Govva/photo: VSM
Ceavccageađge/the Fish Oil Stone

The tall standing stone west of Mortensnes is called the Fish Oil Stone, Ceavccageađge in Sami. The stone is surrounded by 13 circles of smaller stones. Today these circles are concentric, meaning that they are lying inside of each other. But we know that Andreas Georg Nordvi, who was a trader and who lived at Mortensnes in the early 1800s, moved many of the stones in an attempt to restore what he thought were stone circles. It may be that this was actually a labyrinth, like the ones we find many places along the coast of Finnmark and on the Kola Peninsula of Russia.

The Fish Oil Stone itself was smeared with fish oil or the leftover product from the making of fish oil. This was an offering to provide good luck when fishing or as a thanks for a good catch. According to Nordvi such offerings to the Fish Oil Stone were still conducted in the latter part of the 1800s.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the Fish Oil Stone was erected, but it can not have been done before around the birth of Christ. Before that time the area was below sea level.

There are different opinions on who erected the Fish Oil Stone. Because it was not common in Sami tradition to erect such stone monuments, it has been presumed that so-called gothic residents or Norwegians must have erected it. Who actually put it up we can not be sure of, but the Fish Oil Stone has none the less been used as an offering stone for a very long time by the local Sami population. This is also proved by the material that Andreas Georg Nordvi found when he dug between the stone circles around the Fish Oil Stone: Here he found a large number of animal, fish and bird bones, along with charcoal under a double layer of flagstone slate.

An old legend from Enare in Finland about the Fish Oil Stone shows how the stone has been renowned among the Sami populations throughout Sápmi (the Sami areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia).

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