Jamtli´s permanent exhibitions focus on the cultural history of Jämtland, from the Ice Age to our own times. Outside the entrance to the main exhibitions, there is a hall dedicated to the Storsjö Lake Monster, a mythic creature of the region. Listen to exciting stories from people who claim to have seen the animal, and look at the devices designed to trap it!
Our temporary exhibitions present trends in arts and photography, and sheds new light on interesting historical themes. Guided tours of the temporary exhibitions can be combined with creative activities in Jamtli’s studio, led by the museum’s art teachers.
The Överhogdal Tapestries
These textiles are the crown jewels of Jamtli’s collections. They are a fascinating series of woven tapestries from the Viking Age. Each of the weaves is covered by figures of people, horses and wild animals, as well as legendary creatures. They hurry from right to left in rows, passing houses, churches and ships on their way.
The motives and symbols have been interpreted in many different ways over the years.
This exhibition is built around nine wooden figures, each embodying a specific theme – for instance food, trade, jewellery, hunting and religion. In the heart of the exhibition, you will find the magnificent Överhogdal tapestries. They are the oldest of their kind in Europe, and despite almost one hundred years of investigations, many questions remain: How come they have been preserved so well? Where were they made? Where have they been used, and for what purpose? What does the imagery tell us? Before you see the original tapestries, you can enjoy an exiting slideshow about their history and the era when paganism and Christianity fought over the people’s hearts and minds.
Aajeh – A Sámi spring
The culture of the Sámi people is like water flowing from a spring – always present, yet on its way. Follow the tracks of the reindeer herd through the four seasons. See beautiful clothes and artefacts, and learn how every part of the reindeer had its’ particular purpose in Sámi culture. Have a seat in the turf hut and listen to a story of Sámi life (in Swedish and Sámi only) or a “joik”, the traditional Sámi song. Take a walk under the star-lit sky and enjoy a slideshow of Nils Thomasson´s photographic documentation of Sámi life in the early twentieth century.
9000 years ago, the glaciers melted away in this region. Shortly thereafter, the first humans arrived, following the game into the new country. During the following 7000 years, people lived as hunter-gatherers, moving around in small groups according to the changing seasons and the migrations of the animals. The exhibition shows what a settlement could have looked like, what people ate, and how they adapted to life with tools and weapons. Perspectives on time and change may be challenged, as these archaeological finds are exhibited side by side with tools still used by different peoples around the world today.
We Built the Country
This is a series of exhibitions focusing on the life of the people who settled and cultivated Jämtland-Härjedalen in the centuries before the industrial revolution. The man and the woman had different responsibilities, and it was absolutely necessary to be a couple to manage a farm. They are shown amidst their daily chores, and the variety of skills and knowledge they needed to survive in the often harsh conditions is impressing. The farmers of Jämtland were also tradesmen. In wintertime, they travelled all the way to Levanger in Norway to the west and Stockholm to the south-east to buy and sell goods on the markets.
Bliss and Bounty
This exhibition focuses on the prosperous century from 1750 to 1850. People met and fell in love in those days too, and the need for celebration was just as great as it is today. The point of departure is a wedding party, and the most beautiful items from the museum’s huge collection of dress, textiles, drinking-vessels and furniture are on show. In the folk music and language room, folk dance and music is presented in a suggestive slideshow. There is also a collection of 900 different recordings of folk music, Sámi joik, fiddler’s tunes and shepherd songs. For visitors with a special interest in language, it’s possible to have a few lessons in jamska, the dialect of Jämtland.
A walk through Jämtland’s dark ages…
In the last room of Bliss and Bounty, there is a corridor to the left. Follow it, and you will literally walk back in time, through a troubled and bloody era in the history of Jämtland. For centuries, Sweden and Denmark-Norway fought to control the territory, and the inhabitants of Jämtland paid a high price, time and time again. Further on, you will find medieval church art and the story of the cult of Olav and other saints. If you prefer to have history told chronologically, it is recommended to enter this exhibition through the stairs in the “Arnljot” room in the Viking exhibition.
On the second floor, you will find the museum’s arts exhibition, displaying works of the region’s foremost artists.
This part of the museum is also frequently used for temporary exhibitions. This means that works by regional artists will not be on show at all times.
The Great Lake Monster
Does it really exist? In spite of more than 200 observations over the years, no solid evidence has been found to prove that the Great Lake Monster exists. Nor that it doesn’t…
Records from as early as the 17th century tells us about the existence of a great monster or creature in the lake. The painting above shows how the artist Harald Millgård experienced his encounter with the monster in 1935.