The Sámi People Traditions in Transition

The Sámi People Traditions in Transition available at American Swedish Institute.

The Sámi People Traditions in Transition

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The indigenous Sámi people of Scandinavia and European Russia have undergone incredible changes in recent years. The only European ethnic group to be recognized as an aboriginal people, the Sami have been divided by national borders for centuries. They are an economically and culturally diverse people who speak several dialects of the Sami language. The common perception of the Sami as reindeer herders is increasingly inaccurate as the Sami enter the global system as writers, artists, and political activists.

This volume is perhaps the only one written from the Sámi perspective that is available in English. Beautifully illustrated with color photos, historic maps and illustrations, The Sami People situates the Sami within a modern context with a rich appreciation of their ancient history. Color photographs juxtapose traditional Sami dress and lifestyle with modern art and handicrafts demonstrating how the Sámi have interpreted twenty-first century life.

A unique resource on the Sámi people, this volume is a significant contribution to the literature on circumpolar peoples. An excellent choice for instructors in anthropology, history, and sociology, The Sámi People will also appeal to casual readers who are interested in Scandinavia, Native peoples, and European history.


Veli-Pekka Lehtola is senior research fellow at the University of Oulu, Finland. He is a Sámi from Aanaar, Finland, with research interests in Sámi and Finnish literature, Sámi art, and culture contact.