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Swedish Sami

The Sami People

The Sami People live in the northernmost Sweden. They have survived in this chilly region for more than 7 000 years. Their origins are still unknown. These people, until the early decades of this century, were nomadic, following the reindeer up into the mountains, where they lived together during the summer months. The reindeer stay up in the high mountains, where the pastures are rich and where the wind blows away the ever-present insects and mosquitoes.

The Sami people of today are numbered about 40 000 in all, divided between Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. Today, it is only the men who look after the herds. In the rounding-up they use snow-scooters, helicopters and mobile telephones. The families nowadays live in towns and villages but the culture of the Sami people still exists. The tradition of making handicrafts is strong and the products are sold at fairs and the like. Here you can buy knives of reindeer antler, pieces of carved wood and other handicrafts of natural materials. At festivals, you will recognise a Sami by his or her special dress or knee-length costume. These are often blue and red with different patterns and decorated with hand-woven ribbons in red and yellow.

The Saami Parliament and the Saami People A homepage for and about the Saami people and their Parliament, a democratic body reflecting the increasing self determination of the Saami.

Photo 1 : Copyright © Peter Schäfer
Photo 2 : Copyright © M. Itokazu

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