top of page

Saami DNA | Prehistoric ancestors | Coastal Saamis

Saami DNA; Saami genome; Saami genealogy; Saami DNA testing

Professor emeritus Arnljot Elgsæter

  • Facebook


The origins of the Saamis have always been a mystery, but there has never been a shortage of fairy tales when it comes to this matter. With the combined use of modern DNA analyzes and linguistic methods, however, a well-founded picture of the Sami origins is now emerging.


For approx. three thousand years ago, people began to migrate from Northern Siberia westwards to present-day Finland. Originally, all these people spoke the same ancient language. As time went on, the language spoken by the different subgroups of migrants, began to split into different dialects and eventually several different languages. Finnish linguists have concluded that the Saami language originated approx. 2000 years ago in a subgroup that lived in the geographical area where today one finds Finland and Karelia.  


The inevitable conclusion is thus that the Saami-speaking people with ancestry only from the Northern Siberia and who lived in the Finland/Karelian area 2000 years ago, were almost by definition the first 100% Saamis.


It turns out that the paternal side of the Norwegian North-Saamis comes precisely from this subgroup of migrants from Northern Siberia. DNA studies of the Norwegian North-Saami show that half of their a-DNA comes from men with only ancestors from Northern Siberia. The paternal side of the Norwegian North-Saamis must necessarily have been Saami-speaking because the same DNA studies show that the maternal ancestors of the North-Saamis were local Stone-Age women from Finnmark than only spoke the local Stone-Age language.


In principle, these 100% Saamis are not genetically different from the other immigrants from Northern Siberia, although detailed studies will certainly yield some differences. However, such minor internal differences are of little interest in this context. The first Saamis, therefore, arose primarily as the result of a linguistic fragmentation of the original Northern Siberian language into several sub-languages one of which was the Saami language.   


This means that the identity of the 100% Saamis from Finland/Karelia is first and foremost of cultural/linguistic nature. This is probably the reason why no one has succeeded in finding any "Saami signature genes".


Recent DNA-studies of the paternal lines of North-Saami families show that these lines enter the local population in Finland/Karelia for approx. 2000 years ago. Together with the results from the language studies, this shows that the Finnish 100% Saami who are the paternal ancestors of the North-Saamis, could not possibly have colonized Finnmark earlier than for approx. 2000 years ago. It is therefore also impossible the first-generation North-Saami children could not have seen the light of day earlier than about 2000 years ago. 


The number and type of loanwords from the local Stone-Age language found in the North- Saami language indicate that the North-Saamis survived from day one by passing on the fishing and trapping culture of the original Stone Age people, ie. that the North-Saami started up as Coastal Saamis (‘’sjøsamer’’) and probably were the sole carriers of the North-Saami culture for the next one thousand years or so. 


It is otherwise of interest here to note that since the first generation of North-Saami children has local Stone-Age women as mothers and Finnish 100% Saamis as fathers, the North- Saami children and their descendants are strictly speaking only 50% Saamis (half-Saamis). But it is still correct to refer to someone as 100% North- Saami.


The photograph from1882 shown in Figure 17 depicting one Coastal-Saami family placed in front of its hut (‘’gamme’’), which is fully consistent with the ancestors of North-Saamis being half Western European Stone-Age people and the other half being Finnish 100% Saamis with Northern Siberian ancestors. 


It should therefore come as no surprise that 23andMe and other suppliers of private DNA analyzes report back that close to 100% North-Saamis are about 70% Finish.


In a broader perspective, this means that today's Finnish 100% Saami may look at the North-Saamis as their "half-Saami" nieces and nephews (daughters and sons of their brothers). A simpler, more unifying, and beautiful summary of the history of the Saamis in Fennoscandia is hardly conceivable, and everyone should be able to live happily ever after in the knowledge of being part of a larger Fennoscandian Saami family. 


But so far this has unfortunately not been like that. This gives associations to the famous words from the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in the play Vildanden: "If you take the lie of life from an average person, you take happiness from it immediately ". 


The problem here is that many with Saami ancestry have all their lives been told that the Saamis are the indigenous people of the Nordic countries, and perhaps even of the whole of Europe and that they, therefore, have an innate burden that justifies a special legal status with associated privileges.


The recent DNA results showing instead that the North-Saamis most likely is Europe's youngest mixed people, appear to be shocking to many and resulting in subsequent refusals and denials. Dark forces are even working too hard to prevent the DNA-results presented on this website from becoming widely known in public. This applies to both social media and Norway's '’free press”, despite that the latter likes the public to believe that they are the only true guardians of Article 100 of the Constitution and free speech.


Here it is otherwise important to note that DNA never lies. In plain English, the new DNA results tell us that claiming that the North-Saamis are the indigenous people of North-Scandinavia is as uneducated and laughable as claiming that the Spanish conquistadores are the indigenous people of the Spanish speaking parts of South and Central America.    

A Norwegian version of this text can be found on the following link:

About me:

Professor emeritus in Biophysics and Medical Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Work experience

1 august 1963 - 31 July 1974   Simonsen Radiofactory, Oslo, Norway. Trainee for study at NTH/NTNU.

1 July 1969-30 June 1970         Conscript in the Norwegian Army Signal Core. Most of the time was spent at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment. 


1 August 1970--31 July 1971   Research assistant at Department of Physics, NTH/NTNU, Norway. 


1 August 1974 -31 March 2009  NTH/NTNU  Assistant, associate and full professor Department of Physics, Biophysics and Medical Technology.


1 Sept 1960-May 1963 Steinkjer landsgymnas, Norway.


1 Sept 1964-30 April 1969 Norwegian University of Technology (NTH/NTNU), Trondheim Master ( Applied Physics.


1 August 1971 -31 July 1974 University of California, Berkeley, USA. Ph.D.  Biophysics.


For a more detailed curriculum vita see

indigenous, Samer, Saami,  Saami photo 1882, Saami DNA, Saami Origin, Saami genetics, Saami genetic origin

My Saami/Kven relative Biret Mikkelsdatter Hætta at the age of 20 years. The photo was taken in Kautokeino in 1882 by Sophus Tromholt. Unesco World Heritage

indigenous, Samer, Saami, Saami Photo Kautokeino 1882, Saami DNA, Saami genealogy, Saami ancestry

My Saami/Kven relative Johannes Mathisen Hætta, at the age of 80 years, together with family members. The photo was taken in Kautokeino in 1882 by Sophus Tromholt. Unesco World Heritage.

The genetic origin of the North-Saamis


1. Introduction

2. Prehistoric human migrations in Europe

3. What fraction of your ancestors is North-Saamis?

4. New 23andMe maps showing where the descendants of one’s ancestors live today

    4.1 Known ethnic origin compared with 23andMe maps for Arnljot Elgsæter (10-15% North-Saami)

5. The maternal lines of Saamis and the people living in Finland

6. Paternal line of two 100% North-Saami reindeer herder families 

7. The origin of the North-Saami language

8. What happened when a group of Iron-Age proto-Finns from North-Finland about 2000 years ago conquered Finnmark, Norway?

9. Summary

1. Introduction

By 2003 the world’s leading DNA scientists had succeeded in mapping most of the genome of one modern human. This was a historic achievement. By the end of 2013 most of the genome of a Neanderthal had also been mapped. The Neanderthals can be viewed as an extinct cousin of modern humans. Because the Neanderthals became extinct about 40 000 years before the present (ybp) this new international collaboration study was confronted by many new challenges. The most important of these was to develop reliable new techniques for collecting and analyzing 40 000 years and older prehistoric DNA. This work was a project where Professor Svante Pääbo at the Max Plank Institute, Germany, was the leading scientist.

Each of these two seminal studies required the development of numerous new DNA-technologies. In the years since these pioneering works, there has been a continuous flow of new improved DNA-technologies with capabilities that, each time, were almost unimaginable only a few years earlier.

Soon the scientists succeeded in mapping the DNA of an increasing number (hundreds and now thousands) of prehistoric European skeletons. In most cases, the age of the skeletons can be established using archaeological or radiometric (C14) dating methods. Together these new DNA-data made it possible to apply powerful mathematical methods to analyze the prehistoric human migrations in Europe after the end of the last large Ice-Age about 12 000 ago. Most of the results from these studies were published in the highest regarded international scientific journals with Professor David Reich, Harvard University, USA, as one of the lead scientists.  But most such scientific reports/articles are not easily digested by non-scientists. That Professor Davis Reich now has published a summary of the conclusions from these migration DNA studies in an affordable and readily available popular science book, therefore, is most welcome.

indigenous, Samer, Saami, ancient DNA, ancient human migrations, Saami DNA, Saami origin, Saami genetnic origin

Figure 1. Frontpage of the book ''Who we are and how we got here'' published in 2018 by Professor David Reich, Harvard University, USA. This book gives a detailed and authoritative account of the migrations of the prehistoric peoples into Europe after the end of the last great Ice-Age. It is here important to note that, in this book written by one of the world's most prominent scientists in this field, the Saamis are not mentioned even once.

This book ought to be obligatory reading for anyone with even the slightest ambition to, in general, stay up to date on some of the most important scientific developments of our time. This once again is an example of the immense power and unique contributions of science and technology to answering philosophical questions related to who we are as human beings.

For many with Saami ancestry, it appears to come almost as a shock to find that the Saamis are not mentioned, not even once, in this book written by the world's most prominent scientist studying prehistoric human migrations in Europe. In comparison, the Eskimos are mentioned at five different locations in the same book. This ought to an eyeopener for quite a few people and without going into further details this can only mean one thing:  

There exist no scientific bases for the widespread popular belief that the Saamis constitute one of the oldest indigenous populations in Scandinavia/Europe.

This realization leaves the question about the prehistoric genetic origin of North-Saamis fully open. It is this question that this text will focus on. The key task here is to first establish the prehistoric ethnic profile of 100% North-Saamis. In such cases, Mother Nature often has her own ways of leading investigators to places they did not anticipate and sometimes even personally dislike strongly. But, hard facts are hard facts.

2. Prehistoric human migrations in Europe

sjøsasmer, urbefolking, indigenous, Samer, Saami, ancient DNA, ancient human migrations, Saami DNA, Saami origin, Saami genetnic origin

Figure 2. An overview of post-Ice-Age human migrations in Europe. The Saamis are not included in the book written by Professor David Reich, Harvard University, about prehistoric human migration in Europe simply because the first North-Saami hybrid babies did not see the light of day until about 2000 years before the present (ybp).

WHG  =  Western Hunter-Gatherers                   AMF  =  Asia Minor Farmers

EHG   =  Eastern Hunter-Gatherers                    GF    =  Germanic Farmers      

BAM   =  Bronze-Age Migrants                           NSM  =  North Siberian Migrants       

SHG   =  Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers​

The chart above shows that no less than five prehistoric human migrations are needed to account for the current human populations across Europe:

1) The first anatomically modern humans migrated from North-East-Africa into Europe roughly 100 000 ybp. That is, during the last large Ice-Age. This Stone-Age people populated the South-Western part of Europe for tens of thousands of years and were, for example, the creators of the famous cave paintings found in Lascaux, France. However, recent DNA-analyses show that there was a major genetic turnover about 14 000 ybp, i.e. just before the end of the last large Ice-Age. The original Stone-Age population was then brutally displaced by new Stone-Age migrants from Asia Minor. The latter is the people referred to as the Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG) in the flow chart presented in Figure 2. Towards the end of the last great Ice-Age, about 12 000 ybp, the WHG soon migrated North along the ice-free west coast of Norway and further East all the way towards the region which today is located next to the Russian boarder.


2) The people referred to as Eastern Hunter-Gatherers (EHG) in Figure 2, were early Stone-Age people that migrated from the North-East-Europe along the ice-free coast towards the North of Scandinavia at the end of the last great Ice-Age. The WGH and EHG met and merged. The resulting mixed Stone-Age people (about 95% WHG and 5% EHG) became the Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers (SHG). The exact WHG/EHG-ratio shows some geographic dependence. This minor admix of EHG is what genetically distinguishes SHG from WHG. This minor admix of EHG has become a crucial genetic marker in the studies of the North-Saami genetic past.

It is the SHG that are the indigenous people (“urbefolkninga”) of Scandinavia. The last members of this indigenous population disappeared abruptly as the result of a y-DNA genocide that took place about 2000 ybp when Iron-Age men from North-Finland (Proto-Finns) speaking a Fenno-Uralic language colonized most of Finnmark, Norway.


3)  The first farmers migrated from Asia-Minor (AMF) to southern Europe about 8 000 ybp. Gradually the farming culture spread further West and North in Europe, but in the process, the original WHG people eventually merged with these first farmers resulting in a new mixed population that gradually became the new locally genetically homogeneous European farmer population. This new farmer population had roughly equal amounts of its ancestors from WHG and the original framers from Asia-Minor (AMF). This ratio varies somewhat depending on where in Europe one looks. It was this new mixed farmer population that became the Stone-Age Germanic (not to be mistaken for German) Farmers of Scandinavia (GF). The migration started in southern Sweden at about 7000 ybp but did not reach northern Finland until just 500 ybp. The reason why this migration to the far North took such a long time, most likely, was because the farmers first needed to develop new breeds of animals and food-producing plants that tolerated the much harsher climate of the northernmost parts of Fennoscandia.

indigenous, Germanic famer DNA, Saami DNA, Saami origin

Figure 3. This graph shows the relative amount of WHG and AMF autosomal DNA (a-DNA) for a total of 57 persons from Fennoscandia which have been arranged along the horizontal axis according to the amount of SHG a-DNA in their genomes. Those with the highest percentage of SHG a-DNA are found all the way to the left. As chance would have it, it turns out that this approach places the people with the highest percentage of Saami ancestors, based on known family trees, to the left. Those from Finland and those with various mixtures of Saamis, Finns, and people from Southern Norway are found near the middle of the horizontal axis. The persons from the South of Norway are all found all the way to the right. The graph was created by using the LPMD tool available at the website The left vertical axis shows the relative amount of a-DNA in the genome. My own family tree reveals that I have about 10%-15% Saami ancestors, 25%-30% Finish (Kven) ancestors, and the rest from southern Norway (‘’Vikings’’). On the graph above I am found at location 23 from the right side of the horizontal axis. The graph shows that all farmer DNA and most of the WHG a-DNA found in the Scandinavians today were carried by the Germanic farmers.  


It is here important to note that all users of GEDmatch have confirmed that all data appearing as results of using the analytic tools available in GEDmatch, are to be regarded as public domain information. But, the original genome data is not available to anyone.

The graphs in Figure 3. show that the WHG/AMF-ratio is roughly the same for everyone. This strongly suggests that in all cases this is due to a variable amount of admix with one and the same population. The large amount of AMF strongly suggests that the population in question is the Germanic farmers (GF). On average the ratio WHG/AMF in Fennoscandia equals about 55/45.

The graph shows that the relative amount of GF a-DNA approaches zero for those with the highest amount of Saami ancestors (all the way to the left). The persons from the South-Norway clearly has the highest amount of GF a-DNA. The Germanic farmer a-DNA accounts for 50-60 % of the total genome of most people living in southern Norway 200 ybp.

4) The next wave of migrants came from the south-eastern steps of Europe. These new migrants will here just be referred to as the Bronze-Age Migrants (BAM). The Bronze-Age in Scandinavia lasted from about 3700 -2500 ybp. The graph below shows that for the persons to the left on the graphs (those with most Saami ancestors) the BAM a-DNA accounts for about 12% of the genome. For those in the middle and to the right in the graph, this percentage is about 20%. 

sjøsamer, urbefolking, indigenous, Samer, Saami, Ancient ethninc profile, North-Scandinavians, Saami DNA, Saami genetics, 100% Saami, Saami origin

Figure 4. This is a seminal graph because it represents the only study that, so far, reveals the prehistoric ethnic origin of 100% North-Saamis.


The a-DNA-data presented in Figure 4 are for the same persons that provided the data shown in Figure 3. The arrangement along the horizontal axis also is the same. That is, with the Saamis all the way to the left and the those who are ''ethnic Norwegians'' (''Vikings'') all the way to the right. The Finns are found in the middle together with those whose ancestor are partly Saami, Finns, and ''Vikings''. The left vertical axis shows the relative amount a-DNA in the genome. The presented a-DNA-results were generated using the MDLP tools K23b and World-22 provided in GEDmatch. The results show unequivocally that the 100% NorthSaamis genetically are about half indigenous Scandinavians and half indigenous North-Siberians.


And not least, the graph, for the first time ever, provides the prehistoric genetic profile of a 100% North-Saami. This is very important new information.


The green curve labeled AMF shows the content of a-DNA from the early framers from Asia Minor.


The brownish curve labeled BAM shows the content of a-DNA from what here summarily are referred to as Bronze-Age people.

The blue curve labelled Sibir shows the content of a-DNA from ancestors with North-Siberian origin.


The violet curve labeled SHG shows the content of a-DNA from the Scandinavian Stone-Age people. Note the steady decline from left to right in the graph.


The yellow top curve labeled WHG shows the total content of a-DNA from the Western European Stone-Age people. It is here important to note that in these numbers has been included the percentage SHG a-DNA of the Scandinavian Stone-Age people. This is so because about 95% of the SHG a-DNA consists of WHG a-DNA. In short, this means that about half the ancestors of the North-Saamis are Western-European.


For Saamis, Finns, and ''Vikings'' the total percentage of WHG a-DNA is about 40-50% for each population. It is, therefore, no wonder that the physical appearance of some members of these three quite distinct ethnic groups often may look strikingly similar. It is further important to note that while the Saamis got all their WHG a-DNA from their SHG a-DNA, whereas the people in southern Norway got most of their WHG a-DNA via the Germanic Farmers (GF). Less than one-fifth of the ''Viking'' WHG a-DNA come from the SHG a-DNA.


The limiting values to the left in Figure 4 appear to be about 0% AMF (and therefore also 0% GF), 12% BAM%, 44% SHG, and 44% NSM.


IMPORTANT: These limiting values to the left of the graph in Figure 4 will in the following be used as the definition of a 100% North-Saami.


5) In the period 3500-2000 ybp there was a significant migration of nomads with ancestors from North-Siberia (NSM) to the region between the northern part of the Ural-mountains and what today is Finland. The NSM people had solely Siberian ancestors.

The NSM people contributing to the genome of the North-Saami has now been identified as the Iron-Age people living in North-Finland about 2000 ybp (''proto-Fins''). Contrary to what is the case for the people living in Finland nowadays (''modern Fins''), the NSM people living in North-Finland 2000 ybp (proto-Finns) had no admix with Germanic Farmers (GF).


The approximate fractions of the a-DNA that comes from the oldest migrations to Europe:


                        WHG      AMF      SHG        NSM         BAM

North-Saamis     0%        0%       44% (F)    44%(M)    12%(M)

‘’Vikings’’           45%      23%        7%           5%            20%

Half-Saami        22%      12%       26%         25%          15%

Finns                 30%      13%       20%         17%           20%


In the table above ‘’Half-Saami’’ means 50% North-Saami + 50% ‘’Viking’’. ''F'' and ''M'' denote female-only and male-only origin, respectively.


It is here of interest to note that about 55% of the genomes of everybody living in Fennoscandia originate from the WHG +BAM. Remember here that SGHs were 95% WHG. It still appears unknown how and when the admix of BAM in the North-Saami population came about.


Genetically the North-Saami people just constitute one of the many possible mixtures of ethnic groups commonly found in Fennoscandia, but the genetic history of the North-Saamis is exceptional.


It is further worth noting that the ethnic profile of Half-Saamis is dramatically different from that of a 100% North-Saamis, but not all that different from the ethnic profile of the people currently living in Finland. The huge difference in ethnic profile between an ‘’undiluted’’ 100% North-Saami and a Half-Saami constitutes a serious challenge for researchers trying to understand the genetic history of North-Saamis without having a defined genetically what it means to be 100% North-Saami.


My experience over the last five years or so is that most persons who proudly present themselves as North-Saamis, often have an overoptimistic view of what percentage of their a-DNA comes from North-Saamis. If DNA-researchers accept these individual beliefs as facts, then what comes out of their scientific research projects most often is of limited value. Even in our times, this mistake occurs more often than one should expect.

3. What fraction of your ancestors is North-Saami?

The most stringent approach to defining a 100% North-Saami consists of determining limiting values at the left side of the graph in Figure 4 for SHG, NSM, GF, and BAM. The limiting value for GF appears to be 0%, which makes sense because the first GF came to northern Finland only about 500 ybp.


The a-DNA ethnic profile for 100% North-Saami thus reads

          44% Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers (SHG)

          44% nomads with North-Siberian ancestors (NSM)

          12% Bronze-Age migrants (BAM)

This new DNA information is crucial as a starting point for the interpretation of all Saami DNA testing results. 

In practice, the simplest approach to getting an estimate of what percentage of one's ancestors are North-Saamis is to get a standard commercial DNA-test from one or more of the well-known providers such as 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, Ancestry. The next step then is to identify someone who is a member of one of these providers who is 100% North-Saami.

In such a case all that is needed is to check whether the person in question appears on the list of your DNA-relatives, and there look how close you are related to this 100% North-Saami; Whether you are first or fifth cousins, and so on. 

One such person has been known publically for several years, but suddenly this person is no longer comfortable with referred to by name. This is regrettable because the use of her DNA-data as the gold-standard would readily have given many a reliable and long-sought-after answer concerning their percentages of North-Saami ancestry. 

A second approach consists of transferring a copy of the DNA-result obtained from one of the commercial test providers listed above to At this public genealogy net-site, there are quite a few members with a substantial amount of North-Saami ancestors. It is here straight forward to check to what extent one is related to several of these North-Saami persons.

A third approach consists of using the MDLP tools in the GEDmatch to determine one's prehistoric ancestry. Provided that the percentage of North-Saami ancestry is higher than about 25% is fairly straightforward to calculate the prehistoric ethnic profile would be of for example a 3/4 North-Saami, and so on. The next step then consists of determining which of these prehistoric ethnic profiles match best your own prehistoric ethnic profile. 

A fourth approach consists of applying the  AncestryOracle tool in GEDmatch. My own result is shown below


Recalling that my own ethnic profile is 1/8 North-Saami, 1/4 Kven/Finn, and the rest ethnic Norwegian the first solution offered by MDLP may at first appear to not even be close to correct. But recalling that ethnic profiles of Norwegians and people on the British Isles may not be all that different and that Mordovian at least in part belong to the Finno-Ugric group of people the result in my case actually is not all that bad.

My experience is that if AncestryOracle list some Saami ancestry in most of the offered alternative ethnic profiles the probability is high that the person in question has a significant amount of Saami ancestry. 


In conclusion, it appears that MDLP in fact has managed quite well to get something useful out of what from what mathematically is a challenging situation. This product is far from perfect, but in most cases, it appears to give a correct coarse description of the situation.


4. New 23andMe maps showing where the descendants of one’s ancestors live today

In late 2019 23andMe began providing maps that show where the decedents of a customer's ancestors are living today. This provides important information about where the ancestors once lived.  Below are shown these maps for me (Arnljot Elgsaeter, 10-15% North-Saami).

My personal results are included in order to serve as a check of how reliable and helpful these new 23andMe maps are. An important point here is that all branches of my family tree are known going back in time 200 years or more.  It turns out that for me the results given in the new maps provided by 23andMe, are both impressively detailed and accurate.

4.1 Known ethnic origin compared with the 23andMe maps for Arnljot Elgsæter (10-15% North-Saami)

My family tree tells me that I am 10-15% North-Saami, 25-30% North-Finish (Kven) and the rest from southern Norway. My y-DNA haplogroup is R1a1a1M417; R-CTS 4179; R-YP5816.  My m-DNA haplogroup is H6a1a4. My family tree can be found at Click at ANCESTORS.

indigenous, 23andMe results for 12% Saami, 30% Kven, Saami DNA, Saami origin

Figure 5. This figure shows the ethnic results profile predicted by 23andMe for Arnljot Elgsaeter (10-15% North-Saami) Here it is apparent that 23andMe does not distinguish between North-Saamis and people from Finland. The technical reason for this may in part simply be that there is no nation-state named ‘’Saami-land’’. What here is given as 40% Finnish actually is the sum of my percentages of North-Saami and Finnish ancestors.

23andMe is not the only big company offering consumer DNA analyses these days. One of these other companies is MyHeritage which for me, referring to  current populations, gives the following ethnicity:

         Finnish                         38.3%

         Inuitt                              3.0%

         Chinese/Vietnamese     0.8% 

         Total                             42.1%​

​When the 1.6 % Eastern European ancestors and the 40.0 % Finish DNA reported by 23andMe are added up this gives that a total of 41.6 % of my a-DNA that is non-Scandinavian and non-Western Europeans.

​Looking at the polygenetic three shown in Figure 12 it is easy to see what is going on here. Both the Inuits and the Chinese/Vietnamese have prehistoric ancestors for North-Siberia just as modern Finns and North-Saamis, but this does not mean the I in some meaningful way can claim that I am 3.0 % Inuit. All my East-Asian DNA has entered my genome via the North-Saamis (''proto Finns'') and modern Finns/Kvens.

​Further, it is of some interest to note that the fraction of non-Scandinavian and non-Western European DNA reported independently by 23andMe and MyHeritage is 41.6 %  and 42.1 %, respectively. This yields some extra credence to the significance of the reported fraction of non-Scandinavian and non-Western European DNA in my genome.


Figure 6. Here is shown where in Norway, according to 23andMe, the descendants of Arnljot Elgsaeter's ancestors are to be found. In the 23andMe maps the darker the blue color the higher the density of current DNA-relatives. The relative map of Norway appears to be in full agreement with what can be seen from my family-tree.

The father of my maternal grandmother and came from the southwestern part of Norway near Bergen. This area is marked accurately in the 23andMe map for Norway shown in Figure 6.

The parents of my paternal grandmother both came from Kvikne/Tynset area about 150 km South-East of Trondheim. Also, this area is marked correctly in the 23andMe map for Norway shown in Figure 6.  

The parents of my paternal grandfather came from Verdal and Selbu, respectively, located about 30-80 km North-East of Trondheim. The 23andMe map for Norway shown in Figure 6 agrees well with these family tree data. 


The mother of my maternal grandmother and was 100% North-Finish (Kven) and all her ancestors came from the Norrbotten region in Finland. This area is marked very nicely in the 23andMe map for Finland is shown in Figure 8.


The family tree of my maternal grandfather’s mother goes back to Kautokeino, Finnmark, and further back to Finland. She was about half Saami and half Finnish (Kven). This agrees well with the marking on the 23andMe map for Norway, Sweden, and Finland Figures 6, 7, and 8.

The family of my maternal grandfather’s father goes back to Kvænangen and Lyngen, Troms county. He also appears to be about half Saami and half Finnish (Kven). This agrees well with the marking on the 23andMe map for Norway, Sweden, and Finland (Figures 6, 7, and 8).


The only markings on the 23andMe that cannot easily be explained from the known family- three, is the sharp blue color of Nordland county, Norway (300 – 800 km north of Trondheim). The proximity of my DNA-relatives in North-Sweden and Nordland suggests that my DNA-relatives in Nordland are Lule-Saamis related to my Saami relatives in North-Sweden. In Tysfjord, Nordland, Norway there is a permanent Lule-Saami settlement. The Lule-Saamis came to Norway about 300 years before presence (ybp). The distance from the Atlantic Ocean to the border between Norway and Sweden next to Norrbotten County in many places is less than 10 km. In years with poor reindeer grazing conditions in the Swedish mountains, the Atlantic Ocean with its abundant fish resources was always a reliable and convenient next-door safe haven for the Swedish Saamis.​

descendents of ancesters i Sweden for 1/8 Saami

Figure 7. Here is shown wherein Sweden, according to 23andMe, the descendants of Arnljot Elgsaeter's ancestors are to be found. In the 23andMe maps the darker the blue color the higher the density of current DNA-relatives. The relative map of Sweden appears to be in full agreement with what can be seen from my family-tree.

indigenous, descendents of ancesters i Finland for 1/8 Saami

Figure 8. Here is shown wherein Finland, according to 23andMe, the descendants of Arnljot Elgsaeter's ancestors are to be found. In the 23andMe maps the darker the blue color the higher the density of current DNA-relatives. Also, the 23andMe map for Finland also appears to be in full agreement with what can be seen from my family-tree. 

In conclusion, the new 23andMe maps showing where the descendants of my ancestors currently are living, in my case, are both impressively detailed and accurate.

Originally the corresponding 23andme data for a 100% North-Saami was presented next. Suddenly the person is no longer comfortable with having her corresponding data discussed publically. This part of the original text has therefore been deleted. The most important result from these data was that they provided new independent information about where this person's Proto-Finn ancestors lived.


5. The maternal lines of Saamis and the people living in Finland

The mitochondrial DNA (m-DNA) haplogroup of many North-Saamis is U5b1b1a. This haplogroup has long been regarded as present exclusively in North-Saamis. However, it has been noted that Saamis and Berbers share U5b1b. Because the a-DNA data of 100% North-Saamis shows that all North-Saami foremothers came from the SHG this just indicates that both Saami and Berbers are descendants of the WHG. Recall here that SHG is about 95% WHG. The most significant aspect of this find is that it confirms that the maternal line of the North-Saamis is Western-European. Note that this information is an important piece of the puzzle associated with the question of what the biological/genetic origin of the North-Saami is. 


Various U5b1 haplogroups are found throughout Fennoscandia. This just means that a lot of people throughout this area, not surprisingly, to some extent, all have some female SHG ancestors all with West-European ancestors.


Before the advent of a-DNA analyses, it was difficult to establish whether a person who presented herself/himself as a 100% North-Saami might instead be e.g. only be a half-Saami. This makes most of the old studies of the percentages of the various m-DNA haplogroups among North-Saamis quite uncertain. But it appears that for the North-Saamis there are about equal amounts of m-DNA haplogroups U5b1 and V. Together they are the dominating m-DNA haplogroups among North-Saamis.  This means that the latter m-DNA haplogroups dominated also the indigenous SHG and therefore, to some extent, also are found throughout the Fennoscandia.


Only a small percentage, if any, North-Siberian (NSM) m-DNA are carried by the 100% North-Saamis of today. I Finland about 1% of the m-DNA is North-Siberian. This is a significant find, which means that the NSM did not bring with them NSM females either to Finland or Finnmark, Norway. But there must, of course, have been some long-lasting NSM complete populations (males, females, and children) living east of, but too far from what today is Finland. It further appears to be no BAM m-DNA in the North-Saami populations. If so, the arriving BAM were all males (haplogroup R1a).

6. Paternal line of two 100% North-Saami reindeer herder families 

Location of the Saami Capital in Norway

Figure 9. Karasjok, Finnmark is the Saami capital in Norway and its location is marked with a red droplet on the map.,+Norge/@69.5903863,25.9261898,7z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x45ce8258ffbf644d:0x927a1684ecedeac4!8m2!3d69.471935!4d25.5108129

Numerous excellent photos from Karasjok can e.g. be found at this link


Karasjok is located 140 meters above sea level. The average temperature in January and July is -15 °C and + 12 °C, respectively. The lowest and highest temperatures ever measured in Karasjok are -51.2 °C and + 30.5 °C, respectively. The Karasjok municipality encompasses a total of 5 464 km2. Most of this is area is subarctic wilderness and gracing areas for about 70 000 reindeers belonging to the Saamis living in the municipality’s only village also named Karasjok. The total number of inhabitants in Karasjok is 1847 (2019) of which about 80% speak one of the North-Saami languages. 

Saami Parlament in Norway

Figure 10. The Saami Parliament located in Karasjok, Norway.

In 2019 the total number of registered voters was 18 103. To become a registered voter one of several requirements is that at least 1/8 of the voter’s ancestors were speaking the Saami language.

indigenous, Saami DNA, Saami origin,Y_DNA, Saami genetic origin

Figure 11. The distribution of the main y-DNA haplogroups in Europe.

NOTE:  The number of DNA base pairs in y-DNA is about 4 000 times larger than the number of base pairs in m-DNA. The y-DNA, therefore, contains much more useful information about a person’s ancestry that the m-DNA does. In turn, a-DNA analyses are about 50 times more powerful than y-DNA analyses.


Figure 12. The polygenetic three for y-DNA haplogroup N1c.


The polygenetic three shown in Figure 12 for y-DNA haplogroup N1c, is based on the results of y_DNA analyses of hundreds of prehistoric skeletons from North-East-Europe and North-Siberia. The age of the graves is in every case determined either by classical archeological methods or by the use of modern carbon-14 age dating methods. Every letter/number combination shown in the polygenetic map in Figure 12 is associated with at least one age-determined prehistoric skeleton.


What previously was called y-DNA haplogroup N3c is now referred to as N1c. In most pre-2010 studies of Saami y-DNA haplogroups this now obsolete notation was used. This has led some people to conclude that the polygenetic three shown in Figure 12, was not relevant for studies Saami y-DNA haplogroups, but this is a false conclusion.

Using the modern nomenclature all paternal lines belonging to the N y-DNA haplogroup turn up one place or the other in the polygenetic three shown in Figure 12.  

Because most North-Saami men belong to y-DNA haplogroup N the paternal lines of most North-Saami families will also turn up somewhere in the polygenetic three shown in Figure 12. The only unknown is where on the polygenetic three this will happen. In principle, this could for example be near what in Figure 12 is denoted Comb Ceramic culture L392/L1026. In that case, this would mean that the North-Saami males had left their families and become genetically separated from their Finish relatives as far back as 3500-4000 years ago. The genetic separation could have come about by the men leaving for Finnmark, Norway, and subsequently having no or minimal genetic contact with their relatives living in Finland. 

In stead detailed y-DNA analysis give the following result (screen dump from       

Here it is important to note that the label N-Z1933 in the top left corner of the screen dump showed above, also is found about two lines above the rightmost red arrow in Figure 12.  

The lowest Norwegian flag shown in the screen dump shown above is associated with id= YF72359 and the letters ''sme'' and ''i''. Clicking with the mouse on ''i'' yields the text ''Finnmark, North-Saami''.  The same happens for the Norwegian paternal line id=YF73979. 

The next line up is marked with a Finish flag (id=YF04859) and the letter ''smn''. Clicking with the mouse on top of these letters yields the text ''Lapin Laan: Inari-Saami''. 

Below is shown a screen-dump from just after that y-DNA data for a 100% North-Saami reindeer herder family from Karasjok, Norway (m-DNA U5b1b1a) had been analyzed in full detail by this company. The paternal line in question (id=YF67367) and marked with a red arrow.


Shortly thereafter, the y-DNA data for another 100% North-Saami reindeer herder family from Karasjok, Norway (m-DNA U5b1b1a) was also submitted to full analysis of the family's paternal line. A screen dump from obtained shortly after that the sample had been fully analyzed is shown in the screen dump below. The paternal line in question is marked with a red arrow and has id=YF72889.


The analysis results for the paternal lines for these two 100% North-Saami families from Karasjok, Norway have subsequently been removed from, but there is no reason to believe that there anything wrong with analyses of the paternal lines for these two families.

With the most recent new results from in place, we now know the full details of the paternal lines of no less than four independent North-Saami families.


The location of all four of these is shown by the two red arrows in Figure 12. All these paternal lines split from their Finish relatives about 2000 years ago. It is not likely that what has been found actually are the skeletons of any of the men on any of these four paternal lines, but some of the analyzed prehistoric skeletons would have been from very close relatives.

The finds described above have significant historical importance because they show that the forefathers of the North-Saamis left Finland and arrived in Finnmark, Norway no earlier than about 2000 years ago. This means that the official history of the North-Saamis is more than ripe for some rewriting.  

The results presented in Figure 4 show that the foremothers of the North-Saami were female belonging to the local stone-age gatherer-hunter population living along the coast of Finnmark. 


It is therefore impossible that the first generation of North-Saami children saw the light of day more than about 2000 years ago.


This implies that the North-Saamis most likely constitute the youngest mixed population in Europe and which, in addition, appears to have existed long enough in local genetic isolation to become a genetically homogeneous population. The latter, in turn, also happens to be the definition criterium of a biological race/subspecies. Remarkably, there still exist North-Saamis with hardly any genetic admix from the neighboring population. However, these examples are rare and the number is rapidly declining because these persons mostly belong to the current grandparent generation. The North-Saami population appears to have satisfied the biological criteria for being a ''pure'' race/subspecies throughout the period from about 1600 years ago to about 300 years ago.   

But, all this also means that there is no basis for referring to the North-Saamis as the aborigines of Scandinavia.


In this context, it is also important to remember that for a large majority of the present Norwegian citizens more than half their prehistoric ancestors are Germanic farmers who arrived in Scandinavia 7000-4000 years ago.  

7. The origin of the North-Saami language

The linguists appear to agree that throughout Scandinavia the people spoke the same Proto-Scandinavian language (‘’Ur-Nordisk’’) until about 2000 ybp. In the literature, this language is often also referred to as one of the Paleo-European languages. This would therefore also have been the language spoken by the SHG living along the coast of Finnmark, Norway until about 2000 ybp. The North-Saami language on the other hand belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family.

indigenous, Samer, Saami, Saami Linguistic history, Saami DNA, Saami origin, Uralic languages, Saami genetic origin

Figure 13. The graph presented above shows a time analyses of the Uralic languages (T. Honkula et al. 2013). Green bars represent the 95% highest probability density for the divergence times. The names of the different proto-languages are marked on the nodes of the tree, and the names of the subclasses are on the right side. The horizontal scale denotes years before the present (ybp). The color describes the temperature deviation from that 2500 ybp. The warmest time period about 6500 ybp is about 3.5 degrees warmer than 2500 ybp. Here it is indicated that the North-Saami language may have been fully established as late as 1000 years ago. From this graph, it, therefore, follows that North-Saami is a rather young language.

indigenous, Uralaic languages, Saami DNA, Saami origin, Saami genetic origin

Figure 14. A map that shows schematically where the various Finno-Ugric languages are spoken today.

indigenous, SpraakKart, Uralaic languages, Saami DNA, Saami origin, Saami genetic origin
Figure 15. A more detailed map dated 2018 showing the locations where the different Finno-Uralic languages currently are spoken in Fennoscandia. The sad fact is that in most of the shown smaller localities both the Saami and Kven Finnish languages are highly endangered. The white fields represent areas where the population density is close to zero. 
It turns out that the North-Saami language contains many loanwords from the Proto-Scandinavian language spoken by the SHG. This appears especially to be the case for place names and words related to seafaring, fishing, mammalian coastal animals, domestic animals and agricultural products. An extended discussion of this important topic was provided Ante Aikio, A Linguistic Map of Prehistoric Northern Europe. Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Toimituksia = Mémoires de la Société Finno-Ougrienne 266. Helsinki 2012. 63–117.
 An interesting text on the same topic is found at this link (in Norwegian)
All that is discussed above can readily be accounted for by the available DNA-data of  100% North-Saamis which shows that the first generation of North-Saami babies all had SHG mothers and NSM fathers. Because the NSM men clearly were the ones in charge, it would then be unavoidable that the new, at first, hybrid North-Saami people would end up speaking the North-Finish language used about 2000 ybp ago plus many loanwords from the local Proto-Scandinavian langue spoken by the first generation of SHW mothers. These loan words would be all place names and words associated with the SHW Coastal Hunter-Gatherer lifestyle for which there were no words in the Finno-Ugric language that the Iron-Age males from North-Finland brought with them. 
8. What happened when a group of Iron-Age men from North-Finland about 2000 ago conquered Finnmark, Norway?
Different modes of admix between two different human populations often leave their own often characteristic genetic markers. First, we shall therefore take a closer look at four different modes of such admixtures.
As a thought-experiment, we will assume that one of the populations is a genetically homogeneous Scandinavian Stone-Age population consisting of a total of 100 females, 100 males, and for simplicity no children.  The genome of this population would be 100%  SHG a-DNAs (all chromosomes except for the sex-chromosomes X and Y), 100% y-DNAs (paternal line), and 100% m-DNAs (maternal line).
As the second population in this thought experiment is chosen a hypothetical genetically homogeneous Iron-Age Asian populations consisting of a total of 50 females, 50 men, and for simplicity no children. The genome of this population would be 100% a-DNAa, 100% y-DNAa, and 100% m-DNAa.
Example 1: The two hypothetical populations described above merge peacefully and in perfect happiness. After 6-8 generations (180-240 years) without any admix from other populations the result would be a new and genetically homogeneous mixed population. The genetic profile of every member of this new mixed population would be
67% a-DNAs, 67% y-DNAs, 67% m-DNAs and
33% a-DNAa, 33% y-DNAa, 33% m-DNAa
Example 2: The hypothetical Stone-Age men decide to initiate a raid on our hypothetical Asian population with the aim of abducting all their females and kill the males if needed. In the Viking time, this was not at all an unusual practice and in the Norse language this had even been given as its own distinct name: ‘’kvinne-rov’’. This word literally means female abduction.  Let us then assume that all 50 of the females of the Asian population subsequently were accepted not as slaves, but as full breeding members of the stone age population. 
After 6-8 generations (180-240 years) without any admix from other populations the result would be a new and genetically homogeneous mixed population. The genetic profile of every member of this new mixed population would be: 
80% a-DNAs, 100% y-DNAs, 67% m-DNAs and
20% a-DNAa, 0% y-DNAa, 33% m-DNAa
According to Wikipedia, 62% of the m-DNA of the females living in Iceland today originated from Ireland and Scotland whereas 75% of the male y-DNA comes from Scandinavia. This clearly suggests that despite its brutality ‘’kvinne rov’’ was a widespread practice even as late as in the Viking age.
Example 3: The stone age population accepts the entry of 50 Asian men as full members of the stone age population. After 6-8 generations (180-240 years) without any admix from other populations the result would be a new and genetically homogeneous mixed population. The genetic profile of every member of this new mixed population would be:
80% a-DNAs, 67% y-DNAs, 100% m-DNAs and
20% a-DNAa, 33% y-DNAa,   0% m-DNAa
Example 4: The hypothetical 50 Iron-Age Asian men attack and overpower the Stone-Age population. Next, the Asian attackers kill or expel all Stone-Age men. Some men may also have been kept as slaves, but under strict control prevented from becoming the fathers of new children This is what in this text is referred to as y-genocide.
Because every one of the first generations of new babies all had 100% stone age mothers and 100% iron age fathers the genetic profile of each of the new babies would  independent of the relative size of the number of  involved stone age female and Asian men, be:
50% a-DNAs,   0% y-DNAs, 100% m-DNAs and
50% a-DNAa, 100% y-DNAa,  0% m-DNAa
After 6-8 generations (180-240 years) without any admix from other populations the result would be a new and genetically homogeneous and new mixed population.
It is important to note that the experiments yield different values for the ratios y-DNAa/a-DNAa and y-DNAs/a-DNAs (genetic markers):
Experiment                       1                   2                3                    4
% y-DNAs/% a-DNAs     1.0                 1.25         0.84               0.0
% y-DNAa/% a-DNAa     1.0                  0.0          1.65               2.0
The most common y-DNA haplogroups in Finland are N1c (59%), I1a (28%), R1a (5%), and R1b (5%). Less than 1% of the maternal m-DNA in Finland comes from females belonging to the NSM culture.  The latter implies that the last migration steps westward of the NSM people consisted of males only. But some distance east of Finland there must for maybe thousands of years existed complete local NSM populations that including men, women, and their children.
In Section 2 of this text, it is stated that
                                    WHG           AMF             SHG              NSM             BAM
Finns                            30%            13%              20%              17%              20%
How can it possibly be that the y-DNA haplogroup N1c of the NSM presently is carried by 59% of the Finnish males whereas only 17% of the a-DNA of Finns comes from the NSM?
Answer: This kind of anomaly in the population genetics can only come about as the result of sequential y-DNA genocides.
But this kind of DNA anomaly is not in any way limited to the North-Saamis and the people of Finland. Figure 11 shows that in the middle of Norway (Trøndelag) there is an unusually high percentage of y-DNA haplogroup R-Z284 which is a subgroup of haplogroup R1a. In Trøndelag 37% of the y-DNA has been reported to belong to the haplogroup R1a originated from what in this text is referred to as the Bronze-Age people. However, if one takes a look at Figure 4, it can be seen that for the persons from Trøndelag, located to the far right end of the horizontal axis, only about 20% of the a-DNA comes from the Bronze- Age people. This DNA anomaly found in Trøndelag, Norway, therefore, looks very similar to the results of the y-DNA genocide the Scandinavian stone age people in Finnmark, Norway was subjected to about 2000 years ago.
It is here important to remember that in the Bronze-Age and the adjacent time periods large scale brutalities and y-DNA genocides were not at all uncommon:
A y-DNA genocide, in general, occurs when a group of men only from one ethnic group overpower another ethnic population and subsequently kills off, or expels, all remaining males of all ages belonging to the conquered population. Thereafter the conquerors often took over homesteads, all females, and the culture (way of living) of the conquered population.
An important genetic marker of the y-DNA genocide is that every single one of the resulting hybrid babies in their genome would be carrying exactly 50% of the a-DNA of the local populations and 50% of their a-DNA from the conquers.
The latter is true independent of the relative size of the number of conquered females and the number of conquering men.
It is also of interest to note that the female and male halves of a genetically homogeneous population each, in principle, carry a separate full copy of all the a-DNA of the whole population. From a population point of view, a y-DNA genocide, therefore, does, in principle, not result in any loss of a-DNA veriety. However, the remaining female population is non-the-less doomed if no new males are available. When the necessary number of males is available each member of the resulting new hybrid population would be carrying different halves of the original native a-DNA. From a population point of view, no a-DNA would in principle have been lost because of a y-DNA genocide, but the original population and its male and female phenotypes would be lost forever.  
A closer look at Figure 4 together with the known Saami y-DNA-data reveals that only example 4 discussed above concurs with the genetic profile of 100% North-Saamis. The same graph also reveals that for most people the reason why they are less than 100% Saamis is because of increasing admix with Scandinavian farmers.
Together with y-DMA, m-DNA, and a-DNA data for 100% North-Saamis this strongly suggests that the local coastal stone age hunters and gatherers (SHG) of Finnmark, Norway about 2000 ybp most likely became the victims of a y-DNA genocide carried out by Iron-Age men (100% NSM y-DNA and 100% NSM a-DNA) arriving from North-Finland. In the link provided above it is stated that the Yamnaya (BAM) men loved to ‘’switch cultures’’. This also seems to be the case of the Iron- Age NSM-men that overpowered the indigenous Stone-Age Coastal Hunter-Gatherers (SHG) of Finnmark, Norway. This is most apparent in a large number of words from the Proto-Scandinavian language spoken by the indigenous coastal population that were taken up into the North-Saami language. These are all names and words necessary to describe coastal everyday life and not found in the nomadic Finno-Uralic language.
The conclusion, therefore, is that the North-Saamis did not arrive ready-made from somewhere else. Where this somewhere might be located, have for ages been the major recurrent team of most discussions about the North-Saamis. Instead, the new DNA data shows that the first generation of North-Saami babies had 100% Scandinavian Stone-Age females and all the first fathers were Iron-Age males that originated 100% for North-Siberia. These first North- Saami babies most likely even all saw the light of day the same year which then would be the year of birth for the subsequent North-Saami population. Very few populations have the distinction of being able to proclaim a year of birth, but most likely this appears to be the case for the North-Saamis.
Archaeological studies of the North-Saami burial rituals reveal that there was a homogeneous North-Saami culture throughout the northernmost area of Scandinavia as early as 1500 ybp. Evidence of reindeer herding is only found at burial sites dated to be younger than about 800 years old. This means that for the first 1000 years after the birth of the first hybrid  North-Saami babies about 2000 ybp it was the Coastal-Saamis (‘’sjøsamer’’) that were the sole and vibrant guardians of the North-Saami culture. During the last 800 years, the North-Saami reindeer culture represented a parallel and different lifestyle. It appears that by the end of the 19th century most of the Coastal-Saamis had been assimilated into the Norwegian coastal population. Sadly this process was speeded up during the Fall of 1944 when most of the remaining cultural artifacts of the old Costal-Saami culture were lost when the German occupiers decided to apply the scorched earth tactic to all of Finnmark and part of North-Troms.    
A detailed and unique firsthand account of Coastal-Saami everyday life in Kvænangen, Troms, Norway about 100 ybp can be found in this link (In Norwegian):
This first-hand account was written by the North-Saami author and teacher Anders Larsen, who happens to be the brother of my maternal Grandfather. My maternal  Grandfather and his three brothers in 1903 established the first Saami association in Norway. All of these gentlemen were fishermen and view themselves as Coastal-Saamis. 
urbefolkning, sjøsamer, Saami DNA, Saami origin, Saami genetic origin

Figure 16. Photo of the four Larsen brothers taken in 1903 shortly after they hand established the first Saami association in Norway. My grandfather Lars Larsen, to the right side in the front row, was the head of the association. His brother Anders Larsen, to the left in the front row, was the association secretary. 

These four brothers were half North-Saamis and half Kvens (Finns). Their paternal line was Ia1/I-Y13390 (germanic farmers) because it was their paternal side of their family that were Kvens. The maternal side came from the Hætta family in Kautokeino, but all over the family three the are mixed marriages between Saamis, half-Saamis, Kvens, and so on. Despite that 1/4 of their a-DNA came from their Asian ancestors this is not easily seen by just looking at their faces. At home, they all only spoke the North-Saami language. My mother told me that she did not know a single word of Norwegian when she entered public school. She was able to speak North-Saami with her sisters throughout her life, but they mostly did so when they did not want the children to understand what they were discussing. Despite that, she spoke North-Saami fluently she told me that she was not able to understand the language of the South-Saami living in Røros, Norway. 
My mother’s oldest brother, Alfred Larsen, attended a teacher college and worked most of this life as a teacher and gradually as the school superintendent of Kautokeino, Norway. In the period 1948-1955, he was the major of Kautokeino, Norway. All his life he spoke the North-Saami language fluently.  
The original text by Anders Larsen was written using the North-Saami language but later translated into Norwegian. This text also discusses the relationship between Coastal-Saamis and reindeer herding Saamis which not always appear to have been without challenges. It is further worth noting the comments made by the author on page 22 about the richness of words in the North-Saami language describing the age, color, and appearance of different coastal seal species. All these words are most likely loanwords from the Proto-Scandinavian language spoken 2000 years earlier by the indigenous coastal hunter-gatherers. Anecdotally as much as one-third of the words in the North-Saami language may be loanwords from the Proto-Scandinavian language.
The focus in this text has been on the North-Saamis. It would not be surprising if detailed genetic studies of East-Saamis (e.g. Skolt-Saamis) from the Kola peninsula and the South-Saamis from the middle part of Norway and Sweden would reveal genetic histories that differ significantly from the genetic history of North-Saamis.
urbefolkning, indigenous, sjøsamer, Saami DNA, Saami origin, Saami DNA, samer, samiskdna

Figure 17. Coastal-Saami family from Lerresfjord, Finnmark, Norway, in front of their Coastal-Saami Stone-Age home (''gamme''). Photo Sophus Tromholt 1882. Unesco World Heritage. In broad terms, the North-Saamis are half West-Europeans and half North-Asians which is in full agreement with what this photo tells us. The merger between these two distinct indigenous groups to place just about 2000 years ago. 



9. Summary

The genetic origin of the North-Saamis of Norway is no longer a mystery. 


The first generation of North-Saami babies was born about 2000 years ago on the coast of Finnmark, Norway. They were all the results of the union between women from one indigenous local Stone-Age population and the men from another genetically unrelated Iron-Age indigenous population. These two indigenous populations were: 


1) The females of the local Scandinavian Stone-Age people of Finnmark, Norway. They were speaking a Proto-Scandinavian language/Paleo-European language. Note that about 95% of the DNA of the Scandinavian Stone-Age people comes from the West European Hunter-Gatherers who were the first to populate the ice-free coast of Norway at the end of the last great Ice-Age about 12000 years ago. 


2) Iron-Age males with North-Siberian nomad ancestors (proto-Finns about 2000 years ago) speaking a Finno-Uralic language. It should therefore come as no surprise that the paternal lines of 100% North-Saami reindeer herders from Karasjok, Norway go all the way back to North-Siberian nomads living thousands of years ago. 


The contact between these two genetically distinct indigenous populations resulted in a y-chromosome genocide (y-genocide) where all the local Stone-Age men and boys were either killed or expelled by the conquering Iron-Age men. This kind of brutal behavior was not at all uncommon at this time. Commonly the conquerors adopted the culture and way of living of the conquered populations. This appears to have been the case also at the coast of Finnmark about 2000 years ago. The Finno-Uralic language became the dominant language in the new mixed population. But most of the Paleo-European local place names and words for various daily activities, including words for fishing and hunting marine mammals, for which there were no words in the nomadic Finno-Uralic language, were all adopted into the new North-Saami language. 


The ethnic DNA-profile of North-Saamis reveals about 44% Scandinavian Stone-Age ancestry, about 44% North-Siberian ancestry, and about 12 % from nomadic herders that entered Europe from the South-East during the Bronze-Age. The equal size of the two first mentioned fractions constitutes an important genetic marker of a y-genocide. Also, note that the North-Saamis do not show any significant admix of modern Finns/Kvens. The latter is quite remarkable and shows that the North-Saamis during most of their existence genetically speaking hardly mixed their neighboring populations. 

The presented study further outlines a new coherent North-Saami history where the Coastal-Saamis for the first time is one of the central elements. The new information suggests that Coastal-Saamis were the sole guardians of the whole North-Saami culture for about the first 1000 years of this unique culture's existence.     

APPENDIX A: Visitors at


The map shown above, provided by, depicts the geographic distribution of the visitors in the last 90 days as of 24 March 2021. 

bottom of page