Kipe | means a basket in Norwegian | Norway

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.
An unnamed man with a kipe full of turf for the fire. Taken on the island of Dønna in 1967. | Photo: Jac Brun - Mittet & Co. AS cc pdm.
An unnamed man with a kipe full of turf for the fire. Taken on the island of Dønna in 1967. | Photo: Jac Brun - Mittet & Co. AS cc pdm.

Pronunciation

Kipe

The grammar

Noun | both masculine and feminine, depending on the dialect | the indefinite form: en/ei kipe (a kipe) | the definite form: kipen/kipa (the kipe).

What does the word mean?

A kipe is a woven basket, sometimes with a flat, wooden bottom to make it more robust. It was usually carried like a backpack, or with one strap held over the shoulder. Two baskets could also be carried using a yoke.

Similar or related word

Kurv: has a similar meaning.

More on the historical context

A useful tool

Norway is a land full of steep hills and mountains. Historically, there were few roads, only meandering paths through the landscape. Whenever you wanted to transport something – unless you had a packhorse – you had to carry it on your back. A robust basket – a kipe – was a highly useful tool for this purpose.

For so many purposes

The kipe was used to carry fish from your boat, to move the animal manure from the barn to the fields in the early spring, to carry wood or turf for the fire, to carry a baby, and much, much more.

Examples from books and stories

Arne Lie Christensen Sidl og pote: daglegliv i ei strilebygd slik folk minnest 1990
→ Enkelte heldt fram som før med å bera ut møka i kipe.
→ Some people continued the old tradition of carrying out the animal manure onto the meadows using a kipe.

Solveig Nes Oppvekst ved havet: levekår i eit øysamfunn i Sunnfjord 2000
→ Ho bar gjerne den minste med seg i ei kipe når ho arbeidde ute.
→ When working outdoors, she usually carried the youngest child in a kipe on her back.

Sources: Nasjonalbiblioteket nb.no | Einar Haugen’s Norwegian-English dictionary | Det Norske Akademis ordbok | Bokmålsordboka and Nynorskordboka.

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