In this video, travel vlogger Alice Ford shares her experience travelling with a Sámi family of reindeer herders in northern Norway.

The formerly nomadic, indigenous Sámi people are Norway’s largest ethnic minority and Norway’s longest-standing residents: they have inhabited northern Scandinavia and northwestern Russia for millennia.

Of approximately 60,000 Sámi, around 40,000 reside in Norway, primarily inhabiting the northern region of Finnmark, with scattered groups in Nordland, Trøndelag and elsewhere in central Norway. Sámi, who refer to their traditional lands as Sápmi or Samiland, also inhabit Sweden, Finland and Russia.

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

As we see in the video, a characteristic feature of Sámi tradition is the singing of yoik. Yoiks are song-chants and are traditionally sung a cappella, slow and deep in the throat. Yoiks can be dedicated to animals and birds in nature, special people or special occasions, and they can be joyous, sad or melancholic.

View the original video here.

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