A Sea Sami cultural heritage site in Balsfjord

Elvebakken is situated in the magnificent scenery of Balsfjord. It is an intact and listed Sea Sami farm with a farmhouse, byre, workshop, summer byre and boathouse. The family lived a traditional Sea Sami life, with all the knowledge, adaptations and work that such a life entails. Elvebakken – Gáhttelas – means ‘that which is protected’, and the place was referred to as ‘here below the mountain’.
69,2174038 19,558266
Seljenesveien 1501, Nordkjosbotten , 9040

Nordkjosbotten, Troms og Finnmark

Owned by the National Trust of Norway since 2003.

From turf huts to houses. The earliest buildings on the farm were turf huts.The timber core of the farmhouse was bought at Leksvatn in 1918 and re-erected in 1922. Before this, the family initially lived with the grandparents at the neighbouring plot, and then the family of five lived in the old shed for a while.The farmhouse consists of two rooms and a loft sleeping area, with weatherboarding painted ochre. Other buildings on the farm include a cog-jointed long byre from the 1920s, also called the winter byre, a summer byre from 1912, two sheds, a springhouse where milk was kept cool in the stream, and a boathouse by the shore. Several of the buildings had been bought used, dismantled and moved to the farm to be re-erected there. Each season had its chores, and the family combined farming and fishing. Cows and sheep were kept on the farm. The father and son took part in the winter fisheries in Finnmark and Lofoten, and the green travel chest that went with them is still there. Before they left, bread and traditional lefse pancakes were baked, and they kept the food in the air-tight chest. They would leave the farm in March not to return until a couple of months later, in time for the spring farm work.

Inhabited until the turn of the millennium.The last person to live at Elvebakken was Peder Jeremias Hansen, who moved away in 2000. He and his sister Ingrid Hansen had lived there as pensioners, and he left the buildings and their contents to the National Trust of Norway.

Things to do in the area: The magnificent nature of Northern Norway attracts a great number of tourists during the summer and winter seasons alike. Northern Lights safari, mountain and ocean experiences, dog sledding, whale safari, culinary experiences and much, much more.Visitnorway.no

Source: Her under fjellet – report about life at Elvebakken, Balsfjord in the 20th century. Siri Johnsen. The National Trust of Norway, Troms branch. 2000.