Pello is located in the western part of the Lapland province in Tornionlaakso. The Northern Arctic Circle passes through the southern part of the municipality, at the village of Juokseng. Tornionlaakso’s culture has been given its own color by its location in the territory of two states. The part on the Finnish side is the central area of ​​the municipality of Pello, the part on the Swedish side belongs to the municipality of Övertorneå. It is very common that even a Spouse is sought from a neighbor, i.e. from Sweden.

At the end of the Continuation War and during the War in Lapland, the inhabitants of Pello had to evacuate to the Swedish side. The German army burned almost the entire construction stock of the municipality when retreating, which happened elsewhere Lapland as well, considering the entire construction stock of Lapland. After the wars, at the time of construction and food rationing, ”joppa” flourished in Tornionjokilaakso. ”Joppa” means smuggling, in this case specifically from Sweden to Finland.

The villages are typically long and spacious riverside villages in Lapland. Only a small part of Lapland can be classified as an agglomeration. Dispersion of settlement over large areas and outside of built-up areas is a dominant feature in Lapland. Lapland’s municipalities are typically large in area and small in population. The settlement is spread over large areas and the distances are long.

Tornionjoki gives the Pello area its own look and, together with the nearby dangers, forms a unique natural environment. Tornionjoki is Europe’s longest free-flowing river, and a very prestigious salmon river. The river also has great historical significance in the culture of Tornionlaakso as a whole. The locals call the river Väylä, because it was used as the main passage in the old days.

When you think about images of Lapland, Sámi and things related to it quickly come to mind. The topic is multifaceted and big. Geographically, Pello as an area does not belong to the Sámi region or the Forest Sámi region, but of course Sámi people live all over Finland. If you want to learn more about Sámi issues, we recommend the following links: 

Pello is part of the reindeer herding area of ​​Northern Finland. In Pello and its neighboring municipality Ylitornio, you can visit the reindeer at several locations. Reindeer is the provincial animal of Lapland. Reindeer is a semi-domesticated animal, which in its way of life and structure is similar to its base form of fell deer. Hundreds of years ago, deer hunters roamed in large areas according to the seasons, in the winter to the lichens of the shores of the Arctic Ocean and in the summer to the summer pastures of Northern Lapland, among other things. The number and density of reindeer remained low when natural factors, such as large predators and parasites, taxed the reindeer population. Reindeer management and established national borders made the reindeer population numerically larger. Laplanders have dozens, even hundreds of different names for reindeer, which describe e.g. gender, age, color, condition and character of the reindeer.

Lapland is full of contrasts and unique natural phenomena: kamos, northern lights, midnight sun and autumn. In Lapland, instead of four years, the annual cycle is divided into eight different periods. The model for eight seasons comes directly from the northern nature. The old people lived in nature and from nature. You can view Pello’s natural attractions from the following link: 

In Lapland, people’s way of life is connected by a certain state of mind: things are busy and a lot is done, but you don’t really feel the rush (at the time of the tourist season, that may not apply to everyone, though). Lapland has a can-do attitude. Something new is always being developed here. Life in the arctic north requires a unique attitude, creative madness and an excellent sense of humor. There is enough room to breathe in Lapland and Lapland has an empowering effect. One can well ask, is Lapland a state of mind or is it geography?

 Finland’s population is concentrated in southern Finland, and things are often viewed from there. Sometimes we forget how long our country really is and the different starting points that result from that. One can also well So ask, are we in Lapland far from everything or in fact the opposite, in the middle of everything? Imaginations and reality always compare when talking about Lapland.

Summer Event “Tree of Life” in Lapland

Four Wind’s -summer event at Oravanpesä, Pello, in Lapland, 26th-30th July 2023.
Now is time to open your calendar, summer is more faster here than you can even believe. This year theme is “Tree of Life”, journey from the roots up to the tip of the tree leaves; downer world, middle world, upper world. We are going respectfully to the land of the indigenous sami people, and we are going to respect sami people’s culture and traditions. You can find more about event program here.
Greetings, Four Winds chairman Gitta Olenius

How do things begin?

Interview with Charles Lawrence

After having an interview with Teemu Kassila about the early days of Four winds, some questions rose and Charles Lawrence is the one you can ask. As many of you know, Charles has been part of our community for decades and we appreciate him as our elder.

Charles came to Finland as a companion to Grandmother Carolyn on their way to Soviet Union as a part of Grandmothers for Peace tour in 1989. Bypass was in Helsinki and Charles started to get to know people active here at that time like Johannes Setälä, Teemu Kassila and others.

But what comes to Charles’ path in spirituality, that all started way back. Charles says that he was recognized by elders as chosen one at the time when he started to awaken from the cultural conditioning and everyday circles of business, working life etc.

Charles has very special bond to Hopi elder Grandmother Carolyn and he was guided by other elder by vision to get to meet her in Hotevilla, Arizona. Many of you, members to Four Winds, have heard Charles’ story about this. Roads in the desert of Arizona were at that time dirt roads and had no road signs. In those parts, during winter, you might get heavy snow fall and as Charles was driving he got into snowstorm. He drove without knowing the way and made turns intuitively. Finally he got somewhere and saw a person out there in the snow. He got out of his car and asked this person, described as “little bundle of blankets out by a woodpile” (who was chopping firewood) if she knew way to Grandmother Carolyn Tawangyama. Reply was short:“What do you want her for?” Charles replied “I was told to come to meet her.” Grandmother replied:“Well, you are looking at her!”and gave Charles the axe! This is how they met and Charles started to help her carrying the firewood and later on teachings. Charles was adopted by Grandmother Carolyn to her legal son. Part of Grandmother Carolyn’s path was to give Hopi prophecy forward to (House of Mica) U.N. Charles also had part in this process. These prophecies are described in the Prophecy rock, sacred to Hopi.

Hopi Elders, Thomas, Titus, Carolyn and others taught Charles the Hopi way. Teachings were sometimes very practical – about the planting of the seeds and making the harvest in the Autumn of corn, squash and beans. Also Charles attended rituals and prayers in Kiwa and took part in dances and catherings. “Hopi take it about 30 years to look at you, after 30 years I was “baptized” to Hopi”, Charles tells. Also part of Charles’training of becoming a teacher himself and an elder has included gatherings and working together with many elders like Wallace Black Elk from the Lakota tribe.

In the path of spirituality one might experience strong things and events impossible to explain. One of these experiences to Charles is the time when the Creator God of Hopi, Massau, appeared to him at Grandmother’s house. This sight lasted for many hours.

Later on in Finland Charles has got to know with Markku Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui, Tuomas Rounakari and many, many others on their own paths.

To Charles Four Winds is a family and for us he is our Grandpa. With long talk to Charles what is most interesting is the way spirits work with us. It is surprising how people get to know each other and how our destinies or futures are woven together in many ways. From native perspective it is Iktome, who weaves the web of life and the knots to make connections that we experience.

Written by Sisko Pajari

North Wind Summer Event in Sammatti

Four Winds summer event in Lapland have changed location from north to south. New event name will be North Wind. North is still part of the event theme.
Four Winds North Wind -summer event will be organized at New Fire Center on 29th to 31st of July. (Haukantie 471, 09220 Sammatti, Finland)

Now is possible to buy tickets to Four Winds “North Wind” summer event. Check out tickets and detailed program information. There will be special Lakota sweat lodge ceremony from Black Elk tradition!
You are warmly welcomed! 🌿

Change of Plans

Summer camp Dances With Winds has been postponed to 2021.

Instead there will be a mini camp “Back to the Roots” in Rausjärvi, Lohja 21.7.- 23.7. 2020. More info will be updated on the page linked above.

Concert Memories

One is Our Earth – Four Winds Concert in Malmisali, Helsinki on 10th May 2019 was one of the kind, and surely left its mark to everyone participating.

previous arrow
next arrow
The production crew likes to thank all the wonderful Artists, the audience, technical staff at Malmitalo – Sauli Närhi, lights and Antti Vanhanen, sound – and all who assisted and supported in making the concert happen!
Thanks also to Lea Kömi for these great photos and Pekka Varis and Teemu Ajatus for video documenting.