The Saami (Sámi) are the indigenous people of Fennoscandia with a total number of over 80 thousand people. Traditionally, the Saami country is called Lapland (Finnish Lappi, Swedish Lappland, Norwegian Lapland) or Sápmi (Sámeednam) in the Saami language. It covers a large territory with a length of up to 2000 km and a width of up to 400 km, including the northern regions of four states: Norway, Russia, Finland, and Sweden.

General information

The Saami of Russia are considered an eastern ethnographic group and are called the Kola after the peninsula where they mainly reside (the self-name remains Saami, and sometimes they are also called lop or lopari). According to the All-Russian Census of 2010, 1.771 Saami were registered in the country, most of them (1.599) in the Murmansk region.

Surrounding society and the main economic activity of the region of residence

The Kola Saami area of residence combines highly urbanized areas with an oasis of traditional reindeer herding. The Murmansk region is one of the strategic regions of the country in the Northwestern Federal District. The largest port and the only ice-free deep-water harbor in the Russian Arctic, Murmansk is the main base of the Northern Sea Route and the Northern Fleet (military, nuclear icebreaking, commercial, trawl, and sea fishing), an outpost of Russian geopolitics in northern Europe, as well as the center of the fishing industry of the Barents region. The Kola Peninsula houses bases of the Russian Northern Fleet. The bases are closed administrative-territorial entities and are subordinate to the Ministry of Defense: Severomorsk, Vidyaevo, Zaozersk, Ostrovnoy, and Aleksandrovskoye with the cities of Polyarny, Gadzhievo and Snezhnogorsk.

Spiritual culture

The Saami imagined the universe as divided into three worlds: the lower, the middle, and the upper ones. The lower world Tuot-ilmbi ("other world") is the domain of the souls of the dead as well as the malevolent deities Rota (Ruota) - the lord of hell, Yambe-akko - the mother of death, and Paga - an evil angel.

Supplementary materials
Other materials describing the life, culture and history of the people
Interactive Atlas of the Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East