Where does the Saami People comes from by Lars-Nila Lasko

Johan Turi and Saami origin

Johan Turi
Johan Turi

Johan Turi (1854-1936)

No one has heard that the Saami People would have come from somewhere. The Saami People has been an ancient people from time immemorial everywhere here in Lapland. When Saami People, in old times, lived at the seacoast there was not a single other inhabitants, and then it was good to be a Saami. In old times the Saami People lived everywhere on the Swedish side. At that time there were no farmers; The Saami People did not know that there were other people than themselves.” (Johan Turi “Muitalus sámiid birra”, “A book about Saami life” 1910)

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog


Saami comes from Lapland according Johan Turi

Johan Turi explains Saami origin that they always lived in Lapland and all other ethnic groups have recently immigrated to Lapland.

Lars-Nila Lasko - Saami History Blog
Lars-Nila Lasko – Saami History Blog


Saami origin questioned annually

However, Johan Turi’s declaration of Saami origin is not shared by all. Saami origin has long been a debated issue … and it still is. Every year we read letters to the editor in the northern press, on various blogs and on different forums on internet that Saami should go home to China and Mongolia, they immigrated to Sweden recently from east, or that they are not an indigenous people in Sweden (see previous blog post about Internet addresses on different posts on Saami origin).


Johan Turi has a score of Saami origin

Johan Turi’s explanation is not so stupid. Among historians and the scientific community it is widespread agreement that the Saami have been in Scandinavia and north-western Russia at least for several thousand years.

However, Saami origin is more complicated if one goes back more than 3000 years in time and the time before that. To understand the time horizon we could relate, for example, to the Swedish language which emerged 2,000 years later than the Saami language, ie around the year 800. This was a time before the Old Norse, Gothic, Lombard and other older Germanic languages emerged. We are talking about the time when pro-Germanic was a speaking language in Eorope to come to the time when it is difficult to understand the origin of the Saami people and Saami language.

I will go into more detail about Saami origin in future blog posts, different theories and facts.

Blog Question

Have each ethnic group a pipeline back to the Ice Age?

Ethnicity is actually an intellectual construction that also changes over time and develops in the area of contact between the different groups. Today’s ethnic map might not be transferred 10,000 years back in time or can it?


Lars-Nila Lasko

Homepage: www.lasko.mobi


Guhkkin davvin Dávggáid vuolde sabmá suolggai Sámieanan

One thought on “Where does the Saami People comes from by Lars-Nila Lasko

  1. I came across this wonderful blog of yours because of the poem you mentioned about Saami and Skane. My maternal line comes from Skane and I recently got an mtdna test, and it’s an H1e subclade, and on the http://dna.scangen.se/ website, there’s a county map for different haplogroups for people who have contributed and know their oldest ancestor and their county they were born. And for my subclade, which only has about 10 matches total on there, there’s basically three little clusters on the map, one in Skane, and another in Vastra Gotaland, which seems reasonable, since they aren’t too far apart, but then there’s a third cluster, all the way up in Norbotten. When I looked it up, it said it’s mostly populated by Saami people who practice reindeer husbandry up there. I was confused why there would be people found so far apart, so was searching online and then found your 150 year old poem mentioned here in your blog, that said something about the Saami went to Skane, but that “Skane” in the poem was supposedly a Saami word for a shoulder bone…However, I also have other family off that same family line, on a paternal branch of it, which again, all was in Skane, but then all of sudden that side of the family was found in Vasternorrland. All my other Swedish ancestors on that side, that I know of have stayed in southern Sweden, and for the most part in the county of Skane. I do have a little bit of Saami DNA show up on Gedmatch tests but I thought I got that from my father’s side, as I don’t know where all his family came from, I just knew they weren’t so concentrated in Skane, although never found any of my father’s ancestors farther North than Stockholm. The Vasternorrland is the farthest North that I have found my ancestors in Sweden, and it seems pretty far North. When I was reading about the town they were in, it said it was an old Saami settlement area, where they would stop there for reindeer feeding along migratory herding routes. My ancestors are not found in that area until you get back to the late 1600s. I don’t know what happened around then, but the records don’t go farther back than that. Anyways, that is just such a very interesting poem you shared. Thank you for sharing it. I have no idea if it explains any of my family history, or the confusion I have, or this interesting dichotomy with this cluster map having clusters found in opposite ends of Sweden, but just makes me curious now. Maybe there’s more to it, than just referring to a shoulder bone after all.


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