The history and culture of the Sami

The Sami people has inhabited this area from time immemorial and also in four countries; Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. In the locality there are many cultural monuments dating back to the Stone Age and up to our time. The Sami culture was originally based on hunting and gathering. Over time it developed into two separate ways of living. On the one side emerged a nomadic culture based on the tame reindeer and on the other hand a more sedentary population living of fisheries, hunting and agriculture. In Smørfjord you find both ways of living represented. 

In the original religion of the Sami the nature itself had soul and it was represented by multiple gods. The Sun and The Wind Man are examples of such deities. A very important element was the worship of the souls of the forefathers and the shaman - noaidde - was the link between this world and the spiritual world. The Sami were gradually Christianised and today you will only find a few remnants of the old religion. 

Through recent genetic research it has been proved that a great part of the genetic material of the Sami population originates from the Iberian peninsula. The emigration started around 10 000 years ago when the last Ice Age was about to end. The Sami language belongs to the  Finno-Ugric language group. Some linguists believe that the Sami originally had another language, now extinct, and that a change of languages has taken place after they have  been in contact with peoples from the east. 

    Sjøsamisk Tun, Smørfjord, 9713 Russenes