Sami People of Lapland


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Haven't heard about Finland's indigenous people? Then it's high time for you to meet the Sami. Visit the homeland of these lovely people, explore their culture, and get to know their way of living. By adding Lapland to your itinerary, you surely get one of the most exciting experiences in your life.


The Sami are one of the oldest living cultures in Finland. Did you know that they are the ancestors of the Vikings who made a mark in world history? Don't worry. Their surviving ancestors are a much more peaceful race, and they are very proud of not being involved in any war.

Viking statue

The Sami inhabit large northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula within the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. Traditionally, the Sami have pursued various livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding.

What language do the Sami people speak?
Their language is called Lapp. There are nine different Sami languages and several dialects, and people who speak them may not understand each other.


The Sami possess a rich cultural heritage and are known for their close connection to the land they live on. The Gakti, traditional Sami clothing, is another beautiful living tradition. You can see the Sami wearing the Gakti mostly during celebrations. <\p>

Sami family, Lapland

As you may notice, the Sami culture has many unique forms of expression. Another popular cultural way of expression is Joik. Did you know that Joik is one of the oldest song traditions in Europe? You can also enjoy this profound singing at the Sami Grand Prix. This is an annual music competition in which contestants from Norway, Sweden, and Finland are participating. <\p>

Lapland is one of the most picturesque and scenic places to explore the colorful culture. Get ready to see fascinating authentic handicraft named Duodji, eye-cathing traditional clothes, Gakti, and be amused by popular signing joik.<\p>


Festivals play a significant part in the Sami calendar. This is the time of family gatherings and reunion with the ones they love. Particularly, this happens at Easter, which for them means a celebration of the end of the dark winter months and the beginning of a pilgrimage north for new pasture.<\p>

Sami festival, Lapland

One of the most popular festivals is the annual Reindeer Racing Championship, held at Kautokeino. It has become a focal point of their culture. The festival is filled with concerts and exhibitions, and fun activities like scooter cross and reindeer racing.<\p>

Reindeer racing, Lapland


For thousands of years, Sami people spent life on the move. Can you imagine they followed wild herds of reindeer from high coastal pastures in the summer to winter inland forests and plains?

Sami people, Lapland

Nowadays, the small ethnic group that numbers around 80,000 still identify themselves as Sami do their best to keep their customs, language, and culture alive. Reportedly some 10 percent of them are still involved in traditional reindeer herding.

How long has the Sami culture existed?
The Sami culture has inhabited the northern arctic for more than 5000 years and there have been remains of settlements dating back to 10,000BC.

Sami achievements

Now you know a little more about this incredible and fascinating people. And it probably won't be any surprise to learn that the Sami people are also immensely talented. Many explorers are among the Sami people, as you may guess, due to the Sami way of living and their lifestyle.

Sami ship, Lapland

Singers, songwriters, poets, producers, politicians, sculptors, and even the president are among the talented Sami people. As you see, the Sami are diverse and gifted people, so their culture is worth exploring.

Visiting the Sami

If you have already added Lapland to your itinerary but have no idea what to expect visiting the Sami, here is some advice. Essentially, the Sami are amiable people, and they invite tourists to witness their way of living with great pleasure. As in every country, they expect you to be respectful, polite, and attentive to their culture and heritage. And the only thing that is required from you is your curiosity.

Houses, Lapland

Let the Sami people steal your heart as you uncover the fabulous heritage of these astonishing people. They will surely capture all your attention by their vivid history, exciting lifestyle, and appealing culture. Take tour to Lapland and don't miss the chance to meet the indigenous people and get fascinating experiences to remember.