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What’s a luhkka?



The luhkka is a traditional article of winter clothing used by the Sami people. It’s a cape or poncho, which has been worn outside the winter fur-cout, and covering the top torso of a persons body. The hem coming down to the wearer’s elbow or wrist.

The Sami people is indigenous to the Artic region, and one of the coldest areas on the globe. Thousand of years of R&D have resulted in some of the world’s finest winter garments. The traditional luhkka is unparallelled as the outermost protection against fierce winter weather. Refined from generation to generation, the luhkka has become the optimum garment, providing protection against snow and cold, ensuring flexibility in both movement and fit combined with ideal breathability. Easy to put on when needed, and small enough to stow away in the backpack, when not needed.

The original luhkka

The winter luhkka was made in wadmal, and the summer luhkka in broadcloth. Wadmal gave excellent protection against cold, and the broadcloth did repell water and therefor protected against rain.

When driving your geres (sled) after the reindeer the luhkka protected the furcoat from getting wet from melting snow. In a geres you didn’t want a long luhkka, so it ended at the elbow. When skiing the luhkka protected against rime snow from the trees. For skiing you used a luhkka with longer back side, that could also protect your backpack.

Before the luhkka was…

Once upon a time, before the luhkka came in use there was čehporas. Čehporas was made of bear fur, and was poncho like, with just a hole for the head. Also smaller collars made of fur from bear cubs where used to protect from snow getting into the fur coat.

Luhkka in different languages

The word luhkka is not a trademark – it is a word in Sámi language. We would like to embrace the use of this beautitul word to the world, but also introduce some other beautiful Sámi synonyms.

lukkâ (Inari Sámi)
luhkka, njálfáhtta (North Sámi)
njálmmefáhta (Lule Sámi)
skopmehke (South Sámi)
Sámi poncho, luhkka (english)
luhkka, oväderskrage (swedish)
luhkka (norwegian)
лухкка (russian)

Other useful words

oaiveskuohppu – hood (north sámi)
čehporas –  poncho of bear fur (north sámi)