Jokkmokk

Home to the wonderful Sami market.

The name Jokkmokk is Sami for the words "river" and "bend", since the town is situated close to a bend in the nearby river. It is a wonderful small Swedish town to visit in any season.

The main reason for visiting Jokkmokk is the annual Winter Market that takes place the first long weekend of February. Jokkmokk's Market has a long history and is considered to have a four hundred-year unbroken tradition. Permanent marketplaces near the Sámi’s winter settlements were established by the Swedish crown at the beginning of the 17th century in all the Sámi Lappish territories on both sides of the Gulf of Bothnia. The purpose was to strengthen the state's control of the population in the north as well as to collect taxes, hold legal court and spread the Word of God. Planning a market in the Lappish territories during the coldest time of the year had several advantages. The Sámi were gathered in their winter settlements in the forest area with winter grazing for their reindeer and the frozen waterways constituted magnificent roads for the merchants, state officials and men of the church.