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.