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Sami – The Native Nordic People

posted on 12th April 2006 under Travel Norway

The last day of my trip to Tromsø I went to the museum and found an interesting exhibition and some information about the Sami people. I captured it with my mobile phone and gladly share this special part of the native Norwegian population:

The Sami are traditionally hunters and fishermen that have long inhabited the northern region of Scandinavia. For more than six month of the year the ground is covered by snow and the Sami thus have needed a means of transportation that can be used in the winter time. Does anybody doubt that the original Santa comes from Norway and still uses reindeer to bring the Christmas presents all over the world?

Skis have been used since prehistoric times (Norwegians are born with skis on their feet, remember!). The Sami have always used skis and the first Norwegians called them the ‘Ski Finns’. The nickname appears already in the early 6 century in the writing of a Greek historian.

The first tame reindeer were probably used as decoys and pack animals during reindeer hunting. The north Norwegian landowner Ottar, writes that at the end of the 9 century decoy-reindeer were highly prized by the Sami. One can only assume that as reindeer herding developed, individual animals became more and more important in their daily work. During the winter they were used to pull sleighs and during the summer as pack animals. One reindeer could pull up to 150 kg over 50-60 km a day. Today the “motorsleigh” – the snowscooter – has taken over most of the work (see me “driving” one in the article below!).

In the museum I also had the chance for a peek in their houses – ‘gamme’. Not much luxury, but still well furnished, practical and warm despite the arctic conditions. Here are some more information of the Sami from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sami Lavo (tent) – see the similarity to the American Indians?

So this is the end of my report from the trip to northern Norway and the Arctic. I want to thank every reader for visiting my blog and all you’re nice, interesting and thoughtful comments. If you like to read more, some of my resources has been Destination Tromsø. Some of you have said they wanted to go there. Please tell me in advance because I’ll gladly be you’re guide :-)
Now the Easter Holiday starts in Norway and I will keep you posted of course!

A norwegian Sami blogger have a great and very educative blogpost about the Sami. Go read yourself!

15 Responses to “Sami – The Native Nordic People”

  1. always been fascinated with indigenous people. even here we lots of them in various islands

  2. Lingard says:

    This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article. I will visit this blog for more content.

  3. Tony says:


    Im 13 years old and i just got a homework about the native people in norway (sami) and this looks so PERFECT.

    thanks you so much, im sure i will do great in my presentation with keywords :D

  4. Vanfossen says:

    Excellent site,Thanks for this great post – I will be sure to check out your blog more often.Just subscriped to your RSS feed..

  5. Sidney says:

    Maybe we will charter a plane from the Philippines and visit you !
    Count me in ( but only during Summer ;-)

  6. RennyBA says:

    @Cheh: Thanks for the nice comment – an example of why I love sharing my daily life with the world! Keep on dreaming – one day it might come true!

  7. cheH says:

    Oh deer!:)I just finished reading all your Arctic trip post series & enjoyed them all. I’m dreaming right now to actually experience the place as you did!

    renny,happy easter to you & to your family!!

  8. racky says:

    FROHE OSTERN (Happy Easter) renny! :)

  9. AL says:

    Hei Renny!
    Very nice and interesting series….

    Have a happy easter!!!!

  10. Ana says:

    We have a little museum around here that has some similar displays. It’s always interesting to me.

  11. aceian says:

    It seems like Tromso is a very cool place and the Samsi are very cool people! :)

  12. Chas Ravndal says:

    Sami people are quite interesting. Their langauge is actually similar to Finnish! Anyways, advance Happy Easter to you Renny!

  13. Talamasca says:

    Yeah, reindeers are freaking adorable. Hehe. Again, nice photos and thanks for sharing your experience. :-)

  14. thess says:

    Another interesting info, tnx Renny.

    There is something about reindeers that for me is endearing..I guess not only it’s ‘association’ with Santa, but most of all, this animal’s got such a tamed and friendly face! Like dogs but with horns :)


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