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Sami Culture

The Sámi are an indigenous people that have live in Norway long before any Norwegian government was created. There were many ancient Sámi settlements in the Helgeland region, especially in the inland valleys. Cultural monuments, place names and the rich oral tradition all provide evidence that the Southern Sámi people have very old roots in this region.

2013-08-2614:04 Guro

Sámi culinary traditions are characterised by simplicity, both when it comes to choice of ingredients and in preparation. Traditionally, one uses whatever nature provides through reindeer husbandry, farming, fishing, trapping, hunting and gathering. There are many types of meat dishes, and offal is used too, especially from reindeer and sheep, and from game such as hare, moose, grouse and seabirds. The Sámi also have time-honoured traditions of drying, smoking, salting and pickling various foods.

Joik is the traditional Sámi form of song, which is an very important part of the culture. The same is true of duodji (Sámi handicrafts), Sámi cooking and the Sámi National Day (Sámi álbmotbeaivi), which is celebrated on 6 February.

Well worth visiting is Sijti Jarnge, the Sámi Cultural Centre in Hattfjelldal (Aarborte), where you can gain fascinating insights into the south-Sámi way of life. The building’s design is inspired the Sámi traditional Sámi dwelling (goahti). At the centre, you can purchase duodji and books on the Sámi and their way of life.