National Geographic

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Sámi reindeer herders

Jason Roberts/Jason Roberts Productions

Autumn in northern Norway: reindeer gather among the birch trees of Arnøy island, high above the arctic circle.

It is thought Sámi ancestors arrived in the region soon after the end of the ice age, approximately nine thousand years ago.

During the summer months, Sámi herders round up their reindeer in Arnøy’s high mountains, in preparation for the migration to the tundra plateau on the mainland.

The light snow cover on the tundra during the winter months means the moss on which the reindeer feed is relatively easy to find.

Words by Joanna Eede.