Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Sami People of Scandinavia

Several weeks ago I requested a book about the Sami people of northern Scandinavia and the government of Sweden sent the book free of charge. The book arrived in the mail today.

As I read, I was impressed with many similarities between the Sami in Europe and the Indians of North America. Anciently, they lived in cone-shaped tents, much like tepees. They beleived in the spirits of nature and had a language very different than the tongues of Europe. Even today, many of them continue to herd reindeer. They were also persecuted by the Christian governments of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, who forced them to convert to Chritianity. The old kings of Scandinavia criminalized the Sami religion and burned the drums of their medicine people. The similarities with the indigenous people of North America were haunting.

I met a young man online from Sweden who introduced me to this book. I hope to make many more connections with indigenous people around the world.

1 comment:

Casey Meshbesher said...

It's great that you're interested in Sami culture. You're right, that book offers a pretty good introduction, and is also available for pdf download. It is among the many resources we recommend at this site about the Sami people, which has many more links and resources to learn more. Check out the Sami culture library and Árran archive for many articles.