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The Sami people in northern Norway

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The Sami people are the indigenous people of Norway. Most of them are in the north of Norway. They are said to be the only indigenous people in Europe. When Norwegians travel, we focus on ''the underworld'', which basically means all countries that are south of Norway. Why not begin going even more upwards instead? There is a whole different existence up there with a different view on life, independence, and ownership!

Similar stories to the Sami people one are The Roma queen of the Balkans and The ice hotel in Sweden.

Religion and Christianity

Before they became Christians they had nature gods and spirits. For example, the sun was their god. The Sami people thought that nature had a soul. The objects themselves had energies within. A lot of the Sami people still think similarily. For example, your Ski-doo snowmobile has a special power that gives you a specific energy in your life. It might be positive or negative for you.

Samish collection museum Karasjok
Samish collection museum Karasjok
Mari Boine Geaidnu 17, 9730 Karasjok, Norge

The Shaman

They believed in the power of the Shaman. A special person in the community who goes into a transhuman state and gets in touch with spirits and cures diseases. This Shaman character was their priest. The Shaman is spoken of by Terence Mckenna who explains how the smartest thing in the world is a mushroom. Terence Mckenna was referring more to the south-Shamans in the India area and south america perhaps. Still, it is a very similar concept. Also worth noting is that Carl Jung said that the psychotherapist is the modern day Shaman.

Norway's Christianity mission

Norway made the Sami people Christians. They weren't allowed to practice their own religion. Now the Sami people are usually Laestadian Christians. They were made to be Christian by the state according to Norwegian archeologists.

Useful and fun Sami information

All kinds of people in Norway from housewives, children, old people, and punk rockers are looking for Shamans to cure their problem. It can be any kind of problem like a broken foot, eating habits, or existential life issues.

In other religions, it's usually a personified character who is the king of the sun. Like Horus, the falcon head person from ancient Egypt. In the Shaman religion, it's the sun itself who is the god.

The Sami people are spread over Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

The Sami language is a language family consisting of 10 different languages which are depending on the region.

Exactly how many people who speak the Sami language is debatable. The most reliable source says it's about 30 000 people.

In the easter, they celebrate the end of the dark periods that we have up here in the north. They have the easter festival every year in Kautokeino.

Easter festival in Kautokeino
Easter festival in Kautokeino
Baktevarri 3, 9520 Kautokeino, Norge

The Sami language of Ter has 2 elderly speakers left and is spoken in Russia.

Reindeers are super close to the Sami lifestyle. The more reindeers you have, the more status.

The IQ of Sami people is the highest of all indigenous people on average. They lay at 100.8 in IQ.


In the other parts of Norway, we have workers who wake up early in the morning to take away the snow from the roads. The Sami people are utilizing the snow instead, and are using snowmobiles rather than cars. Again, very smart people. The kids are thought to ride the snowmobile at a very young age. Some kids ride the snowmobile since they were 3 years old!

Snowmobile renting Lakselv
Snowmobile renting Lakselv
Sentrum, 9700 Lakselv, Norge

Borders and gypsy similarities

The Sami people didn't originally think about ''country borders''. Their borders were limited to their flock of reindeers and the area that they lived. Basic property rights were their way of positioning themselves.

When borders are not important

The problem with not caring about borders is that someone else will. It's like not caring about how much something costs in a shop and not paying attention to the price. In this case, you will probably lose a lot of your money.

They are similar to Gypsies in this sense. The difference is that the Sami people travel less historically speaking.


The land called Finnmark means the land of the Sami people. In Finnmark and the areas around is where they existed by themselves until Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia wanted to categorize these places into what is theirs and what is not. The Sami people have begun to care about borders because they might lose their culture. In Norway, the Sami parliament is a thing, and North Samish is an official language in Norway! Sami culture is officially recognized in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. However, not in Russia.

Samish Parliament Karasjok
Samish Parliament Karasjok
Avjovargeaidnu 50, 9730 Karasjok, Norge

South Samish people

Mostly our attention goes to the north of Norway when we speak of the Sami people. Be aware that you have Sami communities in Røros, too, for example. This is very south for being part of the Samish people. The south Sami language only has about 500 speakers.

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The author

Kai Bonsaksen

Kai Bonsaksen

I'm Kai from Norway. I always follow that little voice in my head that tells me to go and explore new places … and on itinari, I talk about the ones I know the best!

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