Sami Culture in Vesterålen

The Sami people are the only European people classified as indigenous and used to be considered a nomadic people. Today they live above the Arctic Circle in Russa, Finnish Laplap, Swedish Lapland and Northern Norway, with a combined population of about 70 000. Most of these reside in Norway.

Inga Sami Siida
2014-06-2013:56 visitvesteralen.no

In the early 1800s Vesterålen had two different groups of Sami people, the Fishermen Sami, and the Reindeer herder Sami. The fishermen Sami people were about 95% of the total in Vesterålen, but this group later merged with the local population and they became fishermen-farmers like most locals. The reindeer herder families came to Vesterålen around year 1800. Some of them have held on to their traditions and way of life until today. It is thought that the Fishermen Sami people came here several thousand years ago.  

The Inga Family has a history of continous reindeer herding for over 140 years in this area, and represents a solid historic and cultura tradition from Vesterålen. Lailia and Arild Inga belong in this area and take pride in their unique heritage.

At the local Sámi farm you can learn about the unique culture up close, or try your hand at throwing a lasso. You can taste traditional Sámi foods based on reindeer meat, served around an open fire in a Sámi lavvu tent, and accompanied by joik singing. The adventurous could also spend a night in the lavvu, on birch twigs and reindeer skins.

Inga Sami síida