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No. 22 [11. black and white close-up with cigarette or cloud of smoke and funny hat]

David Sara with a traditional hat from Karasjok (township in northern Norway)

No. 7 [3. frosted reindeer herd, white, antlers]


Sámi families often keep their reindeer herds together. Several times a year, the owners gather the reindeer in closed-off ranges to separate them. Approximately 2,500 tons of reindeer meat is produced annually in Norway. Although reindeer meat is about one percent of Norway’s total meat production, it’s vital to the Sámi economy.

The Sámi are indigenous people living today in northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. This exhibit of 29 photographs by an indigenous photographer Fred Ivar Utsi Klemetsen ( provides the visitor with vibrant images of Sámi people working and living in the North. Reindeer are central in the lives of these herders, both the young people who will take over and the elders who have brought their traditions into the 21st century. Fred Ivar Utsi Klemetsen’s photographs document the lives of these people who still herd in traditional ways with a minimum of modern tools. The photographs show the herders at work as well as life in their homes and with their families.

The exhibit also introduces Smithsonian archeologist Dr. Noel D. Broadbent. His NSF-funded project focuses on Sámi sites dating to the Viking Period. The Sámi practised a diverse economy and traded extensively with Northwestern Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia. For more information on this research, look up “Search for a Past” under Features at

The exhibit is presented by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Washington, D.C., as part of the Centennial Anniversary Program commemorating the peaceful dissolution of the union with Sweden in 1905.

Photographer Fred Ivar Utsi Klemetsen

Photographer Fred Ivar Utsi Klemetsen

View a slideshow of his work.

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