Sámi musician Mari Boine, also known as Mari Boine Persen, was born in Kárásjohka (Norwegian: Karasjok) in 1956. She is one of very few well-known Sámi artists in and from Norway.

She made her record debut with the 1985 album Jaskatvuoða Manná ('After the Silence'). Her 1989 album Gula Gula was licensed to Peter Gabriel's world music label Real World, and this started gaining her international attention. She also played at Womad.

Boine's music has been described as a blend of styles - the traditional Sámi joik is present, as well as elements of jazz and rock, and traditional/folk music from different parts of the world.

Boine has also participated on other artists' records, amongst them several by Norwegian jazz musician Jan Garbarek. She participated in a 1991 project with two other artists (Ole Paus and Kari Bremnes) featuring new interpretations of old hymns, where Boine's interpretations all were in the Sámi language. She also participated in the wedding ceremony of the Norwegian crown prince in 2001, singing a hymn in her own language, with elements of joik interwoven, dressed in a traditional Sámi costume. This is quite remarkable, as historically, both the Sámi language and the joik have been looked upon as downright sinful and ungodly. Said Boine in a 1997 interview with Folk Roots:

I always wanted to sing, I always loved to sing. As a child I was singing all the time, and my parents were singing all the time, but not the traditional songs because they were very Christian; the Christian Sámis learnt from the missionaries and the priests that the traditional songs were from the Devil, so they didn't teach them to their children, but they were singing the Christian hymns all the time. So I think I got my musical education in this way. And of course the traditional songs were always under the hymns, because it doesn't just disappear, the traditional way of singing.

Inviting Boine to participate in the ceremony in this way was considered a major symbolic gesture towards the Sámi people from the Royal family.

In 2001 she was also one of the artists participating in a 'Bob Marley in Norwegian'-project that was put on hold (and the album withdrawn) because of copyright issues and some highly dubious translations/interpretations of Marley's songs (the latter does not apply to her contribution, though).

Boine is also well known for her strong political opinions, especially concerning the Sámi culture and the rights of the Sámi people. She turned down an offer to participate in the opening ceremony of the 1994 Winter Olympics at Lillehammer, not wanting to be the token Sámi person or the exotic decoration.

Discography - solo albums:
Gâvcci Jahkejuogu / Eight seasons - 2002
Oðða Hámis / Remixed - 2001
Bálvvoslatjna / Room of Worship - 1998
Eallin (live in Kassel and Trondheim) - 1996
Radiant Warmth (compilation of Eagle Brother and Unfolding, US release) - 1996
Leahkastin / Unfolding - 1994
Goaskinviellja / Eagle Brother - 1993
Gula Gula - 1989 (as Mari Boine Persen)
Jaskatvuoða Manná ('After the Silence') - 1985 (as Mari Boine Persen)

Main sources:
http://www.stud.ntnu.no/studorg/skurr/hjemmeside/3-1997/mariboine.html (in Norwegian!)

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