There are many stories related to how gold was discovered in Lapland. But one of the most interesting topics among these stories is discoveries in dreams. Here you can read a couple of (true) stories about gold and dreams.
The Richest spot in Ivalojoki
One of the first findings in Lappish gold history was made according to one man’s dream in the summer of 1870. Whether everything happened just like told later, does not matter after all. The only sure thing is that prospector Frans Björklund liked booze and he did find a very good auriferous spot. The story goes as follows:
Frans Björklund was third to claim gold prospecting permission from Oulu governor at the end of April 1870. He arrived at River Ivalojoki together with J. Ervast and his crew. At some point of early summer, others left drunk Björklund at Kultala saloon. The saloon keeper quite soon kicked the man out of the place as Frans had run out of money and was in lousy condition after drinking a lot. He staggered downstream for a while and then fell asleep on the riverbank. His sleep was restless, though. Partly it was due to the amount of alcohol he had drank but even more because of a weird dream that interrupted his sleep three times. Each time an old Lapp woman kicked him and told him to wake up and move, since one shouldn’t sleep on top of the gold. After waking up properly, Björklund walked back to Kultala and cashed a permission for a claim on that place by using his gilded pocket watch. Later, it turned out that he had found one of the richest gold spots in River Ivalojoki.
Björklund and his men got the hints of the richness of the claim already during the first summer, though the work started as late as mid-July and ended at the end of August. The amount of gold brought to officers was 840 grams. Next summer, 1871, was great: the result of the whole summer was 10,4 kg of gold! Summer 1872 was shiftier, but the gold haul was still almost 9,9 kg. After the season was over Frans left for Oulu where he usually lived in wintertime. Unfortunately, he did not see next summer as he died in Oulu in April 1973 due to overuse of booze. Thus, the profit and money he got from gold appeared to be his destiny in a tragic way.
Tankavaara Gold discovery
Another as well or even better-known story about gold finding according to a dream relates to Tankavaara. It has been told that a Sámi man, Aleksanteri “Aslak” Peltovuoma who lived in nearby Purnumukka village had a very realistic dream one late summer night. The dream led him to the gold-bearing area of Tankavaara.
In that dream, a very old, white-bearded man came near him and passed by. Aslak started to follow the old fellow and after walking for a while, the man turned around and asked Aslak: “Would you like to know where gold is?” Aslak said yes. The old man pointed out a spot near a creek telling Aslak that is the place with gold. After waking up Aslak thought that his dream had been so realistic and vivid that it was worth checking. Because of his crippled leg, Aslak asked couple of the young men in the village to check the place for him. The youngsters, however, returned without any gold.
Some of the villagers already started joking about Aslak’s seer abilities, but he did not care. He just noticed he had to check it again by himself despite the bad leg. The next morning, he packed his equipment and went to search the place he had seen in the dream. He was back by the same evening and others, naturally, were questioning where his gold was. Aslak did not want to hurry and told them it would be nice to have a cup of coffee and something salty first. So, they did. While talking and discussing, Aslak took a small box from his pocket and put it on the table and opened it. It contained some gold he had found in the place shown in his dream. The youngsters he had asked to check the place had just been on the wrong side of the creek. Tankavaara gold was found, and the jokers were now enthusiastic to know where the exact place was.