Since my visit to the Arctic Circle last year I was travelling with my Kuksa as loyal companion. I had many a cup of coffee or tea next to the KLR, holding the Kuksa to warm my frozen hands from the Arctic cold.
On Stick’s Blog I read the following:
“As the tradition goes, a Kuksa should only be made by yourself or received as a gift.
Originally, a Kuksa (Finnish) or Guksi (Scandinavian) is a type of drinking cup made by the Sami people of Northern Scandinavia from carved birch burl. Originally Guksi were widely used in the Arctic areas as a personal drinking cup and it is said that a well made Guksi would last a lifetime.”
Today, a traditional guksi is difficult to find outside northern Scandinavia, partly because burls are seldom harvested in modern mechanized forestry. The burl is contoured to a rough shape, carefully dried to prevent the wood from cracking, then formed in accordance with the local traditions.
Birch burl kuksas last longer than plain birch kuksas. A well-made guksi would last a lifetime
With the introduction of glass, ceramic and metal drinking ware, the skill of making such duodji artwork has become a pastime skill rather than the essential one as it was in the past.
Tomorrow, when you have your first cup of coffee of tea in bed I will do the same here. Enjoy!