The Sami people (also Sámi or Saami), traditionally known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sami are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia recognized and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples, and are hence the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. Sami ancestral lands span an area of approximately 388,350 km2 (150,000 sq. mi.), which is approximately the size of Norway, in the Nordic countries. Their traditional languages are the Sami languages and are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family.
Traditionally, the Sami 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. Currently about 10% of the Sami are connected to reindeer herding, providing them with meat, fur, and transportation. 2,800 Sami people are actively involved in herding on a full-time basis. For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people in certain regions of the Nordic countries.
In my book, The PlantMan, I send a sami man on trip to The Central African Republic to look for rare plants. Part of the fascination is the Sami culture of shamanism and traditional healing. My character is able to explore and experience this in Africa.
Today there are a number of Sami who seek to return to the traditional Pagan values of their ancestors. There are also some Sami who claim to be noaidi and offer their services through newspaper advertisements, in New Age arrangements, or for tourist groups. While they practice a religion based on that of their ancestors, widespread anti-pagan prejudice has caused these shamans to be generally not viewed as part of an unbroken Sami religious tradition. Traditional Sámi beliefs are composed of three intertwining elements: animism, shamanism, and polytheism.
Sámi animism is manifested in the Sámi’s belief that all significant natural objects (such as animals, plants, rocks, etc.) possess a soul; and from a polytheistic perspective, traditional Sámi beliefs include a multitude of spirits. Many contemporary practitioners are compared to practitioners of neo-paganism, as a number of neopagan religions likewise combine elements of ancient pagan religions with more recent revisions or innovations, but others feel they are attempting to revive or reconstruct indigenous Sami religions as found in historic, folkloric sources and oral traditions.
A very different religious idea is represented by the numerous “wise men” and “wise women” found throughout the Sami area. They often attempt to heal the sick through rituals and traditional medicines and may also combine traditional elements, such as older Sami teachings, with newer monotheistic inventions that Christian missionaries taught their ancestors, such as readings from the Bible.
Source. Wiki and Francis Stevens George