Welcome to Northern Lavvu...


What is Northern Lavvu?

Northern Lavvu designs and produces both traditional and modern style Lavvus (pronounced "LAA-voo", and often-spelled lavvo, laavu or laavo). The people who work, design or mentor the craft of Lavvu making are of Sami ancestry and have experience in living and camping in Lavvus. Sami Elders have taught and guided the Lavvu makers in this craft.


Who are the Sami?

The Sami people - also known as the S᭩, Saami, and more derogatorily known as 'Lapps' or 'Laplanders', are the indigenous peoples of northern Scandinavia, which is in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. The Sami are one of the oldest indigenous groups in Europe.



What is a Lavvu?

The Lavvu is a temporary dwelling used by the Sami people of northern Scandinavia. Its simplicity enabled the Sami to move quickly with their semi-domesticated reindeer herds at a moment's notice. This structure enabled the indigenous cultures of the treeless plains of northern Scandinavia and the High Arctic of Eurasia to live in harmony with nature.

Although the Lavvu can be easily confused with the Native American Tipi - it's not a Tipi! The differences between the two structures are reflected in their respective environments and cultures. Being more centered to the ground, the Lavvu is better able to endure the fierce winds of the Scandinavian tundra, thus a more stable structure. Few structures used by indigenous peoples, with the exception of the Inuit (Eskimo) Igloo, are as stable in strong winds.

The Lavvu's centuries old design also reflects the Sami culture as a community. Traveling in small, single family groups, the Lavvu is designed so that even one person could quickly set it up with little effort. The Native Americans who traveled in larger, several family groups had the extra hands to help in the assembly of their Tipi. The Lavvu is also still in use today as a temporary shelter by the Sami reindeer herders of northern Scandinavia and as a year-round dwelling of the Nenets and Khants of the Russian Federation.


If you've owned a Lavvu before, then you know how functional this structure can be. If not, then you are in for a treat.... Explore this website. If you have any questions about our Lavvus feel free to email us.

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What We Offer

Traditional Lavvus: The lavvu is a design that dates back many hundreds - if not thousands of years. Our traditional Lavvus reflect the "leave no trace" philosophy using natural materials that will go back to the Earth after use.

Sunforger Lavvu: Simular to traditional lavvus, these lavvus offer the look of traditional lavvus with the mildew protection of Sunforger fabric.

Lavvu Pole Kits: We now offer wooden lavvu poles that can be shipped right to your doorstep.

Explore this website. If you have any questions about our Lavvus feel free to email us.


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