Who are the Sami people?

The Sami People are indigenous people of Lapland. Sami’s culture, language, traditional clothing, handicraft and music are distinctively different from other ethnic groups in Scandinavia. Though few in numbers, Sami’s culture is a true gem of Northern Lapland. They are a Samoyed tribe, who once arrived from the East. Originally they had no racial or linguistic relationship to Finns, though over the years the two cultures have mixed with each other.

Reindeers are still fundamental to the Sami culture and society, even though nowadays a majority of the Sami population pursue other careers. However, most Samis have a family member or a relative who in some way are involved with in reindeer herding.

Sami culture is still distinctly visible in everyday’s life in Lapland. Today you can still hear someone speaking a Sami language in Lapland or wearing part of the traditional clothes or jewelry. The traditional Sami singing joiku can still be heard on many occasions. Even traffic signs in Lapland are duplicated in Sami.

More information on Sami can be found on the website of Siida – Sami Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre.

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