The Sami people, the natives of the North

The Sami people (also known as Lap, Lapp, or Laplanders) are the Nordic countries’ only officially indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi. Non-Sami and many regional maps have often called this same region Lapland, but this term can be either misleading, offensive, or both. Among the Sami people, Sápmi is strictly used and acceptable. Sápmi is located in Northern Europe, including parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The Sami people celebrate their National day on the 6th of February.


Photo Nomad Sami late 1800eds Northern Sweden Norway © Saamiblog

Traditionally, the Sami lived of coastal fishing, fur trapping and sheep and reindeer herding. The Sami’s rich culture and heritage regards to language, traditional clothing, food, handcraft and music are distinctively different from other ethnic groups in Scandinavia, their language and culture being endangered, but still the Sami people have only fairly recently been acknowledged as the indigenous people of the Nordic countries, with official rights to protect their heritage.




Sami children: 1) Girl from Kirkenes, Norway, 1930’s. 2) Nomad children from Gällivare, Sweden. 3) Immigrant Sami children at Ellis Island, likely from Sweden. Digital ID: 418037. Photo: Sherman, Augustus F. [ca. 1906-1914]. Source: William Williams papers / Photographs of immigrants. Repository: The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division. 4) Photo: Marcus Selmer, Sami boy from Vadsø, Norway in 1857-1870. NMFF.001370-11. Flickr Photo by Preus Museum, 2004.© Saamiblog

6 Comments

  1. Everything in this article is so interesting. I’ve been always fascinated by Northern Europe and this made my day.
    I love the traditional clothes and I am missing Finland now. Such a beautiful places, Northern Europe countries are!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Momographica

  2. In 2008 we had a long weekend in Helsinki and we went to the History Museum, it was amazing to see old pictures and footages of how they coped with tough conditions. Thanks for the post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *