Skigard is a Norwegian noun that means wooden fence. It is made of split tree trunks, using simple tools. Fence making and mending was a task for early summer.
In the old farming society, nature dictated the flow of the working year. And farmworkers could only leave their jobs on 2 specific days during the year.
Ljå is a Norwegian noun that means a scythe – an old agricultural cutting-tool used when mowing the grass to make hay, or when harvesting the grain crops.
A primstav is an old wooden calendar-stick, marking the days of the year and important events. It splits the year into two equal halves: summer and winter.
10 July is the feast day of Saint Knut – Knutsok – and marks the beginning of the haymaking season – høyonna – in the old Norwegian farming calendar.
Skårfast is a Norwegian adjective that means that a person or an animal is stuck on a steep mountain- or cliff-side shelf, and in need of being rescued.
Lystring is a Norwegian verb that means catching fish or other water creatures in the dark, using a fire torch to attract the fish and a multi-pronged spear.
Skjemat is a Norwegian noun that means food eaten with a spoon – often before or after the main course at dinner. It could be porridge, soup, dessert, and more.
Åre is a Norwegian noun that means an open fireplace, placed on the floor in the middle of a room. The smoke goes up and out through a vent in the roof – the ljore.
Myrmelk is a Norwegian noun that means milk conserved in a container buried in a mountain peat bog, left there for herders or others to drink at a later stage.
Kløvhest is a Norwegian noun that means packhorse. Well into our own time, the Norwegians used horses to help transport goods through a challenging landscape.
Bondegård is a Norwegian noun that means farm. In informal speech and in many dialects, people only use the single word gård or gard.
This is our second video-slideshow with vintage photos of the Norwegian farm horse. Enjoy!
The word ski comes from the Old Norse language, with the meaning cleft wood. The old Norwegians were master hunters, and have been skiing for over 5000 years.
On the historical Norwegian farm, the skoklefallsday is the last day of planting in the spring. Literally, it means the day that the shafts attached to the workhorse’s harness come off.
In olden Norway, the farm-animals were sent off to the mountains and forests all summer. With them came a herder to guard them, and a maid to turn their milk into cheese and butter.
A kipe is a tall, woven basket, often made of twigs from the birch tree. It was carried on the back, and typically used when carrying loads in a landscape full of steep fields and paths.
At Easter in 1906, renowned Norwegian photographer Anders Beer Wilse took this series of photos on a trip with a group of friends.
The Norwegians rarely allow alien species into their fauna. With one notable exception, the muskox – first welcomed in from Greenland in 1924.
Budrått is a Norwegian noun that means the output of milk products on a farm – such as cheese and butter. The word is often associated with what was produced during the summer on the seasonal mountain or forest pasture farm – the seter.
In Scandinavia, agriculture first appeared in the Stone age – around 2400 BC. The early farmers cleared their land by using simple tools and fire.
When the industrial revolution brought machinery to the Norwegian farms, it didn’t just change the old working methods, it also changed the layout and look of the farmland.
In 1836, milkmaid Kari Moen from the community of Sauherad in Telemark, Norway, was attacked by a bear. She almost lost her life that day.
Kantslått is a Norwegian noun that means (1) the grass that is cut along the edges of a field, a road, etc. or (2) the actual process of cutting this grass. Traditionally, the grass was used as animal fodder.
The Heddal stave church – stavkirke – is Norway’s largest remaining building of its kind. It is a woodwork masterpiece, with a history that stretches back more than 800 years.
In this selection of beautiful hand-coloured lantern slides from around 1900, we visit the city of Bergen – and other west coast destinations. Enjoy!
The Norwegian farm horse was a reliable and powerful companion. But by the late 1960s, they were almost all gone. Enjoy this video-collection of wonderful vintage photographs.
The traditional Norwegians are drawn to their cabins, whether it be in the mountains, in the forest, or by the sea. Some would say that they are a people obsessed.
Klippfisk – or klipfish – is fish preserved through salting and drying. Since the early 1700s, the Norwegians have been large-scale klippfisk producers and exporters.
Our foremothers were hardworking and inventive. Here you can read more about how the laundry was done on a Norwegian mountain farm in the late 1800s.
In this video-collection of historical photos, we reminisce about the dairy cow on the old Norwegian farm. We recommend that you watch with the sound on. Enjoy!
Uff da! is a Norwegian interjection, often used to express sympathy. For example when a child falls over: Uff da! Slo du deg? – meaning Poor you! Did you hurt yourself?
Bergen is Norway’s second-largest city and one of the country’s oldest urban locations. The first post-viking king, Olav Kyrre, gave it market-town-status around AD 1070.
With the birth of the new Norwegian national state in 1814, came big ideas. And one of them was to establish better transportation systems.
In the old Norwegian farming society, a husmann was a man who was allowed to build his home on a small section of a farm’s land, and pay with his labour instead of rent.
In my childhood, life was simple. And the small joys of Christmas lifted our spirits – and delivered us safely into the new year.
The traditional Sami houses, the goahti, were in use until well into our own time. Anders Larsen tells us how he remembers them from the coastal Sami communities in northern Norway.
From the early 1800s and well into the 1900s, Norway was a significant exporter of natural ice. But how did they prevent the ice from melting?
The majestic Norwegian mountains can be treacherous – and they steal human lives every year. Study the Norwegian mountain code – and be prepared for your next journey.
With Christmas comes the turning of the sun, and the promise of a new year. Enjoy these traditional and vintage Norwegian Christmas cards – 24 in all.
In the coastal districts of the old Norway, a strandsitter was a beach dweller – who rented a small piece of land – but owned the house he built on it. His livelihood was usually connected to the sea.
Oslo is the capital city of Norway. It was founded in AD 1048 by the Viking king Harald Hardråde. Historically, the city is also known as Christiania or Kristiania.
Queen Maud of Norway was born in London in 1869, as Princess Maud of Wales. Her grandmother was none other than the formidable Queen Victoria.
In this post you will find a list of Norway’s 15 main historical eras – from the ice age to our modern day.
The Stone age people were master hunters, fishers, and gatherers. The lived with the seasons and followed the prey.
With the Bronze age came a new and important phase in human history and development: mankind learned how to make tools and other objects from a metal they called bronze.
In Norway, the first traces of iron date back to 400-300 BC. The country has significant iron resources, and making tools and weapons from this new metal was a significant step forward.
With the High middle ages came expansion and progress. But everything was about to change, in the most brutal way imaginable.
After the Black Death, it took the Norwegian communities centuries to recover. And soon, the country also lost its independence.
In the year AD 1537, King Christian 3 of Denmark-Norway embraced the Lutheran Reformation, and the Norwegians went from being Catholics to Protestants. The king confiscated the Catholic Church’s considerable wealth, a welcomed addition to the royal coffers. Norway more or less ceased to exist as a sovereign state and became a province under Denmark.
17 May 1814 is regarded as the birth of the modern-day Norwegian state. But it took almost another hundred years before the Norwegians could declare complete independence.
In this period, Norway was still primarily a nation of farmers, fishermen and hunters. In AD 1801, 90% of the population lived in rural areas.
Norway’s full independence came in AD 1905, and was the culmination of a process that had lasted for several decades.
On 18 November 1905, after a supportive referendum, the Norwegian parliament unanimously elected the Danish Prince Carl as the country’s new king.
On 9 April 1940, German forces attacked Norway in the early hours of the morning. The Norwegian armed forces attempted to stave off the attack, but they were in no way prepared for this monumental task.
After the end of World War 2, the Norwegians all took part in lifting their country well and truly into the 20th century.
During the AD 1970s, both an increased female participation in the labour market, and the green movement, were causes firmly added to the agenda. There was a heightened focus on maternity leave, access to kindergarten, and maternity benefits.
With a growing population and public sector, Norway pushed through significant reforms in several areas: public structure and organisation, welfare, health care, tax, policing, public services, and more.
Do you know the name of Norway’s capital city? Test yourself, friends, and family in this 10 multiple-choice questions quiz vol. 1. See the correct answer below each photo.
Norway is a land of water, with almost 1 million lakes and ponds of all sizes. Join us in exploring the 5 largest of her lakes, and some more Norway facts.
The first Norwegian Buhund breed-standard came in 1926, based on a dog that had evolved, lived, and worked with the Norwegians since time immemorial.
In this video-collection of historical photos, we visit the west coast of Norway and the region of Sogn og Fjordane. We recommend that you watch with the sound on. Enjoy!
The spinning wheel was a lifelong companion for most women in the old Norwegian farming society. Enjoy this video-collection of wonderful vintage photographs.
In the olden days, people dressed up warmly and got out onto the fjord or lake to catch their Sunday dinner. Enjoy!
This beautiful oil painting by Johan Christian Dahl says a lot about generations of Norwegians – and the landscape and the skills they knew.
In the spring, the Norwegian mountain-snow melts and turns into creeks, rivers and magnificent waterfalls.
One of the oldest Norwegian instruments is the birch trumpet. But is it really an instrument at all – or did it originally have a completely different purpose?
What beautiful needlework. A bonnet from the collections of Slottsfjellsmuseet – in the city of Tønsberg.
Once upon a time in the distant past, imagine yourself sitting in a small boat, facing this mighty gateway into the bowels of the land.
On the historical Norwegian farm, winter feed for the domesticated animals was a precious resource. Sometimes it was harvested and temporarily stored far away from the farm.
Mead and beer are both alcoholic drinks known from Norwegian history. The Norwegians call them «mjød» and «øl». But do you know the difference between the two?
Do you have trouble sleeping? Here are some examples of how the old Norwegians used Mother Nature’s very own remedies to cure their ailments.
Magne Løvstuen and his family adopted this moose calf after saving it from drowning in Lake Mjøsa.
To make sure he could tide the animals over the long and cold winter, the historical Norwegian farmer utilised all available resources.
In a cold country like Norway, warm clothing is essential. This is a refined and old version of a woollen sweater from the district of Setesdal.
Carl Fredrik Sundt-Hansen created this fascinating oil painting in 1904. It is like a window leading into the house of history. If only we could climb through.
There are many types of cheese slicers, but Norwegian furniture maker Thor Bjørklund invented the Norwegian version in 1925.
In 1935, Aslaug Engnæs published a guidance book on how to milk the cow.
For thousands of years, milk from the domesticated animals has had a dominant position in the Norwegian diet. People used milk from the cow, the reindeer, the sheep and the goat.
When there were no makeshift or permanent dwellings nearby, the Sami hunters and herders sometimes slept under the open sky.
The modern human has a tendency to judge its forebears and their way of life solely based on the reality of our own time.
In 1997, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway came to the Norwegian Sami Assembly with an essential and overdue apology.
When the ice melted after the last ice age, herds of reindeer followed in its wake. And with the animals came their main predator: the humans.
The Norwegian landscape is wild and beautiful. And it is a lot more than just fjords and mountains.
The oldest wooden buildings in Norway are almost 1000 years old – like Urnes stave church in Luster. How come these buildings do not rot away and disappear?
Langfjordbotn – in Norway’s northernmost region Finnmark – was the birthplace of Oluf Røde, born in 1889.
The wild ocean world of Værøy in Lofoten, Norway, was the birthplace of Mimmi Benjaminsen – born in 1894. Here are some of her childhood memories.
For the old Norwegians, making butter was simply a way of preserving the fresh summer milk – turning it into a type of food that could be stored.
Here is a collection of some wonderful vintage photos, showing a handful of Norwegians and their lives.
Some claim that porridge is the oldest hot dish in the Norwegian diet. Was it to our ancestors what bread is to the modern family of today?
A photo is a snapshot of history – and a story and a history lesson in itself.
Old objects tell stories, silent stories about a time gone by.
In Norway, the pizza appeared as an exotic newcomer in the 1970s. But bread topped with foodstuffs is nothing new in Norwegian food history.
Some of the beautiful Norwegian wooden stave churches are almost 1000 years old. Today, there are 28 of them left.
Watch some lovely vintage photos of mankinds’s many good friends.
Some vintage photos – and more to come.
Whether it be on a rainy day – or a beautiful summer’s day like this one – the coastal paths take us through some pleasing stretches of Norwegian scenery.
When humankind first appeared in the Norwegian landscape – sometime after the last ice age – the search for food was their primary motivation.
The old Norwegian farm needed hundreds of litres of water every single day: for food-making, cleaning, and human and animal consumption.
Here are 12 historical photos representing the fascinating Sami culture – with deep roots in the Norwegian and Nordic landscape.
The rose painted chests of Norway – a treasure that will live for centuries to come.
The old Norwegian farming society was a self-sufficient and balanced world. Coins and notes were all but an alien concept.
With this old photograph in my hand I have set myself a task: how much information can I find in Norwegian online archives based on what the photo tells me?
A kjenge is a drinking bowl used in the old Norwegian farming society – usually with two handles – carved and hollowed out from one piece of wood.
The first half of the 1900s came with a momentous change to Norwegian society. The old ways of the ancient hunting and farming culture were rapidly dying.
The horse no longer roams wild in the Norwegian landscape. But it still has an important place in the Norwegian psyche.
The horse settled in the Scandinavian landscape after the last ice age. Let us meet this majestic animal – and follow in its footsteps.
The most significant sections of Norwegian productive soil can be found in the counties of Trøndelag, Hedmark, Oppland and Rogaland.
The first half of the 1900s was a time of enormous change in Norwegian society. It was then that a young boy experienced a peculiar family custom.
For many, it may come as a surprise that the history of rose painting and its place in Norwegian folk art is not as old as one might think.
The Black Death – mother of all plagues – ravaged humankind in the mid-1300s. A Norwegian scholar takes us through the lead up to the disaster.
In 1942, Hans Hyldbakk wrote the history of the local cotter’s holdings in Surnadal, Nordmøre, Norway. The book was updated in 1966.
Skodje sogelag and Louis Giske wrote the history of the two Sortehaug farms and its inhabitants back in 1986.
In this post, we take a look at the layout of the Norwegian farm and its surroundings – and how the land and its resources were utilised.
The hour of twilight is when the daylight starts to disappear – before it is completely dark. In the old Norwegian farming society, this was a time for rest.
Are you looking for a Norwegian-to-English dictionary that includes old-fashioned words and dialect words? Then Einar Haugen’s book is your best pick.
Per O. Rød wrote the history of the Stornæve farm and its inhabitants back in 1968. Decades earlier, several children of Stornæve had emigrated to the US.
Neither the great Atlantic Ocean nor time or social conventions could separate a love that was meant to be.
Once you start taking an interest in the old Norwegian farming and family history, then the people of the past start coming to the fore.
When I was a boy, it was the workhorse that pulled the heaviest weight in agricultural life. And this had been the reality for as long as anyone could remember.
As a first such an event in modern times: the Norwegian counties Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag have now merged.
It was midsummer 1895. An older man was found drifting in the fjord just outside Moss, Norway – shot in the temple with a revolver. Who was he?
Like all buildings on the old Norwegian farm, the stabbur had a clear purpose: it was a building designed for the storage of food.
For more than a thousand years, Norwegian farmers sent their livestock to feed in the forests and the mountains. Today, this way of life has almost disappeared.