The Sámi people

Winter_Reindeers_Fotograf-MikkoNikkinenSápmi, is the name the Sámi people themselves have given to Samiland, extending from the southern parts of Norway and Sweden to the Arctic Ocean in northern Norway and to the Kola Peninsula in Russia. It crosses national borders that have been drawn straight through Samiland. From the coast to the mountains and forests, the Sámi have lived here since the retreat of the inland ice sheet. Historians find 10,000 year old traces of Sámi culture in this area.

The Sámi are one of the world’s indigenous people. The common denominator for such a people is that they have always lived in the same place, before the country was invaded or colonized. They have their own culture and language, and customs that differ from those of the rest of society.

Photo by: Mikko Nikkinen /

My People, the Sami People

For inspiration, take a look at this video ”My People, the Sami People.


Toril Johansen

Toril_Indestructible Toril, a film maker and Sami woman who LOVES to dance, balances honoring the Sami heritage and tradition with being here and now. Watch a video with Toril visualising this here.

Film by: Toril Johansen/Marja Bål Nango and Bård Mathisen

Erica Huuva

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Erica loves designing and realising ideas with her hands. A day without creating anything is a lost day for her. Read more here.
Photo by: Lisa Kejonen.

Fia Kaddik

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Fia Kaddik is a photographer with her roots in the Swedish mountains. Reindeer husbandry, the Sami language, joik singing and duodji (Sami handicraft) have been a connecting theme for Fia throughout her life, and she wishes to show this through her photographs. Alongside her photography Fia has also been doing Sami handicraft since she was little. Read more here.

Karin Vasara

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Karin Vasara is a Sami clothes designer in Kiruna. Karin’s collections are mainly designed for the colder seasons – for activities during late autumn, winter and late winter – for both indoor and outdoor use. Read more here.

Odd Levi Paulsen

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Odd Levi is a committed Sami patriot who uses film and media as a tool and a means of conveying and passing on the Sami language and culture. Read more here.

Perisak Juuso

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Perisak Juuso is an experienced Sami artisan with a singular style of artistic expression who has been active in the field of daiddaduojar (Sami handicraft) since 1985. Perisak mixes progressive and ancient traditions, and works in various materials, e.g. reindeer horn, elk horn, birch burl/root and metal, but also textiles. He teaches duojin (Sami handicraft) at the Sami Education Centre in Jokkmokk, Sami Upper Secondary and Reindeer Husbandry School Kautokeino and Sami University College Kautokeino. Watch a video of Perisak Juuso visualising his work here.

Tomas Colbengtson

Tomas is a Sami artist with glass as his principal means of expression.
From time immemorial river valleys have traditionally been the natural means of conveyance and migratory route for the Sami and their reindeer. The river’s constant currents can be seen as a film strip of time. When the river freezes, still images of time, or pauses, are formed – time that is then released when the ice melts and the water flows on down towards the coast and the sea. Read more here.

Britta Marakatt Labba

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Britta is one of the foremost contemporary Sámi artists. She was born and grew up in Idivuoma in the municipality of Kiruna, in Lainiovuoma Sámi village. She is trained at the School of Design and Crafts (HDK) at Gothenburg University, and since the 70s she has been creating narrative embroidery that depicts scenes from everyday Sámi life. Read more here.

Elle Márjá Eira

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Elle Márjá Eira is a Sámi artist, author and film-maker from Kautokeino, Norway. Her album ‘Iđitsilba – Morning Silver’ was released this year. She is studying film production, a course that is the result of a collaboration between Sámi University College and the International Sámi Film Centre. The music video ‘Guođohit – To Herd’, which she directed together with Ken Are Bongo, was premièred at Tromsø International Film Festival 2013. Read more here.