"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Secretly Sami

Friday, October 07, 2005

Secretly Sami

A reader recently provided this link (above) to an essay by James Kurtti, who reports that many Finns have Sami blood.

I'm looking forward to seeing this exhibit:
The Sami Reindeer People of Alaska
Friday, Oct. 7, 2005 to Sunday, Nov. 13, 2005
Nordic Museum, Seattle

This traveling exhibit honors the Sami reindeer herders who came from Norway in 1894 and 1898 to teach reindeer herding subsistence skills to the Yup’ik and Inupiaq Peoples of Alaska at the bidding of the United States Government. Included are items such as a Sami Lavvu (traditional tent), vintage photographs of herders, Sami tools, household items, men’s and women’s hats, and writings documenting the arrival of the herders, settlements and the Reindeer Act. This exhibition is coordinated by the Saami Baiki Foundation with guidance from other experts.

Some of the reindeer who were shipped to Seattle (en route to Alaska) met their end in Woodland Park, where our zoo is now located.


  1. I've heard it said that those of us who are of Laestadian heritage are likely of more Sami blood than those Finns who are not. Seems that many Sami who became Laestadian converts began to speak more Finnish in their home life to reflect what they heard spoken in religious gatherings. This was supposedly true in Norway and Sweden as well. According to my Norwegian sources, many Sami became "Kvens" (Finns) as it was stigmatized, but less so then being a Sami. According to scientific research on DNA, though the Sami and Finns speak a related Finno-Urgic language, Finnish DNA studies have shown that they are heavily related to the Germanic tribes (German, Scandinavian) than to the Finnic tribes (Sami, Estonian, Livonian, etc). That means they believe that Finns were perhaps germanic people who moved into the areas occupied by the Finno-Urgics and adopted their language types. Some intermixing occured, marking 25% of their gene pool as an unknown origin, perhaps part Sami or other type.

    I for one, would like to be part of a study group and find out if my DNA is more Sami or Finn. I would take a bet its more Sami! Time to start wearing a four-wind hat. I wonder where I could find one?

  2. I'm not sure how detailed the results would be regarding Finn vs. Sami ancestry, but you could participate in the National Geographic's Genographic project: www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/participate.html

    If that link doesn't work, you can try this link for the Google cache:

    For about $100, they send you a packet, and you return a swab from your cheek. Then they analyze it, and you can log in to the website and learn what your DNA tells you about your past.

  3. A couple of interesting Sami/Laestadian links:



    Two-part series. A must-read!

  4. Finnish or Sami? by Jim Kurtti first appeared in Árran #12, Fall 1998
    The page has moved and the article is now published here