Sami – The Native Nordic People

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!