Ráidu – Encounter the reindeer

Travel in a snowmobile –drawn sled from Jukkasjärvi out to the reindeer camp in the forest. We keep and fodder part of our reindeer herd during winter to help them survive hard grazing conditions due to climate change. There are adult reindeer, youngsters and from around mid-December also calves that will eat out of hand. The reindeer is one of the Sámi society’s most important culture bearers and resources.

We will enter the reindeer enclosures and feed them. Our reindeer will curiously come, sniff at you and most likely venture eating out of your hand. You will hear a lot about how today’s reindeer husbandry works, what the challenges are, and what it means to decide for a traditional profession that is dear to one’s heart.
The reindeer herder will show you the art of lassoing before it is your turn to throw the lasso. When some of the reindeer stags are caught you will assist leading them to the sled track where the reindeer will be harnessed. We still tame and train some of our reindeer to conserve the cultural Sámi heritage of reindeer sledding. And we are proud to offer you the chance of driving reindeer with a sled around a short circuit if you like.You can compete with other drivers or if you prefer, just have a peaceful and quiet reindeer drive.

After the reindeer sledding part you will be invited into a lávvu, i.e. Sámi tent, where you will sit on reindeer skins around a sparkling warming fire whilst learning more about the indigenous people of Fennoscandia, i.e. the Sámi people’s culture, history and our way of life. You will be served suovas, the Sámi signature dish, which is lightly-salted and cold-smoked sliced reindeer meat, fried over the open flames and served on gáhkku-bread with a dash of lingonberry jam. It is eaten like a wrap and tastes best with hot, steeped coffee sipped from a guksi, a drinking cup carved from birch burl. On the way back to Jukkasjärvi we make a halt at our handicraft shop at Márkanbáiki where you can have a look at a range of traditional and modern local Sámi arts and crafts.

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  • Lavvu

    Photo: Nutti Sámi Siida

  • Renkörning 1

    Photo: Nutti Sami Siida

  • ren

    Photo: Björn Wanhatalo

  • renkörning

    Photo: Katja Bechtloff