The Past And Present Defining Characteristics Of The Sami Peoples

1712 WordsNov 30, 20167 Pages
Evidence suggests human presense in parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and even Russia over 9,000 years ago (Joessefson, 142). However, it would not be until thousands of years later that a highly unique and successful tribe would form, known as the Sami. While many Sami have assimilated into modern European culture, central traits still exists within this indigiouns group native to the Sapmi region. Some Sami still practice modes of subsistence, systems of marriage, kinship, social organization, and religion common to their ancestors. However, today, the Sami are faced with social issues distinct from those of their predesesors, such as pressures to conform to modern society, economic struggles, and in some cases, loss of community. It is important to evaluate both the past and present defining characteristics of the Sami peoples to fully understand their culture. One of the most well known characterisitics of the Sami is their skill in reindeer pastoralism. Though, pastoralism was not their initial mode of substiance, instead, the Sami began as a hunter gatherer society. As northern Europe is subject to extreme and lengthy winters, the Sami caught and harvested what they could. Beaver, reindeer, and fish were among the most commonly hunted by the Sami (Bergman, other 27). Artic rose, a plant rich with vitamins, was a popular edible plant that was also central to the Sami diet (Loeffler, 70). As well, geographical positioning distinguished the diets of some Sami bands

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