Traditional Sami costumes in Hetta, Finland


on this page: headlines, seasons
related: indigenous, indigenous peoples week, finno-ugric
editing: Sámi, sami-national-day

Sámi is used to name the Lappish people, the indigenous population of Sápmi (northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Kola peninsula in Russia). the Sami flag has been flying in Norway, Finland, Russia and Sweden since 1986. The Sámi people live in four countries and have no national state of their own.

The provinces Finnmark in Norway, Lappland in Sweden and Lappi/Lappland in Finland means 'land of Sámi's.'

The area has been populated, at least, since the last ice age and the oldest written document about Sámis is from a Roman historian that AD 98 wrote about "a fearful people in the far north that dressed in animal skins and could walk on snow (skiing)."

Sámi people are mostly known for reindeer husbandry and their traditional colorful garments.

The Sámi National Day is February 6, which is celebrated in memory of the first Sámi congress in Trondheim in 1917.

“Sámi National Day”

Upcoming Events

August 7-13 Indigenous Peoples Week 2017; hashtag: #ipw7

Sámi Events

Sámi Easter Festival
Riddu Riddu
Jokkmokk Winter Fair


Sami people persuade Norway pension fund to divest from Dakota Access
No Room for Sweden's Reindeer
Fjord Fiesta: Norway’s Best and Most Scenic Summer Festivals
Sweden's indigenous Sami people win rights battle against state
Heated debate over “Sáminess” in Finland
Visiting Sami families become popular tourist program in Finland
The Language of Snow
Nat Geo fights Swedish reindeer helicopter ban
Sámi languages making gains in Finland

Headlines: Mining
Ancient Sami culture under threat from British mining company - Voice of Russia
Mining on reindeer land - Bush Telegraph
Aljazeera documentary, 25 minutes long, about mining frenzy in Sápmi.
Sweden’s indigenous Sami fight for way of life as miners enter ancient reindeer grounds
“The Swedish government is abandoning us”
Sweden: Ongoing Road Blockade Against Mining in Saami Territory





Visit Sápmi
Nutti Sámi Siida


Nutti Sámi Siida - Sámi Food


Swedish Lapland





Blogs - When you dishonour my flag


Sámi Flag

The joint flag dates back to 1986. It was then that it was approved by the Nordic Sami Council at a conference in Åre. The flag was designed by Astrid Båhl from Skibotn in Norway, and neither the colours nor the symbols are there by chance.

The circle is a symbol for both the sun and the moon. The sun circle is red and the moon circle is blue. The flag's colours - red, blue, green and yellow - are the same as in the traditional Sami costume, the "kolt". The colours are symbols for things that are important for survival, red for fire, green for plants and nature, yellow for the sun and blue for water.

People of eight seasons

The Sami count eight seasons
Dálvve Winter From Christmas time to the end of February
Gidádálvve Spring winter Beginning of March to late April
Gidá Spring Late April to late May.
Gidágiesse Spring summer End of May to midsummer
Giesse Summer From midsummer to end of August
Tjaktjagiesse Autumn summer End of August to middle of September
Tjaktja Autumn Mid September to mid October
Tjaktjadálvve Autumn winter From mid October to Christmas time

Elsewhere on the Web

Learn more about Sápmi
Information about Sápmi and Sámi people
Explore more (click pictures to the left on page)
Polar research
Sámi environmental program (Sweden)
VisitSápmi is the Sámi initiative to organize and promote sustainable and ethic Sámi tourism.
Sami websites
The Sami Concept of Time
Traditional Sami food - @IngaMS - -

Sami handicraft (some pages in Swedish) Glass design Carpets, textile Jewellery boxes and knifes in wood and reindeer antler jewellery Clothes Paintings Miessi Webshop for Sámi design

Reindeer in my Saami Heart
Scandinavian Film Festival: Reindeer in my Saami Heart
Reindeer herders: Saami, the indigenous peoples of the Arctic Circle - Reindeer in my Saami Heart documents the lives of the Saami people who inhabit the land in Sweden's Arctic Circle.

Recommended Listening

Yoiking with Ánde Somby

Yoiking, which comes from the Sami people of northern Europe, is one of the oldest musical traditions in the world. Having a yoik is as important as having a name.

Northern Lives - If the Arctic is considered the world's barometer for measuring climate change, then the Sami are at its mercury. Today we travel to the Norwegian Arctic to meet with a group of reindeer herders who are worried their traditional knowledge might not be enough to survive the changing climate.

Mari Boine: Sami singer - Norwegian by birth, Mari Boine sings the traditional yoiks of her Sami homeland. Visiting Australia for Womadelaide, she talks toThe Music Show about Sami land rights and culture.

Recommended Viewing

Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award
The winner of the judged 2010 ITBW Award is Nutti Sami Siida, which arranges nature and culture tours based on the Sámi culture. Owners Nils Torbjörn Nutti and Carina Pingi are from Saarivuoma and Gabna Sámi comunities (Sameby), Sweden. To leave things in nature as they are for others to experience is the philosophy of this tour company, who operate in the sensitive Arctic region. The owners make their living showing guests what is considered to be wilderness, which is their back yard, and strive to keep it intact for generations to come.

Nutti Sámi Siida encourages visitors to take their time to enjoy their discoveries - from watching a moose hiding among the birches, to learning about a new plant - rather than simply putting miles behind them. Nature is one of the reasons that travelers choose this area, so tours are offered at a slower pace to explore this great landscape. Experiences include reindeer sled trips, trekking, Sámi culture, a museum with nomadic artifacts, and a handicrafts shop.

As the Sámi people have become more settled in recent years, their nomadic traditions have stopped. The only way to keep the traditional knowledge alive is to practice it, and Nutti Sámi Siida does so very effectively by conducting trips. They place a high value on educating visitors by introducing them to the local culture and traditional skills. Guides carefully chosen for their close connection with reindeer herding and Sámi culture offer authentic experiences, and teach guests about both the historic and present day way of life.

Working with responsible and sustainable tourism is very natural for these indigenous peoples who have populated an area for thousands of years without leaving obvious traces in nature.

Nutti Sámi Siida was one of the first companies with products approved by Nature's Best, a Swedish quality certification for ecotourism.

Sámi Language

Reindeer from sonja phillips on Vimeo.

Sami Sayings

Everything in nature has a soul.
Walking in my forefathers footprints, without leaving traces behind.
Doing things as a hare (meaning always in the last minute rush)

Vocabulary: Sami-English-Spanish

Mun jugan gáfe - I drink coffee] - Tomo café
Njalgie - Delicious - Sabroso
Bure iriet - Good morning - Buenos dias
Bure eahket - Good evening - Buenos noches
Bure idja - Good night - Buenos noches
Baze dearvan - Goodbye (if you are leaving) - Adios (Si te vas)
Manni dearvan - Goodbye (if you are staying) - Adios (Si te quedas)
Giitu - Thank you - Gracias
Lea go borre - You're welcome - De nada
Gos don veija - How are you? - Como estas?
Bures - Fine - Bien
Duodji - Sámi handicraft - Artesania Sámi
Guksi - Sámi cup - Tasa Sámi

Edible Plants

? - Berries



Beahceloddi = Western Capercaillie
Oarri = Eurasian red squirrel
Rieban = red fox
Boazu = tame reindeer
Goddi = wild reindeer
Boazugarđi = reindeer enclosure (Rengärde in Swedish)
Ráidu = When you travel with the reindeer in a long row following each other (poster)

English-Sami dictionary

More about the Sami

What the Sami people can teach us about adapting to climate change
As global warming and habitat degradation accelerates, people indigenous to the Arctic circle say they have much to teach the world about how to adapt, survive, and thrive
Explore Sami culture
The Sami have hundreds of terms for snow - and this knowledge will be a key element in their adaptive strategies for climate change, which is more rapid in the Arctic
Muohta & ritni & vahca are only three of hundreds of terms for snow in Sámi language.

Sámi in movies



Sámi's in Sweden
Sámi's in Finland
Sámi's in Norway
Sámi's in Russia (not official, but there are hardly any trustworthy material to find on the web)
Kola Sámi


Saami man with Lavvo and reindeer Lyngen Troms 1909

Artwork / Cue Yourself

Sámi (Indigenous Peoples A-Z)

Buzzword Bingo: Sami

Buzzword Bingo: Ráidu = When you travel with reindeer in a long row following each other @anderskarr @nuttisamisiida #sami #language

Ráidu = When you travel with the reindeer in a long row following each other #sami @nuttisamisiida

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