The Strømeng family's ancestors brought the art of knife making to Karasjok in the 18th century. Since then, this craft has carried on from generation to generation within the family. Today, knife-maker Strømeng is one of just a few craftsmen who still produce knives for the Same people.
For centuries the Sama people were hunters and fishermen. During the year they travelled hundreds of kilometres along well-known routes - in and out of fjords, up and down rivers, between fixed campsites where they knew there would be enough fish and game. The knife was their permanent companion, without it they felt helpless. It was a universal tool, which the men used to skin martens and beavers, cut reindeer meat, carve paddles and to defend themselves against attackers. The women used the knife to prepare leather and for wicker work and general household chores.
For many of today's Sama people, whether they herd reindeer or are involved in other kinds of outdoor work, the knife is as indispensable as a tool as it was to their forefathers. When you see a Same with his reindeer herd on TV, notice the knife that always hangs from the belt, ready to use.