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The Early Period





Introduction to the Sámi

When one hears the word Lapp — or Sámi as the people are called now — what comes to mind? Probably it is an image of a reindeer, the single most important aspect of Sámi identity and culture for outsiders. Although only a very small percentage of Sámi are involved in reindeer herding today, one still tends to associate Sámi with reindeer. This is reflected in the Sámi language, rife with words for different kinds of reindeer, terminology for herding and for hunting in bygone days, and words for the various snow conditions encountered during migrations with the reindeer. Sámi handicrafts — duodji, an important source of income for many Sámi, include many items that were important for reindeer herding such as knives, bowls for milking reindeer, cups and other objects made of reindeer antler and birch. It is the goal of this web site to introduce the reader to all aspects of the reindeer, its history, reindeer herding, the importance of reindeer today and much more.