Kvænangen is a commune in the Troms region, in the northern part of Norway. Its main village is Burfjord.
Until the beginning of the 16th century, these areas were inhabited only by primitive peoples – the Saami. In the 18th century they were joined by the Norwegians from the south and the Kvens from the east – people of Finnish origin. Although the latter constitute a minority, the name of the region comes from their name.
There are many traces of the past and archaeological finds in the area, especially those related to the Saami culture. On the island of Spildra there are some Saami ritual sites, as well as their graves dating back to the times of the Vikings and the early Middle Ages. There are also 6 bear graves from 40 discovered all over Norway. The Saami treated these powerful animals almost as their equal. Bears were sacred animals to them – they arouse admiration and respect. Their bones often played a part in rituals, so theuy were buried later. It happened that bears and people were buried together in one chest. The Saami chose for this purpose natural rock faults, which they covered with boulders. It seems that the ritual was performed from the Iron Age until the 19th century.