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Cultural history

The people of the coast

Well into the twentieth century, people from the islands outside of Bergen rowed by boat to town and sold fresh fish straight from their boats.

The Viking landscape – an endangered habitat

The oldest cultural landscape in Norway consists of coastal heathlands that have been continuously managed by humans since before the Bronze Age. This is the landscape the Vikings saw when they sailed up and down the Norwegian coast.

The return of folklore

Why are gnomes and trolls suddenly back in the limelight?

Prostitution in old Oslo

Prostitution was illegal in Norway at the end of the 1800s but allowed in Oslo as long as the women submitted themselves to mandatory medical scrutiny. A new exhibition documents the lives of these women.

“Many die from studying science”

When Solveig wanted to switch her major from English to natural science, the professor for the class was so distressed about getting yet another female student that he tried to scare her away. “It’s so difficult. There are many who die,” he said

Sami national strategists

The early indigenous Sami opposition at the beginning of the 1900s was not just composed by individual voices on limited political and cultural issues. They challenged established policies and conceptions, with partly alternative social analyses.

Mystical marks in virgin forest explained

The mysterious scars on ancient pine trees in northern Norway have been explained. The pines were once used as a food supplement.

The buildings that tell us who we are

Abandoned school houses receive little attention from central cultural heritage authorities. But for local people the modest buildings represent identity and roots.

The epidemic that was wiped out

Smallpox is one of the most devastating diseases known to humanity, but also a great success story of modern medicine.

Leaving tracks − with words

Scandinavians left more than just archaeological artefacts when they conquered parts of the British Isles − the Scottish language is full of it.