Ellen Haarahiltunen

Ellen Haarahiltunen (born in 1940) is from Inari, northernmost Finland. Ever since her childhood, Haarahiltunen has done a variety of traditional handicrafts from both soft and hard materials. Haarahiltunen sews dresses and headdresses specific to the Inari Sámi. She has learned her craft both from home and from different courses in handicrafts.

Duodji is Haarahiltunen’s lifestyle. Preserving the traditions of handicrafts and crafting is a big part of the Inari Sámi identity. Haarahiltunen has passed on her knowledge of craftsmanship and craft tradition, duodji, to her children and relatives. Nowadays her passion is wool yarn, weaving on a loom and knitting.

Haarahiltunen’s works have been showcased in smaller exhibitions in Inari and elsewhere in Finland. She has also showcased her pieces in duodji exhibitions abroad. She makes handicrafts for her family’s use as well as to sell.

Photography: Veera Mietola.