Yoik or juoiggus is a traditional
Sami form of song
Originally, yoik is only one of several Sami singing styles, but in English the word is often used to refer to all types of traditional Sami singing. Its sound is comparable to the traditional chanting of some American Indian cultures.
Each yoik is meant to reflect a person or place. This does not mean that it is a song about the person or place, but that the yoiker is attepting to transfer "the essence" of that person or place into song. It usually has short, or no, lyrics. This type of song can be deeply personal or spiritual in nature. Improvisation is not unusual.
There are other forms of yoik (in the expanded sense of the word), that have a more epic type of lyrics.
In northern Sami areas, most yoiks are personal, that is tied to a specific person. It is often made for a person at the time they are born.
It has traditionally been sung a capella, sometimes accompanied by a drum. It is sometimes set to other instruments The tonality of yoik is mostly pentatonic, but yoikers are at liberty to use any tones they please.
In later years, several artists have combined yoik with newer genres. Mari Boine and Nils-Aslak Valkapaa are well-known modern Sami musicians using yoik in their work.
Other names • joik (Norwegian) • jojk (Swedish) • leu'dd (East Sami)• luohti (North Sami) • vuolle (South Sami)