The Sami people are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses large northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland.

Their traditional languages are the Sámi languages, which are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family.

Traditionally, the Sámi have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding. Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding.

For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved for only Sámi people in some regions of the Nordic countries.

Some studied said that the Sámi had lived no farther south than Lierne in Nord-Trøndelag county until around 1500, when they started moving south, reaching the area around Lake Femund in the 18th century.

Ethnic characteristics

The Sami have mainly Caucasoid genetic characteristics, but speak idioms of the Uralic linguistic family; it has been hypothesized therefore that they are the result of a mixture of europoid and mongoloid populations, starting from the observation of the lesser blondism and the light Mongolic plica still present in many individuals, despite the strong mixture with the Scandinavian peoples had in recent centuriesFishing has always been the main livelihood for the many Sámi living permanently in coastal areas.

The fishing along the north Norwegian coast, especially in the Lofoten and Vesterålen islands, is quite productive with a variety of fish, and during medieval times, it was a major source of income for both the fisherman and the Norwegian monarchy.

With such massive population drops caused by the Black Death, the tax revenues from this industry greatly diminished. Because of the huge economic profits that could be had from these fisheries, the local authorities offered incentives to the Sámi-faced with their own population pressures-to settle on the newly vacant farms.

This started the economic division between the Sea Sámi (sjøsamene), who fished extensively off the coast, and the Mountain Sámi (fjellsamene, innlandssamene), who continued to hunt reindeer and small-game animals.

They later herded reindeer.

Mountain Sami

As the Sea Sámi settled along Norway's fjords and inland waterways, pursuing a combination of farming, cattle raising, trapping and fishing, the minority Mountain Sámi continued to hunt wild reindeer.

Around 1500, they started to tame these animals into herding groups, becoming the well-known reindeer nomads, often portrayed by outsiders as following the traditional Sámi lifestyle.

The Mountain Sámi had to pay taxes to three states, Norway, Sweden and Russia, as they crossed each border while following the annual reindeer migrations;

this caused much resentment over the years.

Reindeer husbandry has been and still is an important aspect of Sámi culture.

Traditionally the Sámi lived and worked in reindeer herding groups called siiddat, which consisted of several families and their herds.

Members of the siidda helped each other with the management and husbandry of the herds.


It was only after the Second World War that these governments implemented serious policies of respect for Sami identity, for example by promoting the study and teaching of native languages.

Their traditional dwelling consisted either of a portable tent, built with reindeer skin, or of a fixed hut. Their traditional means of transport was the sled drawn by reindeer, although they have used skis since ancient times, of which a specimen dated to 1500 BC has been found.
They live in a particularly inhospitable environment, due to the cold temperatures and the total absence of sunlight during the winter season, for a period ranging from one to two months.

The "gákti", traditional Sami clothing, is another unbroken, living tradition, but mostly used when dressing up for celebrations or parties.

Duoddji is the Sami word for "craft", and many traditions of craftsmanship such as tin embroidery, pearl embroidery, weaving shoelaces, jacket seams, wood carving, and knife-making are assiduously maintained. Sami boots filled with blister sedge will keep your legs warmer than the latest developments in survival equipment and are used diligently when the temperature drops below -40.Procopius of Caesarea tells that the children were not breastfed by their mother because at birth they were wrapped in skins and hung from a tree with a piece of animal marrow to suck, while the father and mother went away to go huntingReindeer were traditionally almost the only resource of the Sami, as they derived skins for clothes and dwellings, meat, drinks, bones and horns to make tools and tools.


Their traditional form of religiosity was that shaman. Among the ancient main deities is the "Mother-Earth" who rules births and the God of thunder. The Sami believe in the existence of a soul that, at the moment of its passing, detaches itself from the body.The priestly figure is embodied by the shaman, who performed a series of propitiatory rites to predict the future, using a magic drum. Many propitiatory rites referred to animals: when one of them was killed, a piece of flesh from each part of the body was inserted into a kind of tomb, to be buried, in the belief that the deity, ingratiated by sacrifice, revived the animal in another world. The Sami believed in the magical power of dreams, interpreting it as a way of communication with the world of the dead.


Gakti are the traditional clothing worn by the Sámi people. The gákti is worn both in ceremonial contexts and while working, particularly when herding reindeer.

Traditionally, the gákti was made from reindeer leather and sinews, but nowadays, it is more common to use wool, cotton, or silk. Women's gákti typically consist of a dress, a fringed shawl that is fastened with 1-3 silver brooches, and boots/shoes made of reindeer fur or leather.


"THE SPOTS OF GIRAFFES" COLLECTION MIXED MEDIA | 81X61 cm -PRINT ON PAPER 150 GRAMS -BASE IN WOOD 0,9 cm -BRASS NAILS -WOOL Exposed in Badiani Gallery, Notting Hill - London

350.00 €


PEOPLE I MET IN THAILAND COLLECTION MIXED MEDIA | 83x60 cm -PRINT ON PAPER -BASE IN WOOD 1 cm -BRASS NAILS -WHITE WIRE Exhibited at "System Art" - Hemcael Gallery Milan, September 2020

715.00 €


PEOPLE I MET IN THAILAND COLLECTION MIXED MEDIA | 83x60 cm -PRINT ON PAPER -BASE IN WOOD 1 cm -BRASS NAILS -WHITE WIRE Exhibited at "System Art" - Hemcael Gallery Milan, September 2020

715.00 €


PEOPLE I MET IN THAILAND COLLECTION MIXED MEDIA | 83x60 cm -PRINT ON PAPER -BASE IN WOOD 1 cm -BRASS NAILS -WHITE WIRE Exhibited at "System Art" - Hemcael Gallery Milan, September 2020

715.00 €



880.00 €