Sami experience in Kautokeino in northern Norway
One of the aspects that most interested me in my first trip to Lapland, north of Norway Y Finland, many years ago, was to discover the Sami people and its activity as reindeer herders.
It is really surprising to see that in the territory north Europe There is a community that, due to its traditional way of life and dress, in a way reminds us of The Indians of North America.
Now in my most recent trip to northern Norway I had the opportunity to get to know the Sami culture during a winter activity developed in Kautokeino, not far from the city of highin the region of Finnmark.
Kautokeino in northern Norway
Winter trips to the Arctic area of Norway are characterized by the various tourist activities in which you will participate, from doing snowmobile tours or for see northern lights, until ride dog sleds.
In this regard, here is information about Offers to see Northern Lights in Norway.
But you should know that around Kautokeino You can participate in an activity whose purpose, apart from entertainment, is to deepen the knowledge of the aforementioned Lapland population culture.
In the not distant city of Karasjok You have the possibility to visit the building called Sami Parliament, place where the political activity of this community takes place.
Herd of reindeer in Lapland in northern Norway
But it is in the small town of Kautokeino, with less than 3,000 inhabitants, where the largest Sami cultural activity.
Kautokeino It is located in the middle of two traditional routes of samis migration, whose first community was established in that area in the 16th century.
In that place there was in 1852 a bloody revolt of samis against Norwegian settlers, which led the Norwegian government to intensify the integration of the Sami people in Norwegian society.
Currently 90 percent of the population of Kautokeino Its mother tongue is Sami, and in this city are the headquarters of several Sami cultural institutions, from the Sami National Theater to organisms related to reindeer raising.
During our visit we could also see an interesting Sami handicraft shop which highlighted the traditional Sami jewelry products.
Snow sled transfer to Sami camp in Kautokeino
Sami experience in Kautokeino
But surely the key moment was the activity known as Sami Experience.
After riding sleds dragged by snowmobiles, we headed to a Sami camp located on the outskirts of Kautokeino, place where a reindeer farm is located.
After being received by some samis that went with their striking ceremonial clothes in which the color blue predominates, we were able to do some races with reindeer sleds, as well as practice the launching of ties.
Already inside a traditional Sami shop we could taste some of the elaborations of his kitchen, while we listened to some Sami traditional songs.
Traditional samis shop in Kautokeino in northern Norway
How is the Sami culture
But above all we had the opportunity to meet many curiosities of the Sami culture and tradition.
Where and how do Samis live?
Thus we met that the Sami community It extends to the north of the Nordic countries, to Sweden, Finland and Norway, as well as to the Kola Peninsula in Russia.
They have their own language, with three different variants depending on the geographical area where they reside.
Samis or Lapps
Also calledlapones, in reality this denomination has a pejorative meaning, so this community is currently known as samis.
Sami experience in Kautokeino in northern Norway
Samis, reindeer herders
While until just a few decades ago the Samis were nomads and lived in stores similar to those of american indians, now most samis live in the cities and towns of the area in wooden houses.
Currently, only 10 percent of the populationSami is a nomad and they are dedicated to reindeer livestock.
That is why they spend the day grazing reindeer herds, which in winter they do with snowmobiles.
Between two or three Sami families They usually have about 6,000 reindeer, which in summer they move to the coast to avoid mosquitoes.
As pastors, they must be especially careful that reindeer are not attacked by wolverines or gluttons, a carnivore similar to a small bear that inhabits the boreal regions, and they are looking to eat their heads.
Sami Parliament in Karasjok in northern Norway
Other animals that stalk reindeer are lynxes, golden eagles and bears, and also suffer cars and train outrages.
Sami Parliament in Karasjok
He Sami Parliament was created in 1989 in Karasjok with the aim of preserving the cultural, linguistic and legal aspects of the Sami, so that they currently maintain certain historical rights.
But his political organization has its antecedent in the creation in 1956 of Nordic Council of the Lapps, body founded to relate to samis from Finland, Norway and Sweden, which were later joined by those from Russia.