INFORMATION ABOUT ARVIDSJAUR
Arvidsjaur Municipality is a Municipality in northern Sweden where the City Arvidsjaur is the seat of government. The town Arvidsjaur has 4,700 inhabitants. It is located of the Arctic circle, in the middle of the historical province called Swedish Lapland.
Arvidsjaur is located about 110 km south of the Arctic Circle, in the center of the northernmost district Swedish Lapland. It is also part of the geographic area Laplandia (Laponia), which consists of the northern parts of Sweden, Norway and Finland and is populated by Lapps, or as they are more commonly known, the Sami people. In Swedish Lapland they are a minority people who mainly live by herding reindeer. Arvidsjaur in Swedish Lapland till holds several Sami villages, and as a tribute to the Sami people a reindeer is the basis for the City Arms.
Arvidsjaur was for a long time only inhabited by the Sami people. They were back then a hunting people, living of the plenty of fish and wildlife in the area of Swedish Lapland. Archeological discoveries suggest that people have been moving through the area for several thousands years. The name Arvidsjaur itself comes from a Sami word – the word Arvidsjaur means generous water, and was originally the name of the adjecent lake.
In the 14th and 15th century, some farmers settled down in the area. They acquired furs and skins from the hunters, and traded them off to southern regions, allegedly in vast numbers. The Christianization of Arvidsjaur in was slow, as it was in S wedish Lapland as a whole, because of the low population, the harsh climate and the large distances. It was also commonly believed that Swedish Lapland was inhabited by magicians.
Not until 1577 did the first settler, Per Käck, settle in Arvidsjaur. The settlers built the first chapel at the market place at the time, in 1560. The first church was inaugurated in 1604. The Swedish minister and missionary Petrus Laestadius (1802-1841; brother of Lars Levi Laestadius, founder of largest Christian revival movement in Norrland) collected old stories and myths in the area in the 19th century which create the basis for our knowledge from that time.