Lapps got Style (in the 70s)

On the icy fringes of Europe, a proud and ancient people struggle to sustain their imperilled culture. Many of Norway’s 25,000 Lapps live in Finnmark County–but less than a tenth follow the twice-yearly reindeer migrations.

Young Nils Johan Mienna (photo on the left, click it to check out his fancy boots!) will be one of the few of his generation to continue the nomadic tradition. Another 20,000 or so Lapps are scattered across the northern reaches of Sweden, Finland, and the USSR. [From the September 1977 issue of National Geographic, sent in by Tim, thx!]

Johan Kuhmunen (photo below), with his dog Cammu, lives in Sweden, but the summertime range for his family’s herd crosses into Norway. The Sami tradition of learning from the elders is an important part of reindeer herding, and knowledge is passed down from generation to generation and not learned in books.


15 thoughts on “Lapps got Style (in the 70s)”

    1. YES! Me too LOL LOL… I used to gaze & gaze at his pic hoping I’d have a friend like him someday… hahahahaha
      Wonder where he is now….

  1. I never saw this magazine but I have to admire both boys and their families for continuing such traditions, especially now when some much national culture and national identity is being lost. I do hope both boys have now got their own families and are raising them the traditional way

  2. In 1977 I was touring in the north of Norway and I remember giving a lift into the nearest town to two Lapps, father and son. Unfortunately I no longer have the photo.

  3. I have long been facinated by the Lapps (Sami) people. They seem to have so much in common with Native-American culture. The boy on the magazine cover was a good looking kid with beautiful structure.

  4. Johan Kuhmunen sure is cute (never mind the dog lol). He’s the type that reminds me of cute Scandinavian boys, except he’s pretty darn handsome this one. I think it’s his haircut – makes him look good. Honestly, forget about reindeer herding and go into modelling! Look at that hot picture of him:

  5. Have lived a number of years in both northern Finland and northern Norway. ‘Lapps’ is no longer politically correct.
    ‘Lapps’ refers to all in the north. The Sami people like to be called by name as everyone else. ‘Lapp’ can have a derogative tone. Don’t forget the Kvenns, the finnish speaking natives. It ain’t called Finnmark for nothing.

  6. I have read the Nat Geo since childhood. Partly for a sense of adventure and partly in the hope of seeing a strapping boy from some native tribe wearing next to nothing. Being a monthly mag it is impossible to keep all of them sadly but this is one that I found on a Doctor’s waiting room table and took home with me.

  7. interesting… the first image… there is a person of that name on facebook, from finnmark. same hair colour, same parting, extra 60 kilos…

  8. When I saw that issue in the school library I wanted him as my boyfriend sooo badly. He probably still looks great, Nordic guys age well.

  9. you are very welcome Mr. Milkboys sir. I am honored you chose my recommendation for your next posting.
    I wonder where he is now….

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