In the Lands of the Midnight Sun lives the Sami, formerly called the Lapps by
the Scandinavians, are the indigenous people of the far north of Finland, Sweden,
Norway and Russia. Their language is Finno-Ugric, related to Finnish and Hungarian.
The Sami people's traditional, semi-nomadic subsistence ways include reindeer
herding and fishing and hunting. Their clothing, handicrafts and music are
distinctive. The Sami are thought to descent from a people who reached Finland
after the end of the last Ice Age. When they got to Finland, at first they occupied
the southern parts of Finland, and from there, started to migrate towards Lapland.
Today there are more than 70,000 Sami, from whom over 40,000 live in Norway, Sweden
up to 25,000, in Finland 6,000 and in Russia 2,000. In Finland the birth-rate
amongst Sami is slightly above the average for the country in general, while there
are no marked differences in the death-rate. At the same time, the average size of
family is very much higher in the case of Sami, 5,7 persons as compared for 3,8 for
the Finns, partly as a consequence of the high birth-rate and partly due to the
close ties prevailing between the members of the family. There is a Sami Parliament
spanning these borders, which participates in the global indigenous peoples'
movement at UN.
Reindeer has always been an important resource of food, clothing, tools and
other products to the Sami. They are milked at different stages of their nomad's
seasonal migration. The meat, fresh or preserved, is excellent, not least because,