den fald givis.

  22. Er et Sted paa Runnebommen, som beteigner deris Telter, der kaldis Kuttu eller Kutti, hvilke afmalis ved den spidse Figur der er brendt neden til Enden, som staaer inde i Circulen, saa velsom og skal beteigne ved de 2de sammesteds staaende 4re kantede Figurer, deris Gammer, naar de dem bruger at boe udj, enten nu Finnen boer i en Telt, der er giort af Vadmel, udstragt paa mange Stenger, eller hand boer udj en Gamme, som er gravet neder i Jorden og betekt med Træ-Bark og Jord der er oven paa, saa har hand tvende Dørre paa denne sin Hytte, den eene kalder hand Ux, dend hører Mubenaimo Dievelen til, den anden kalder han Paasio, den hører Immel, vor Herre til, og mit inden udj Hytten er hans Fyr-sted, som er helliget dend Gudinde Saracha, om hvilken der er talt under No. 19, til ære; runden om det Fyr-Sted ligger hand med Kone og Børn om Natten og sofver, og Ilden brender der Natt og Dag, Paa det hand derfore ikke skal lide nogen Manqvement paa Veed, ikke heller have stor u-mage at hente sig den til, da flytter hand som tieste med siin Hytte, alt nermere og nermere ind i Skoven, ligesom hand hugger veed til, at hand alleene kand fælde Træet ved sin Dør, hugge det der i støkker og trekke det saa ind i Hytten. Aarsagen, hvorfore denne Figur staaer paa Runnebommen, er eendeel denne: at Finnen ved sin Running kand faae at viide naar hand skal fløtte sin Gamme eller Telt til et andet Field, og om hand kand faae bedre Mose-Have til siine Reinsdiur, end han haver paa dette nerverende; Skeer det, at Ringen bliver staaendis paa Telten eller Gammen, som inden i Circulen er afteignet, da skal hand blive der hand er endnu, og kand ikke faae bedre een anden steds, Mens kommer Ringen paa den lange Streeg, som er at see ved den anden Ende i Circulen, da skal hand fløtte sig til Forbedrelse, Eendel staaer denne Figur der, paa det, som tilforne udj No 17 om Jamicutschi er meldet, naar Ringen for nogen, der er død-siug, vil, effter at de har lofvet Offer, forlade Dødningernis Vey, den da kand gaae hen til denne Figur og beteigne den siuge Livet.

  23. Kaldis Leibolmay, Biørne-Manden, eller den af-Gud, Som er skikket baade til at holde Beskiermelse over Biørnen, som et helligt Creatur, saa og at give Finnerne Biørn naar hand derom tilspørgis og ombedis. Egentlig betyder hans Navn saa meget som Older-Manden; thi Leib er saa meget som Older-Træe, og olmay det er Mand; fordj at nu Biørnen holder sig al ordinair til Older-skov, for at æde det slags Græs, som der falder, besynderlig een slags, som kaldis Toort, paa Latin: Suncus, over hvilket altsammen den Leib-olmay er een Patron og Beskiøtter effter deris Meening, altsaa meener de ogsaa, at hand er en Beskiermer for Biørnen, som kand beskytte ham, naar de ikke tilforne haver søgt hielp for sig, saa de ikke alleene ikke skal faae ham, mens endog kand hielpe Biørnen til at rive dem i støkker, og som og tillige, naar de ved Runnebommen, førend de gaaer ut for at veide Biørnen, haver ansøgt ham, at hand skal unddrage Biørnen siin Beskiermelse, kand hielpe dem til at faa skudt Biørnen.

  24. Er biørnen selv eller Biri, som de kalder den, Jeg haver sagt tilforne No. 8, at Biri eller Biørnen holdes af Finnerne for et helligt Creatur, og omendskiønt de vel tillige holder alle de Creaturer af vilde og tamme Diur, som kand ædis af dem for hellige, saa nyder Biørnen dog blant alle en stor Præference, hvilken de ærer med det Navn Imels eller Guds Hund. Men i hvor hellig de end holder den, gider de dog igien fremfor all anden Mad æde hans Kiød og selge hans Skind, det første for at mætte og fylde Maven, det andet for at fylde Halsen og Pungen. Naar derfor een Find haver skudt een Biørn og kommer hiem til sin Hytte hvor hans Kone og Børn ere indenfor, da gaaer hand ikke strax ind udi Hytten, men tager en Older-Kiep, den stikker hand ind i Hytten ved Gulvet, saa hans Kone seer den, og naar hun seer den, griber hun strax dereffter, men hand drager til sig igien, hvilket saaledis endnu 2de gange igientagis, hvor paa Konen merker strax, at dend hellige Guds Hund |: Biørnen :| er fældet, og giør sig bereed at tage imod siin Mands Ankomst igiennem den Dør som kaldis Ux, hvor hand hengaaer, saa snart hand haver ved Kieppen tilkiende givet siin lykkelig Expedition og naar hand da træder ind igiennem bemelte Ux eller Dør paa Hytten, spruder hun strax hans gandske Ansigt over med tygget Older-bark af sin Mund, Er der og fleere i Selskab med ham, som undertiden hender, faaer de lige Salving av hende som Manden, hvilket altsammen skeer til en Forsoning for Manden og dem alle, at de har feldet den hellige Biri; Jeg havde nær glemt den omstendighed at Konen, saa snart Manden haver indstukket, som før er meldet, Older-Kieppen til hende, hvor af hun merker, at hand haver skudt Biørnen, begynder strax inden udi Hytten, og Manden uden for Hytten, at Jouge |: at synge :| med hvilken Jougen, Siungen, hand gaaer ind i Hytten, og bliver effter foreskrevne maade tillige med sit Selskab, salvet, continuerer dog sin Jougen indtil Enden, førend han afvasker siin Salvelse. Videre skal her om talis udj Relationen i sig selv.

Dette er nu saa vidt, som mig er bekiendt om Runnebommens betydning, hvilke de haver udj adskillige Formater, den eene ikke liig den anden, somme af dem ere store, somme smaae, somme ere giorte alleene med Caracterer, og somme med Billeder som denne, kommer dog alle overeens udj en Satans Dyrkelse, undtagen at nogen kand være effter større Correspondence med Dievelen, opfyldte med fleere Guder end andre; Merkeligt er dette: at undertiden vil Dievelen slet intet svare dennem ved Runnebommen, hvilket de seer naar Ringen enten ikke vil gaae af sit Sted fort, eller og naar den gaaer alt for fort og ikke vil standse ved noget vist Sted, og da er intet andet Raad, end de maae offre til Runnebommen selv et Reins-Diur eller et andet Creatur de kand falde paa, ligesom Sagen, om hvilken de vil spørge, kand være af Importance til eller ikke. Ligesaa, naar nogen vil indrette sig een nye Runnebomme, da maae der skee en Invitation af 3 eller 4 Noyder i det mindste, hvilke alle med et Reinsdiurs og een Sturichs Offring, med hvis Blod den bestenkis, og deris sædvanlige Jougen, den maa consecrere og indvie.

Notes on the translation

The author frequently uses the unusually capitalised compound word afGud. In texts where the word refers to effigies of the gods I translate it “idol”, but in this text it always refers to deities in the abstract, so “false god” would be more appropriate here. The simple term Gud is several times used in the same sense, so for readability reasons I choose to translate both “god” when they refer to members of the pantheon, but “deity” when the simple term is used in a broader sense, and capitalised as “God” in a case where it refers to a single but unspecified Sámi god.

Another much used term is runne, atypically spelled with a double ‘n’. As a verb, this generally means “to rune” i.e. “to work magic”, but here it has a narrower sense “to entreat by means of the Sámi drum”. I render this as “conjure”, and its gerund as “conjuration”. As the first element of compound words, it means “magic” or “magical”. The most frequent such compund is Runnebomme, literally “magic drum” for the Sámi drum. For readability reasons, I translate this simply as “drum”, making no distinction between the full word and the few occurences of the simple form Bomme, “drum”, as no difference in meaning between the two seems to be intended. Runnemand, literally “magic man” is used where parallels make it clear that a “noaidi” (spelled Noyde) is meant. To retain the stylistic distinction, and to maintain the connection to the verb, I translate this as “conjurer”.

Latin names are given their conventional English form and Latin and French words are translated if they are used for their meaning and not referred to for their form. Sámi words are left in their original haphazard orthography, except when they are used as Norwegian loan words where they are instead normalised as they would be if used as loan words in English.

To a large degree I have retained the original’s grammatical blunders, deeply nested subordinate clauses and repetitive style. However, I have rationalised punctuation and used idiomatic translations rather than literal ones where this was deemed to preserve the original’s intent better or equally well. Here and there I have supplied words necessary for the meaning but lacking in the original, these are placed in square brackets. The excessive use of emphasis is toned down.

  1. Is one of their foremost gods, called Hora Galles, the same as the old Norwegian pagans called Thor, about whom much can be read in the Norwegian chronicle. After him Thursday has its name, as it is still called by us Christians. He is also the same as was called Jupiter by the ancient Greeks as well as by the Romans who named the same day of the week after him, calling it Dies Jovis.

    This god, who stands with a sledgehammer in one hand and a cross-hammer in the other is especially worshipped by the Sámis when thunder strikes, so that he with one of the hammers will drive it back, so that it will not hurt them or their reindeer; likewise they invoke him when they wish to have thunder and lightning striking someone who they are angry with, so that he with the sledgehammer in his other hand shall send his thunder and lightning upon them. It is also this one who they believe shall give them fortune in battle, shooting and hunting, and protect them and their reindeer from the wolf and the bear; wherefore they eagerly still today keep the Thursday holy, and will not perform certain acts on that day.

    It is known that the common man, farmers and suchlike, still mark their doors on Christmas Eve with a cross, that they cross with knives over a jug of beer or a glass of brandy when they shall drink it, that they do not open the lid of a full butter box without making a cross over it with the knife. This they probably believe signifies the cross of Jesus, but nonetheless, the Sámis who in the same situation perform the same crossing have a different purpose for it; they mean by it the hammer of Thor which he holds in his hand. Thus the Sámis’ crossing denotes the hammer of Thor, which is shaped like a cross, and this shows that the crossing of the common man is nothing other than a remnant of old pagan times, when everybody marked their food and drink by the sign of Thor’s hammer, as can be seen in the history of king Hagen Adelsteen and in the Norwegian chronicle of Snorle Sturlesen.

  2. Is their second great god, second to Hora Galles or Thor or Jupiter, who they call Waralden olmay; that is The World’s Man, he is the same as Saturn. This god they paint on the drum with a curving line above the head with many tines on it, which shall signify fertility, of the earth an sea as well as of animals. Therefore they worship him, so that he shall give a good growth of grain in the land, and that they thereby get a good deal when buying grain, beer, brandy and everything made from grain. This they denote by the hoe he holds in his hand, with which the earth shall be hoed by Restmand (this is what they call Christ) when the seed is thrown in it. Likewise they call upon him, that he shall make the sea fertile, so that they catch much fish (this the Sea-Sámi especially do), that he shall make their reindeer fertile, so that they bear many calves, that he shall make fertile the moss in the mountains, which their reindeer eat, and they thereby may get much reindeer cheese, reindeer butter etc. In a word, everything that can grow or procreate they call upon Waralden Olmay or Saturn for.

  3. Is their 3rd great god, who is called Bieka Galles, the strong Wind Man; this is the same as Æolus, whom they paint with a shovel in his right hand with which he shovels the wind into his caves, when it has raged enough, and with a club in his left hand with which he shall drive the wind out when it shall blow. This god they worship both when they are in the mountains with their reindeer, so that he will calm the wind that harms the animals, and also when they are at sea fishing, and storm arises so that their life is in danger, they promise him a sacrifice on their altar. When they have a grievance against somebody, they demand wind from this false god, which they bind into 3 knots by their conjuration. When they untie the first, a passable wind arises; when they untie the second, the wind becomes so strong that a ship hardly without danger can sail with half foresail; but if they untie the third, then shipwreck is unavoidable.

  4. Is called Waralde Noyde, that is the conjurer or prophet of Heaven. This one is drawn with a drum in his left hand and with a hammer made after Thor’s hammer, with which to beat the drum, in the right hand. So as to better understand what this Waralde Noyde signifies, I find it necessary to provide this account: Not all Sámis have drums, or if they have inherited them, either after their parents or others (as they are inherited, and held to be more powerful the older they are), they neither know how to play them, nor will Satan deign to reply to others by it, than those who he after long and faithful service find suited to appoint as his noaidis and prophets among them, who are so many, unfortunately, that almost every third or fourth Sámi is a noaidi. Now, when a Sámi wants to ask his gods for advice and to gain knowledge of the future through the drum, then in case he isn’t himself a noaidi, he lets another noaidi use the hammer belonging to it, which is depicted under No. 1 on the back of the drawing accompanying this account, to beat the drum. According to this beating, the brass ring which he has placed on the drum moves to the place where Satan wants to have it, and thereby denotes his answer. When it arrives there, it settles so firmly that they cannot with all their skill or power bring it to another place, as they often wish when the ring arrives at an unfortunate place which denotes death or other misfortune; unless they promise sacrifice either to this god or that (which they have at the time chosen to seek aid from), as then it happens that the ring moves with further beating on the drum and moves to another more fortunate place.

    As the Sámis generally have divided the drum into two paths, which are separated by No. 9; one path designates Heaven, or more precisely, the seat of the highest gods, where Thor, Waralden Olmay and Bieka Galles and other things are; and the other designates Earth, where the lesser gods are. The latter path is further divided into the path or Palches of life, which designates earthly life, and Jamichusche Palches or the path of the dead, which leads to Jamichusche or the realm of the dead, and denotes death to them. Thus they hold the idea, that just as they have noaidis or prophets on Earth; through whom they ask either the highest or the lesser gods, or the dead, who are called Jami and consist of other deceased Sámis, who reign in the realm of the dead, as they believe that when a Sámi dies, he immediately becomes a deity who reigns over death and can protect his closest relatives from it when they sacrifice to him; then likewise both the higher and lesser gods and the dead in their realm have their noaidis by which they conjure with a drum, whether the prayers made to them are to be granted or not.

    From this it can be seen that this Waralde Noyde is the prophet or conjurer after whose conjuration in Heaven, or more correctly the seat of the highest deities, they receive the granting or rejection of their prayers on Earth. This Waralde Noyde is considered by them an archangel, created for this sole purpose.

  5. Is made like a tall tree with many branches, and is called Rutu. This is a Lieutenant of the three great gods Thor, Waralden Olmay and Bieka Galles; through him they believe those three gods accomplish all they wish both in Heaven and on Earth, when it after the mentioned conjuration by Waralde Noyde has been decided by them. This Rutu often manifests himself for the Sámis in blue clothes; it is thought that he is supposed to be the same as Mercury.

  6. Is a rooster which they sacrifice to their three highest false gods, which is likewise drawn on the drum.

  7. Which is called Særva Wæro or a female reindeer belonging to Heaven, is placed so that when they beat the drum to learn what sacrifice they shall give to their three great gods, the ring may move to one of its parts, which they abide by.

  8. Is the bear of Heaven, and is called Waralde Biri, that is the bear of Heaven. This bear they draw beside the gods in Heaven because they even hold every bear on Earth for a holy creature and call it God’s dog, whereas they call the wolf Satan’s dog, about which I intend to report further when I reach the 23rd and 24th sign.

  9. Is the line which separates Heaven from Earth, or the higher from the lesser gods’ sphere. By the upper line the sphere of Heaven ends, and by the lower Earth begins; the space between the lines signifies the air between Heaven and Earth.

  10. Is called Muba Ailiches, the Saturday Man.

  11. Is called Ailiches Olmay, the Sunday Man.

  12. Is called Gulman Ailiches, the Friday Man.

    These three are their subordinate deities or great angels, which they believe the three great heavenly gods have given them to consort with, so that they in all their affairs can be them at hand and carry their prayers to the aforementioned great gods, especially when they have the necessary counsel of the drum. For then they call upon a certain of these three Ailiches, namely the Saturday Man if the conjuration is to happen on Saturday, the Sunday Man if it is to happen on Sunday, and the Friday Man if it is to happen on Friday; that he shall convey the conjuration, that it may proceed fortunately, and to recommend their inquiry to a favourable answer from the three great gods. For this reason, they depict them with wings, as if they in haste may fly between Heaven and Earth.

  13. Is Paive or the Sun; which they, according to its course around the four quarters of the world, depict as a square turned upright on one corner, as well as standing on a foot that is hollow, to which there is a path from Earth signifying that just like their prayers on Earth go up this way to the Sun, all light, heat and fertility comes down this path to Earth when Waralden Olmay or Saturn allows it. In particular they worship the Sun either when they are out at sea, as the Sea Sámis are wont to, and the Sun is going down, and when they are far into the mountains alone, and it gets so dark that they cannot see to find their reindeer or their Kuttu (their tent). Then they fall to their knees and pray to the Sun for its light, and promise the Sun a sacrifice if it will aid them, which they invariably fulfil.

  14. Is called Rist Palches (the path of the Christians). On this they have drawn a church, houses, a cow and a billy-goat to signify that which is found by the Christians or settled people and farmers. By this path they inquire the drum with their hammer and brass ring about their trade and association with priests, citizens and farmers or others who are not Sámis.

  15. Is a horse, which they call Sturich. This is placed on the drum partly in order to inquire the drum what fortune they will have in the autumn in buying horses (because they eat and slaughter horses like other people do other animals, even with such an appetite that they are delighted that farmers and other people have not acquired the taste for this delicacy, as they believe it would not be so easy for the Sámi to acquire such a piece of food in the autumn, as they can now, when it is old and decrepit from a farmer for 1 Riksdaler, which is the normal price for one; sometimes they even can get the meat of a horse in exchange for taking its skin off, which the owner wishes to keep for his own use; this condition they assume with the greatest pleasure, especially the Sea Sámi who are unable to feed any reindeer). Partly this Sturich is placed on the drum as a sacrificial horse, which they promise when they anticipate that someone is about to die, so that Jami (the dead) shall help him recover, and remain alive. Therefore this horse is also on the path to the realm of the dead, which is called Jamicutsche palches, that is the path of the dead, which is to be more elaborately accounted for under No. 17.

  16. Is Wollinere Noyde the prophet of Hell or the grave, see above under No. 4 in the notice about Waralde Noyde. Such is it also with this who stands here outside the realm of the dead, and he shall with his hammer on the drum conjure of those who reign in the realm of the dead, whether they will answer the prayers and accept the promises that are made by the living for somebody who may be deathly ill, that he or they shall recover or not.

  17. Is Jamicutsche, the realm of the dead, where they believe the dead are and have the power to govern life and death for their living relatives and kinfolk. Here they have placed a church, houses and a Sámi Kuttu, and a thick line which shall signify the dead, whom they will invoke in deadly distress, to aid them. The space above the realm of the dead, between that and Rist Palches, which I also have marked under No. 17, they call Jamicutsche Palches, the path to the realm of the dead. When one now lies dying and all hope of life seems to be gone, they promptly perform the usual ceremony, which includes to yoik (that is to sing a Satan’s song, full of incantations and exhortations of his merciful presence at this their divine purpose, with certain words), [and] some strokes on the drum; if the brass ring then moves to Jamicutsche Palches, to the path of the dead, then it is a certain sign that the patient will die, whereupon they promptly promise a sacrifice to Jami (the dead individual or the dead individuals whom they are invoking). Then it sometimes happen, when they resume the beating of the drum, that the ring moves back to No. 22, which is the location on the drum that signifies their Sámi huts, by which they are ensured that the patient by the sacrifice has been liberated from death and shall yet live long and inhabit his huts, but if the ring moves all the way into Jamicutsche, the realm of the dead, then neither payment nor prayer will avail, but the patient must die, if he even promised all his reindeer and were able also to buy all the Stiuricher, horses, that could be managed so sacrifice alongside the reindeer; for one must know that they believe that in the sacrifice of a horse to the dead is a particular power for liberation from death.

  18. Is a goddess, who they call Juchsacha, the same [as] Lucina Marium, because she is supposed to give the Sámi’s women fortune in giving birth to male children. About her they have the conception, that if a woman should already be pregnant with a female child; she can, if they conjure intensely enough to her, transform it into a male child, for which reason they depict her with a drum in the right hand, and because she is very old, they have given her a staff to lean on in the left hand, which they also do with the two other gods under No. 19 and 20.

  19. Is the second great goddess, whom they call Saracha or Saragacha, this is the same as the Romans’ Juno Lucina. Her they invoke during childbirth, for her to aid their women as well as their reindeer to give birth and recover well. They hold her in great friendship and are inordinately afraid of defying her.

  20. Is the third great goddess, who is called by them Maderacha, that is the same as Cybille or Rhea wife of Saturn, who was called the great mother of gods. To her they ascribe power in general with both sexes, to make both women and animals pregnant, and invoke her for that.

  21. Signifies a lake with fish in it, which they call Wata-ciadse. It is placed on the drum so that they by it can ask the god Tonsie, who is their god of the sea, the same as Neptune, whether they will have fortune in fishery at the salt sea or ocean; and in fresh water lakes, of which there is an abundance in the mountains around them, which are maintained by rivers, that they can ask the god Harchild, who is the god of rivers or fresh water, doubtlessly the same, as the old Egyptians’ Omphi, if they will have fortune in freshwater fishery that year. If the ring stays put in the middle of the rectangularly drawn fishing lake, then it is a good sign for fishery; if it goes to the edge, though is outside, then it is a sign that the god wants a sacrifice, if they are to catch anything; but if it stays outside, so it does not touch any edge, they will not catch anything no matter what they promise or sacrifice. A dead dog is usually the sacrifice that is given in this case.

  22. Is a place on the drum representing their tents, kalled Kuttu or Kutti, which are painted by the pointed sign that is burned down to the end, which is placed inside the circle, as well as also, represented by the two rectangular signs in the same place, their huts, when they are used for living in. Whether the Sámi lives in a tent, which is made from cloth stretched out over many poles, or he lives in a hut, which is dug into the ground, and covered with tree-bark and earth on top of it, he has two doors on this his hut; one he calls Ux, this belongs to Mubenaimo the Devil, the other he calls Paasio, this belongs to Immel, our Lord. In the center of the hut is his fireplace, which is consecrated to the goddess Saracha, about whom is told under No. 19. Around this fireplace he lies sleeping at night with wife and children, and the fire burns there night and day. So that he for this shall not suffer any shortage of firewood, and neither find it inconvenient to fetch it, he often moves with his hut, further and further into the forest, as he chops wood, so that he simply can fell the tree by his door, chop it to pieces there and drag it into the hut. The reason why this sign is placed on the drum is partly this: that the Sámi by his conjuration may get to know when he shall move his hut or tent to another mountain, and whether he may get better moss-pasture for his reindeer than what he has on the current one. If it happens, that the ring remains on the tent or hut that is depicted inside the circle, then he shall stay where he is currently, and cannot find a better place elsewhere; but if the ring goes to the long line which is to be seen at the other end of the circle, then he shall move for his betterment. Partly, the sign is placed there, so that, as previously is told under No. 17 about Jamicutschi, when the ring for someone who is deathly ill, will, after they have promised a sacrifice, leave the path of the dead, it may move to this sign and signify life for the patient.

  23. Is called Leibolmay, the bear-man, or the god who is capable both to hold protection over the bear as a sacred animal, and also to give the Sámi bear when he is asked and prayed to. Literally his name means the alder-man, as leib is the same as alder-tree and olmay is man, because the bear usually keeps to alder-forests in order to eat the herbs that can be found there, especially a kind, which is called alpine sow-thistle, in Latin Suncus; over all of which Leib-olmay is a patron and protector according to their belief. Therefore they also believe that he is a defender of the bear who can protect him, when they have not beforehand sought themselves aid; so that they not only may get him, but may even help the bear to tear them asunder; and also when they, through the drum, before they go bear-hunting have entreated him, that he should withhold his protection from the bear, and help them shoot the bear.

  24. Is the bear itself or Biri as they call it. I have previously said [under] No. 8, that Biri or the bear is held by the Sámi as a sacred animal, and although they also hold all animals both wild and tame that can be eaten by them as sacred, the bear enjoys among all a great preference, which they honour with the name Imel’s or God’s dog. But as sacred as they hold it, they prefer before all other food to eat his meat and sell his pelt, the first to sate and fill the belly, the other to fill the throat and the purse. Therefore, when a Sámi have shot a bear and returns home to his hut where his wife and children are inside, then he does not immediately go into the hut, but takes an alder-rod; this he pokes into the hut down by the floor so that his wife sees it, and when she sees it she immediately reaches for it, but he pulls back again; this is repeated twice more. From this the wife immediately understands that the sacred God’s dog (the bear) is felled, and prepares to receive her husband’s arrival through the door that is called Ux, to which he goes as soon as he has signalled his fortunate expedition by the rod, and when he enters through the mentioned Ux or door of the hut, she immediately spits chewed alder-bark all over his face, and if there are others in his company, which sometimes happens, they receive the same salving from her as the husband; this all happens as atonement for the husband and them all, for having felled the sacred Biri. I had almost forgot the circumstance, that the wife, as soon as the man has inserted the alder-rod to her as mentioned, from which she understands that he has shot the bear, immediately begins inside the hut, and the man outside the hut, to yoik (to sing) during which yoiking, singing, he enters the hut, and gets salved as described along with his company, continuing his yoiking until the end, before he washes off his salving.

This is the extent of what is known to me about the meaning of the drum, which they have in several formats, one not like the other; some large, some small; some are made only with symbols, some with images like this. All are however alike in the worship of Satan, except that some may after greater correspondence with the Devil be filled with a greater number of gods than others. It is noteworthy that sometimes the Devil will not answer at all by the drum, which they notice when either the ring will not rapidly move away, or also when it moves too rapidly and does not stop at any specific place. Then there is no other recourse than to sacrifice to the drum itself a reindeer or another animal they can chance upon, just as the thing they want to inquire can be of importance or not. Likewise, when someone will make themselves a new drum, then an invitation must be made to 3 or 4 noaidis at least, all of whom with the sacrifice of a reindeer and a Sturich, the blood of which is sprinkled on it, and their usual yoiking, must consecrate and inaugurate it.

Trustworthiness of the record

The account doubtlessly contains a generally correct description of a real drum. The layout, the positions of the symbols and their interpretations are all largely consistent with other drums and other early interpretations. Unfortunately, there are still several points where the veracity of the text and the drawings is doubtful.

The first doubt regards the additional details on the B drawings not present in A₂; especially in the groups numbered 17 and 22. Here A₂ only has short strokes underneath the curved lines, whereas B has several distinct symbols corresponding to the textual description. As mentioned above, it is possible that this is due to either a renewed inspection of the drum which the text claims von Westen brought when visiting Nærøy, or the drawing made of it when Jon Lassen gave von Westen his interpretation of the drum, which is referred to in the diary fragment. However, the general dishonesty the author displays do raise the suspicion that the additional details are added to the drawing in order to better correspond to the account.

The second applies to all versions. Unlike on any surviving drum, the holy day men 10–12 are drawn with wings, and the text explicitly refers to this detail. As A₂ was drawn at a point where the drum was confiscated, it might have been intended not as an accurate representation of it, but rather as a key connecting the textual description in Sjur’s testimony to the symbols on the drum. Contemporary drawings have a strong tendency to represent symbols not as they appeared on the drum, but as more naïve drawings of what they were meant to represent. Hence, it is not out of the question that von Westen drew the figures with wings based on them being described as some kind of angels, whereas they in reality were more abstract on the drum itself. Randulf, who was no stranger to inventing details out of whole cloth, may easily have added the justification for the wings in the text based on nothing more than the drawing.

Something similar seems to be the case with the immediately preceding entry, that of the dividing line between the upper heavenly realm and the lower earthly one. Like the sun and its beams, this is drawn as a double stroke. The comment that the space between these two strokes placed above the Sun represents the air is unlikely to be correct or provided by the informants, and looks much more like the vapid speculation of an armchair researcher.

Other discrepancies with evidence from other sources could just as well reflect real regional or individual variation in the meaning ascribed to the drums by their creators and users. Among these are the identification of the tree-like sign 5 with Rutu which elsewhere is found as a horse or rider close to the representation to the realm of the dead like number 15 which is here called Sturich. Similarly, in the trio of goddesses numbered 18–20, it would be expected to find Uksakka rather than Maderakka as the third, even though the presence of the latter on the drum is not in itself unexpected.