The Sámi in Kuusamo
The Sámi inhabited Kuusamo until the end of the 17th century, when new settlements spread to Kuusamo, and the Forest Sámi had to give way to the newcomers. The southernmost Lapland villages of Kitka and Maanselkä of Kemi Lapland were in Kuusamo. Lapland villages paid taxes to Sweden and Russia. Tax collectors travelled from east and west, but so did merchants.
Before reindeer herding grew into the nomadism of large herds in the 16th century, the main livelihoods of the Sámi were hunting game, gathering plants and berries, and fishing. Fishing remained an important source of livelihood for the Forest Sámi people even after the mountain deer had been domesticated into reindeer.