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Sami Culture in Sweden

The Sami people are an indigenous group that lives across several countries in Northern Europe, including Sweden. Their traditional way of life is closely tied to reindeer herding, fishing, and hunting. In this article, we will explore some key elements of Sami culture in Sweden.


The Sami people have lived in the northern parts of Scandinavia for thousands of years. They have a rich and complex cultural history that includes traditions such as yoiking (a form of traditional singing), storytelling, and handicrafts. In the past, the Sami faced discrimination and forced assimilation from the Swedish government, but in recent years there has been a push to recognize and support Sami culture.

Reindeer Herding – Sami Culture in Sweden

Taking care of Reindeer is a traditional way of life for many Sami people in Sweden. Reindeer are a crucial part of Sami culture and economy, providing food, clothing, and transportation. Today, there are around 4,000 Sami who works in reindeer herding in Sweden.

Traditional Clothing and Crafts

Sami clothing and handicrafts are known for their intricate patterns and bright colors. Traditional Sami clothing includes a gákti, a type of tunic or dress that is often decorated with colorful embroidery. Sami handicrafts include items such as jewelry, bags, and blankets that are made using traditional techniques such as weaving and embroidery.

Food – Sami Culture in Sweden

Sami cuisine is influenced by the traditional foods of the region, including fish, reindeer, and game. Some popular Sami dishes include:

  • Souvas: Thinly sliced, smoked reindeer meat that is often served on flatbread.
  • Gahkku: A type of bread made from flour, milk, and butter that is traditionally cooked over an open flame.
  • Arctic char: A type of fish that is often served grilled or smoked.


Sápmi is the name of the traditional Sami homeland, which spans several countries in Northern Europe. In Sweden, the region known as Sápmi covers the northernmost parts of the country, including parts of Lapland. Today, there are around 20,000 Sami people living in Sweden.


Sami culture is an important part of Sweden’s cultural heritage, and the Sami people have a unique way of life that is closely tied to the natural world. From reindeer herding and traditional clothing to Sami cuisine and handicrafts, there is much to discover and appreciate about Sami culture in Sweden.

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