The Sami are the last nomadic people in Europe. They live in Lapland, which covers parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. This originally nomadic tribe has lived and worked in northern Europe for over 5000 years.
The daily life of the Sami is determined by their herds of reindeer. They follow the herds in their annual food migration. Where the reindeer go, is where the Sami go. They keep the herd together by using lassos. The reindeer are important to the Sami because they provide them with meat and milk, as well as skins, and they pull the carriages. The Sami who live on the Norwegian coast also depend on fishing, in addition to the traditional hunting.
The Sami have several traditions and rituals. One of the oldest religious traditions is the Joik. This is the traditional music of the Sami and one of the oldest types of music in Europe. A Joik is ordained to someone or something and is about the essence of that person or that something. A Joik contains only a limited text or no text at all. Singing a Joik’s aim is to become one with the person or object being portrayed and has shamanistic characteristics. Among other things, the Joik is a source of comfort and memory after the death of a beloved Sami but is also seen as festive.
The Sami made almost everything themselves, including their clothes. The traditional costumes, the Gákti, tell a lot about the wearer: they refer to the region where he or she came from and the state of marriage. The traditional Sami clothing has mainly bright colors: yellow, green, red and blue, and is decorated with colored bands, braids and stitching. The clothing often has a high neckline. Both men and women wear a Gákti. For the men, the Gákti is a tunic with a belt around their waist. They also wear a so-called 'four-wind hat'. The design of the cap varies from one tribe to another; some are cone-shaped, and others have a cap with four corners.
Originally the Sami lived in a nomadic tent, a Lavvu, which was easy to dismantle to transport. The exterior from the Lavvu is made from leather, which is attached to a wooden cone-shaped construction. The leather is made from reindeer skin and is attached with needle and thread, with the needle made from the bone of the reindeer and the thread of the intestines).
The Sami live by the Tribes slogan ‘We go where the business is’. They have followed their reindeer around in their annual food migration, and they have travelled quite some distances. Due to that migration, they’re spread over Sweden, Norway and Finland. Just like us business nomads, who are travelling for business all year round.