Circum Polar Perspective
|In this illustration we've used blue for
the the area populated by the Sami
and a darker shade for the region
inhabited by the Nenets, Khanty,
Yakut etc. in Russia.
Purple outlines the polar circle..
The idea that there was a connection between the Sami's and other circumpolar people is old,
yet the idea was replaced of a theory that the Sami's was descendants of reindeerhunters who had
immigrated from the south. This idea originated among linguists who claimed to find ancient Scandinavian
words in the Sami languages which is correct, but more likely due to cultural exchange with Vikings etc. as well as archaeological finds of stonetools which was viewed as of south- Scandinavian origin.
The idea that the Sami's are part of a circumpolar culture was not completely abandoned however, and it would be difficult to deny the connection between the Sami's and the stoneage tools today, in part since it has been proven that Sami's used stonetools similar to those found in ancient sites as late as the 16'th century.
After the discovery of the Komsa culture in northern Norway the idea of a circumpolar culture once again gained respect. This find have spurred a number of scientific papers presenting the theory that the Sami's have been living on the Scandinavian peninsula since before the last iceage and might have remained in coastal areas during the last glacial period.
This certainly isn't impossible if one consider the fact that the Inuit populate Greenland under similar conditions today, yet it must be noted that this theory is unproven.
The idea have however gained further support by genetic studies of the Sami's which have proven that the group have lived isolated from other European peoples for several ten thousands of years. But nevertheless we have to conclude this summary that the last word in the debate over the origin of the Sami people isn't said yet.
Images: Copyright©, Boreale 1997.