The Sami

Sápmi, The land of the Sami, extends the territory of four nations - the Northern parts of Norway (ca 40.000 - 45.000 Sami), Sweden (ca 20.000), Finland (5.000 - 6.000) and Russia (ca 2.000).

Sami family in Norway, around 1900.

The story of the Sami started around 10.000 years ago when their forefathers followed the melting inland ice and settled in small hunting communities of 20 to 30 persons. The culture of the Sami, with a common language, traditions and a social community, has its origin around 3000 years ago.

The subarctic climate and vastness of the landscape have continued to shape the culture of the Sami to this day - even though there are region dependant differences in the way of life (f.e. Sea Sami and Mountain Sami), they all share their closeness to nature.

Around 2,500 Sami in Sweden live of Reideer herding. The herds, totaling 230.000 - 280.000 animals, can go freely, the Sami follow them.

You can find more information about the Sami Culture at