Murmansk Oblast

Sam Syit

What attracts tourists to the open-air museum Sami village in the Murmansk region

20.05.2022 // The ethnographic museum Sam Syit is a great source of knowledge about the culture and life of the indigenous people of the Kola Peninsula, the Sami.

The open-air ethnographic museum Sam Syit is located in the Lovozersky District of the Murmansk region, near the village of Lovozero and the Revda township, 100 km from Murmansk. The name of the museum translates as 'Sami village'. It tells about the traditions, culture and life of the indigenous people of the Kola Peninsula. The tours are organised by the local Sami community and are conducted by Sami guides.

The Sami are a small indigenous ethnos of the Kola Peninsula. At the moment there are only about 1,500 of them. Most Sami live in the Lovozersky District.

Magic Idols and the Sacral Lake

Once in the village, tourists are greeted in the Sami language by locals in national costumes, followed by a ceremony of raising the national Sami flag. The tour of the open-air museum begins with a visit to the tents and portable dwellings, the lavvus, during which guests can examine all the handmade utensils.

The guests are then invited to the alley of the magic idols. According to their creators, the owners of the ethno village, the idols bring love, happiness, good luck, fortune and health. They say that the idols like gifts and will happily grant wishes in return for sweets or small coins.

Other activities available in the village include traditional northern sports and a visit to a small Arctic zoo. Tourists can take photos with the deer, moose, foxes, Arctic foxes and husky dogs who live in the village, as well as pet and feed the reindeer calves.

Photos from the site:

They can also try out reindeer and dog sledding in winter or ride an ATV in summer. In the summer months, tourists are invited to visit the ancient spring-fed lake Obryadovoye (lit.: Sacral), which is located in a 35 m deep impact crater.

Visitors to the ethno village can get their pictures taken in Sami national clothes, as well as purchase charms, amulets, local handicrafts and other souvenirs.

Lim at Petroglyphs

The Petroglyphs ethnic cafe offers traditional Sami cuisine, including lim (salmon soup), pudze vench (venison with fixings), pakula (herbal tea), and Lovozero bread.

A trip to Sam Syit usually takes all day. Special weekend tours to the ethno village are popular in the Murmansk region. It is also possible to stay overnight here, as Sami-styled guest houses are equipped for accommodation.

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