The old Sami belief traditions were characterized mainly by a close and respectful contact with nature and its divine archetypes. In places of special power, especially on prominent rock formations, people made sacrifices to their gods and ancestors, asking for a happy hunt and success in other endeavors. Shamans dealt with supernatural interventions and healing, who, with the help of drums and small figures in search of answers, set out on a journey beyond their own bodies, wandering to the ends of the earth. Interestingly, as with nearly all primitive peoples in the Northern Hemisphere, bear – the strongest animal living here – he was considered a holy being.
Singing the joik was an extremely important element of the religious tradition (the yoik), that is, "the songs of the plains”. Each person had their own melody or song, not so much reflecting his personality or experiences, but containing a spiritual being. Such a personal mantra was so powerful and so important, that early Christian missionaries considered it a sin and a threat to the work of evangelization.
Although most of the Sami nowadays profess Christianity, recently there has been a return to some elements of the old religion.