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Any of the descendants of ancient nomadic peoples who inhabited northern Scandinavia. They may be Paleo-Siberian or alpine peoples from central Europe. Reindeer hunting was the basis of their life from earliest times; herding was the basis of their economy until recently. They became nomadic a few centuries ago. The three Sami languages, mutually unintelligible, are sometimes considered dialects of one language of the Finno-Ugric branch of the Uralic family. They number about 70,000.
Variants of SAMI
Sami or Lapp
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Sami, visit Britannica.com.