Kautokeino, also called Guovdageaidnu, is a municipality in Norway, in Finnmark County. The administrative hub of the municipality is the town of Kautokeino/Guovdageaidnu. Some of the other villages are Maze and Lahpoluoppal. 

Kautokeino-Guovdageaidnu is one of the two cultural sites of Northern Sapmi today (other being Karasjok-Karasjohka). Some of the biggest sources of economic activity for the area include the school system, cinema, and reindeer herding.

Kautokeino was the site of a major revolt by the Sami people against Norwegian authorizes. This incident was the only revolt by the Sami, against the policies and practices of the Norwegian government, which some Sami people at the time viewed as exploitative. It was the only known violent confrontation between Norwegians and Samis where people died. 

Basic Information 

Kautokeino is a municipality that was established in 1859 when the southern area of the older Kistrand municipality was cut away to create this new municipality. At first, there were just under 900 residents in the municipalities. 


The first part of the name Guovdageaidnu is guovda, which translates to “half” or “middle” and the second element is geaidnu, which translates to “road”. When you combine them, it means “half way”, because the site is half way between two traditional points of migration. It is also the center of Northern Sapmi. Kautokeino is a Finnicized form of Guovdageaidnu, which is a Sami name. Norwegians use the name as well. 

The name was Kautokeino until 1987, and it was then renamed to Guovdageaidnu-Kautokeino. The name was changed again in 2005, and now either Kautokeino or Guovdageaidnu are fine to use.


The Church of Norway has a single parish within the municipality of Kautokeino. There is the Kautokeino Church, Lahpoluoppal Chapel, and Masi Church in the municipality. They were built in 1958, 1967, and 1965, respectively. 


Just to the south of the county, on the border with Finland, Kautokeino has an extremely varied selection of birds for bird-watchers. There are a number of wetland species that live here. 


Most of the people in the municipality live in Kautokeino. Maze has a population of about 400 people, and the remaining residents of the municipality reside in 14 littler villages around the area. The population has been going down about 3% over the last decade.

Kautokeino Photo Gallery

Kautokeino: 01 photo Kautokeino Kautokeino: 01 photo
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