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  • Forfatterens bildeOdelsarven

Ancient Ancestral Tracks

My great grandfather used to row Edvard Grieg and Erik Werenskiold across Tyin when they used to visit his mountain residence. Every summer Werenskiold came to visit, and my great grandfather and Werenskiold became very good friends.

One could imagine Werenskiolds inspiration in his art, when he left all civilization and met his old friend deep and high up in the mountains where pure and untamed nature resides. They tried for many years to make Fridtjof Nansen (Werenskiolds neighbour) join them, but he was always on expeditions at that time.

We (my kin) have been in this area since long before the Abrahamic plague arrived, as mountain hunters and farmers, and before that hunter and gatherers. We can document it clearly since before 1349, and prior to that we have to look into the sagas and later work of local historians. With strong circumstantial evidence, the blood lines here pre-dates any historical saga.

My great, great grandfather at Koldedalsvatnet and the mountain Falketind behind him in 1892.

My great, great grandfather drawn by Erik Werenskiold in 1908.

As the tradition tells, the allodial son does the hard work, so it was my great grandfather that did the rowing for all the friends and guests that wanted the spiritual national romantic inspiration of that time. Edvard Grieg was no exeption, and the last time my great grandfather rowed him over, he was very ill. He had to send all his clothes and items back to him later - and he died in Troldhaugen in Bergen the same year. My great grandfather told that he had to stop the horse half the way to the boat, because he wanted to have the last view of the lakes and the mountains.

My great grandfather as the young rower. Luckily, for my great, great grandfather, his son Helge was strong, and had no problem farming or rowing these national romantic artists and composers the 20 km. trip over the lake.

We walk the same ancient ancestral tracks as often as we can - hunting and fishing. There is certainly a spiritual experience to walk the same tracks, see the same stones, the same glaciers and breathe the same air - over and over again. You feel complete. Or, as we say in Norse: you feel Heill auk Sæll!

Today there is no Grieg to row, but a small daughter to carry. The assembly of stones above are the remains of a reindeer trap from the stone age. Later, when unused - these remains served as landmarks and resting places during hiking and normal hunting, like this one is used by my great grand father in the 1940`s.

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