Sami Culture and Tradition

For thousands of years, the Sami - the indigenous people of northern Scandinavia – have lived in the outer reaches of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Today, it’s estimated that around 80,000 Sami people remain in the far north, with the largest communities found in Norway. Preserving the traditions and heritage of their ancestors is of vital importance to Norway’s Sami people.

Reindeer herding

Throughout their history, the lives of the Sami people have been inextricably linked with reindeer. Many have earned a living from herding these creatures and even today Karasjok, the Sami capital of Norway, is home to 3,000 people and some 60,000 reindeer. In Sami culture, reindeer meat is enjoyed as part of a wholesome meal, leather is used for clothing and bones and antlers transformed into items such as lasso rings and knives.

Traditional dwellings

The lavvu is the traditional temporary dwelling of the Sami people and the perfect home for herders who need to move regularly with their reindeers. Resembling the Native American tepee, these cone-shaped tents are simple and easy to assemble and are centred low to the ground so that they remain stable in windy conditions.

Sami cuisine

Reindeer meat, which can be dried or smoked is, unsurprisingly, a key ingredient in Sami cuisine. Sheep and moose meat are also used along with fish, beef, potatoes, berries and herbs. Bierggojubttsa is a popular dish – a steaming soup made from meat, potatoes and root vegetables.

Music traditions

The Sami people have found many ways in which to express themselves and the joik is deeply rooted in the rich culture of Sami society. Thought to be one of Europe’s oldest music traditions, it’s a song, traditionally performed a cappella, which is dedicated to a person, animal or place.

Brightly coloured costumes

Widely recognised, the traditional dress of the Sami people is the brightly coloured gákti, a distinctive bright blue tunic or skirt decorated with red and yellow patterns. Worn with a hat and boots with turned-up toes, the costumes can also be embellished with a scarf or a belt.

On Travelsphere’s Norway - Huskies & the Northern Lights holiday, you’ll enjoy a fascinating day with the Sami people. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about their culture, try your hand at lasso throwing and admire some of their traditional handicrafts.

Every Travelsphere holiday offers exceptional value for money. Included in the price are return scheduled flights/rail travel and internal flights, where applicable, overseas transfers and transportation, carefully chosen hotels, many meals and excursions and the services of a Travelsphere Holiday Director or Local Guide.