National Geographic

← Back to ‘Our Souls Touch': The Swimming Reindeer of the Sámi.

Sámi reindeer herders

Jason Roberts

Berit Logje Siri watches the herd swimming across the fjord.

The industrialisation of Sápmi, the assimilation of the Sámi and the Norwegian government’s lack of recognition of the Sámi’s rights to their lands have had a vast impact on herding.

For many Sámi herders, however, time is still measured by the seasonal migrations of their reindeer.

_My people have been living with reindeer for thousands of years_, said a Sámi herder. _We’ve become very close. You could say that our souls touch, or better still, they overlap_.