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Within the mountains (and other wilderness areas) of Västerbotten and Norrbotten in Sweden, there is a lot of cultural heritage, with Sami huts ("kåta") like Måskåsj-gammen or like this one between Sjisjka and Tjåurek:

Sami hut about 4 hours hiking west of Sjisjka
Sami hut between Sjisjka and Tjåurek, 18 June 2011. Photo by myself.

The January 1983 edition of the magazine Västerbotten describes the Ljusfjällskåtan as follows:

Vi kom att så att säga stöta samman direkt, fast utan att mötas, i byggnader som jag beskrev. Enoksson har byggt den största kåta jag sett (undantaget kyrkkåtor i Norrbotten), Ljusfjällskåtan, åt Vilhel­mina norra sameby (en s k kassakåta, efter same­ byns gemensamma kassa), vilken liksom hans egen stuga uppe i Remdalen var särdeles välbyggd. Den senare ägs nu av Gotthard Larsson i Grytsjö, som är ordförande i samebyn och en av dem jag intervju­ade.

Which means:

We came, one could say, to meet without actually meeting, in buildings that I described. Enoksson has built the largest sami hut I have seen (except church huts in Norrbotten), Ljusfjällskåtan, for Vilhelmina North sami village (a so-called kassakåta, after the villages shared kassa), which just like his own hut up in Remdalen was especially well built. The latter is now own by Gotthard Larsson in Grytsjö, the president of the sami village and one of the people I have interviewed.

This pagagraph is not very clear in describing what a kassakåta is or was. How would I recognise one, and what was its purpose? Google Search comes up only with two articles from this magazine (including the cited one), and otherwise results are completely irrelevant (as the word can also be translated as an adjective meaning something like “horny for getting rich quickly”).


Edit after return from hike:

The trail to Ljusfjällskåtan branches off from the trail between Ransarn and Vardofjäll, itself rarely used (judging from the guest book at Ljusliden, probably less than 20 hikers per year) but easy to find. Approximately midway between Ransarn and Vardofjäll, a very rarely used (probably less than 1 hiker per year) route branches off westward.

The trail is invisible for most of the way. It is marked by cairns, but the cairns are too far apart to be visible from one another, in particular in the forest, so cross-country navigation is essential to find it.

Trail to Ljusfjällskåtan
Trail approaching Ljusfjällskåtan from the east

Trail to Ljusfjällskåtan
Trail approaching Ljusfjällskåtan from the east

About 4 km from where it branches off the main trail, is Ljusfjällskåtan. I agree with the January 1983 article in Västerbotten, this is the largest goahti I have ever seen apart from the church buildings in Norrbotten. I don't know how frequently or rarely it is visited. Some vandals have scratched their name into the wall, but only twice. Both left a date: one from the 1950s, and one from the 1980s.

Ljusfjällskåtan
Ljusfjällskåtan

Ljusfjällskåtan
Ljusfjällskåtan

Remarkably, the outhouse was open and stocked with a full but completely yellow roll of toilet paper. We're all adults here, so I looked down into the hole and it was completely clean, with no visible or smellable sign it had ever been used.

A five minute walk away is the modern equivalent Renvaktarstuga (which means something like reindeer warden's cabin) that reindeer herders use:

Near Ljusfjällskåtan
Reindeer warden's hut near Ljusfjällskåtan

The route past Ljusfjällskåtan continues westward to ultimately connect with the (faint) trail between Remdalen and Åtnikstugan. Above the treeline it is occasionally visible as a trail.

Trail west of Ljusfjällskåtan
Trail west of Ljusfjållskåtan

Trail at Båvloe
Trail at Båvloe, west of Ljusfjällskåtan

More photos of the area available through Flickr.

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    I just now stumbled upon this answer. Does anyone know why the hut was built in that particular style? It looks like a sami hut / jurt and a modern shed had a baby... Which I guess is in essence what happened. But why? This looks cumbersome to build, why not go for one of the two styles? (First I thought of use as a stable / barn, but the door looks too small for that. Also there are likely no animals/vehicles around there that you would put inside.)
    – fgysin
    Jan 20, 2023 at 6:56

2 Answers 2

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I think a better translation would make the meaning obvious. "Kassa" here means "fund". ie a "kassakåta" is a hut funded by the village, not by an individual or a family.

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  • This does not seem to be a very common word. It is not in SAOB. But I don't think this interpretation is correct. These things are not "funded", they are just built. I believe the right translation is more like "village treasury", ie the place where the money (or whatever) is being kept.
    – Tomas By
    Oct 3, 2018 at 22:53
  • Well "funded" might be too big a word for a hut, true. Still the point is that it is a hut belonging to the sami village, not an individual or family. (I had never heard the expression before either)
    – Guran
    Oct 4, 2018 at 5:43
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You have actually quoted the right answer already. I missed it the first time I read your post.

same­[-]byns gemensamma kassa

This means

collective funds of the Sami village

(My translation, check google for a laugh).

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  • That would explain why it's locked, which goahtis rarely are. It's full of treasures ;-)
    – gerrit
    Oct 3, 2018 at 23:35
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    I didn't notice it was locked. You have quite a bit of not extremely relevant info in your question... Your other question: I don't think it is part of the meaning of "kassakåta" that they can be distinguished very easily from other "kåtor".
    – Tomas By
    Oct 3, 2018 at 23:39

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