Tuesday

The Sami people (also Sámi or Saami), traditionally known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway.

 The Sami are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia recognized and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples, and are hence the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. Their traditional languages are the Sami languages and are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family.

Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Currently about 10% of the Sami are connected to reindeer herding, providing them with meat, fur, and transportation. 2,800 Sami people are actively involved in herding on a full-time basis. For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people in certain regions of the Nordic countries.

Since prehistoric times, the Sami people of Arctic Europe have lived and worked in an area that stretches over the northern parts of the regions now known as Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Russian Kola Peninsula. They have inhabited the northern arctic and sub-arctic regions of Fenno-Scandinavia and Russia for at least 5,000 years. The Sami are counted among the Arctic peoples and are members of circumpolar groups such as the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat.

Sami people in the late 1800 Sweden Norway. Pay attention to the boots. Samiske folk i Norge eller Sverige. Legg merke til støvlene, samiske komager dvs. biekso

A Sami man and child in Finnmark, Norway, circa 1900

A Sami family in Norway around 1900 

Sami people, in Norway, 1928 

Nordic Sami people, Lavvu circa.1900 

Sami Children and puppies in Jämtland Sweden

 Sami camp Finnmark early 1900's

 Northern Sweden Nomad Sami people about 1880

 Sami woman and child Enare Finland

  Nomad Sami Finland 1920s

 Nomad Saami Children late 1800eds Sweden 


Saami Girl from Finnmark Norway, Photo 1930's

 Swedish Sami mother and children from Jämtland early 1900


Sami woman from Sweden, 1870 - 1898

Responses to "Rare, old photos of indigenous Sami people showcase their ancient and traditional way of life"

  1. Fascinating

  2. Wow just wow

  3. Thank you for posting these photographs. I am impressed to learn more about
    these previously unknown indigenous people from Scandinavia.

  4. Sámi ganda says:

    We are still alive here! Without rights to our lands ofcourse.

  5. nanishome says:

    Published on Sep 26, 2015
    Extending the Link's eighth documentary highlights indigenous issues through the lens of the Sámi people. The Sámi are the last recognized indigenous group in Europe. They reside in their homeland, Sápmi, which is comprised of Northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, but they also have a diaspora in North America due to a small group of reindeer herders being paid to immigrate to Alaska during the time of the gold rush.

    This film focuses on the struggles the Sámi have faced both in their past as well as the in the modern world; highlighting language loss, land loss, cultural identity, and their relationship to indigenous people around the world. However, the Sámi have persevered, taken a stand against injustices, and continue fighting to claim their full rights as individuals and as an indigenous people. https://youtu.be/Qvqy7NgXgEA

  6. I am blown away, by my own ignorance and by the beauty of the Sami people.

  7. Colibri says:

    I spent a most magical year of my life living among the wonderful Saami in Finland 250 km above the Arctic Circle. An unforgettable experience tied to reindeers, nature, and the cycle of life. Thanks for the photos.

  8. Unknown says:

    Thank you for bringing the Saami to our attention. I was not aware of their existence or way of life. Another reminder, we all have so much to learn about each other.

  9. Jukka Selenius says:

    The pictures were very fine, to us Finns they are familiar but a little oldfashion. The clothes have not changed so much,but the festivity clothes are now a days very bright,blue and all the rainbow colors
    Here in Helsinki there lives about thousen city sami (in finnish saamelainen). The new times arrive also Lappland. The northern most area of Finland lappland , about 1300 km from Helsinki. The nomadi style having reindeer is not so usualany more , but they use skiidoos and even a helicopter to gain the reindeer herds to cut the reindeer calfs the owners marks.As the reindeer is half tame animal the have the calfs in nature the normal way. In summertime the reindeer are in low areas. If they happen to stand on the road they are as stubborn as a donkey, it is very difficult to push it away. When the mosquitos arrive the reindeer move to higher mountains where is much colder. A reinedeer is said to feel comfortable in -42 C degrees, In that temp they don´t sweat!

  10. gKely says:

    These images give us a meaningful link to an artic herders community not so different from the siberian reindeer ones, confirming cultural adaptation and/or coevolution within similar environments.

  11. gKely says:

    These images give us a meaningful link to an artic herders community not so different from the siberian reindeer ones, confirming cultural adaptation and/or coevolution within similar environments.

  12. Wow! Very similar to use, North American First Nations, except the herding

  13. The Sami singer-song writer Mari Boine is a renowned advocate of her people. She has made many albums, combining traditional yoik singing with modern style music. Search for her and listen to her songs (in Saami language or Norwegian / English) . She is the perfect ambassador for her people. To see her, look at this video:

    https://youtu.be/GXA2fiUM1_E?list=RDbdr1kKu-fBY

  14. Marco942 says:

    Fantastic images

  15. Ruth Bech says:

    More pictures and the story of the Sami people here: http://saamiblog.blogspot.no/

  16. Marley F. says:

    Thank you so much for these photos!

  17. Mer says:

    Wonderful to see this. THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I am inspired to reconnect with Saami friends in Minnesota that I have not seen for a decade.

  18. Lovely images! It gives a sence of hardmanship! I wonder who they are, their names....
    I hope they keep this culture alive and dont give in all to much for modern society! Thank you for sharing!

  19. Thanks for posting these photos. I remember a Christmas in Jokkmokk together with a wonderful Sami family, that "adopted" me for a whole week. I still have the leather boots with the turned up nose. Hope all indigenous people around the world will be protected and respected. Tehy know how to live of and with the Earth.

  20. The last image is of one of the exhibition samis living parts of the year in Skansen. An open air exhibition in Stockholm. Alas very exotified and out of her natural environment.

  21. b says:

    Here are more than 2000 pictures mostly related to the Sami people and their culture. https://www.flickr.com/photos/28772513@N07/

  22. Anonymous says:

    I have reconnected with my Swedish family with the help of a genealogist over the last year. She was able to help me find distant cousins and I visited them the summer of 2015. I was able to trace their migration through Sweden from the North and the Sami people to the South and eventually to the United States. I am proud of our lineage and I am glad we are learning more about the Sami culture. Thank you for the pictures. Through them, I clearly see my great-grandfather's genetics. He looks exactly like the men in the pictures. There is a baby that looks like my grandmother's baby picture and I look like the woman with red hair. I had not realized that Swedes had red hair until I visited this summer and had always wondered where my red hair had come from. I am the only one in my family that has it.

  23. Chatora says:

    Sámi ganda
    I could not agree with you more!

  24. Their teepees and lifestyle resemble Native Americans also. Clothing differs. These were tough people, albeit naive by our standards.

  25. Mahtavia kuvia mahtavasta kansastamme. I feel sorry on behalf our finnish government for its idleness.

  26. So beautiful... thanks for sharing !

  27. The tipis and cradleboards echo ancient commonalities and origins. Great pictures!

  28. I am Sami, and proud. Thanks for posting Our Cultural Heritage!

  29. Anonymous says:

    puppies!

  30. Anonymous says:

    I suppose if I go find me some far away lost land in a ravine or crevice somewhere and raise a few generations of my kids kids kids then they would call me/us a indigenous people right ? lol

  31. Unknown says:

    I am so glad to see pictures of these people! Thank you!

  32. excellent thank you for posting these pictures.

  33. Unknown says:

    You can see both Asian and Nordic facial features!

  34. thank you for sharing these great, historical photographs. what a wonderful people they are.

  35. Unknown says:

    From the harshest of climates come the warmest of souls.

  36. Unknown says:

    Land does not belong to people...people belong to the land..apparently my DNA says I am 2% Finnish..

  37. Thanks for sharing these photos.

  38. Very nice. I have added this page to my website about Finno-Ugric people. The Finns have coexisted with the Saami for hundreds if not thousands of years, perhaps back to the Ice Ages. Both share a Uralic Language and Saami has many words that are close to Finnish. What comes to mind is the word "Kota." That is a Saami word for their TP style home. The Finnish word is "Koti." My people lived around Lake Ladoga and my father says that the Saami were that far south in the old days but encroachment from the south, farms, and taxation by Finns and Other Scandinavians drove them further north. Of course the reindeer do better there anyway. During times of famine in Finland, Finns actually gave their children to Saami so at least they could survive, since the Saami always had food from reindeer. Here is my web site if you are interested: http://uralica.com/finland.html

  39. Deb Kroll says:

    I have Saami ancestry. :)

  40. Alison P says:

    Wonderful! Really inspiring to see these people and their pride in themselves and their lifestyle.

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