A dream helped to find Tankavaara goldAslak Peltovuoma from Sompio’s Purnumukka village had a strange dream in the summer of 1934. An old geezer with a white beard asked: "Listen mate, d’you want to know where the gold is?"
Sompio’s gold rush started from Sauva-Aslak’s dream
Through the ages, powerful shamans and seers have lived in Lapland. Some kind of magical power might have been behind the discovery of Sompio’s gold, for the first gold was found in a dream. Reindeer herder Aleksanteri Peltovuoma otherwise known as, Sauva-Aslak dreamt about a man, who pointed at an exact spot in the land, where there would be gold. Aslak first sent his nephew to search for the gold, but he found nothing. Then Aslak went himself and found gold exactly where the man in his dream had shown him that it would be.
After the discovery, Sompio’s gold rush followed. One of the best known characters was O.V. Itkonen, who fled to Arkangel in Russia from Helsinki when the civil war broke out in 1918. Having survived the Russian revolution and gone through many adventures, Itkonen ended up as a gold digger in Tankavaara in the 1930s. The gold museum’s original hexagonal log hut ‘Mutterikämppä’ was built by him.
In Tankavaara there is still an active group of genuine gold prospectors. The man in Aslak’s dream had a bushy beard, which seems to be an identifying feature of Tankavaara’s gold prospectors! However, the group of gold prospectors is very diverse, as gold fever can hit the young or old, men or women. The most gratifying part of gold digging seems to come from spending time in Lappish nature. What could be more magical, than panning for gold under the rays of the midnight sun?
Under the guidance of experienced gold prospectors, you too can learn the secrets and skills of gold prospecting and panning at any time of year.