Joiking (or “yoiking”) is a form of singing, sung by the Sami people from the nordic countries. Technically it’s related to yodeling and a joik is used to evoke or portray certain places, people or animals. Researchers believe it’s the oldest music tradition of Europe that’s still being carried on.
While being associated with pre-christian shamans and rituals this technique was considered sinful during the era of christianisation, which lead to a devolution of the tradition. But nevertheless, this tradition lives on because it’s so deeply rooted within the culture of the Sami, with a joik being especially made for a person when he or she is born.
To understand it better, they say that you “joik a person” and not “about a person”, which comes quite close to evoking and conjuring. And in the case above, the singer Jon Henrik Fjällgren joiks his late friend Daniel.
It’s not so much about the words, more about the feelings and the melody you can create by joiking, which I find an amazing way to bridge language gaps 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this little cultural trip and you all have a great day 🙂