Today it is one calendar month since I arrived in Norway – so much has happened in that time I can’t believe it has only been a month.

My intention was to explore the realms of the ancestors as part of the residency and what a journey this is turning out to be! My first discovery was that Buskerud is a region that has many artefacts stretching back to 9,000 BC. These remnants mainly take the form of petroglyphs and stone carvings, for example the carvings known as Helleristningene i Skogerveien or in English The sculptures in the forest area – which I wrote about in Traces of the Ancients.

© Tracey M Benson || bytetime
© Tracey M Benson || bytetime

Last weekend was also one of discovery as I met some wonderful people involved in the local Norse community. I say Norse deliberately as the Vikings were a particular group of the Norse – the journeymen and women. Also the term Norse refers to the long connection these people have to the Northern lands.

This has opened up some incredible learnings for me – about the culture and about the place. I have learnt that Buskerud is a rich place for Viking history as one of the biggest hauls of Viking treasure was found in Hoen in 1875 – eight years before Anton left for America. I also learnt that there is a tree in the region that is over 1000 years old – “Den gamle Mester” (The Old Master). My plan is to visit that tree next week sometime and take some photos as well as spend some time hanging out 🙂

I was very privileged to do a Masterclass with Tyr Neilson and Hege Braathen about Norse ways and it was very enlightening. It is also quite incredible that Anton came from a place so steeped in ancient knowledge and that knowledge is being kept alive by this group. It has the ‘meant to be’ quality which makes sense of my attraction to the runes and Norse ways.

Anyway – today was also a first for me. Dressed in Viking garb, Hege took me to the Gjallarstadir Vikingmarked Lillestrøm where I met more of her clan. Such a warm and generous group of people – it was a really great experience. So much fun! I even tried my hand at needle binding – thanks Ingrid and Andrea for showing me  – I will need a lot of practice 🙂

Here are some photographs.

What was really nice was walking around barefoot – the earth is so soft here – lots of other people were wandering around without shoes so I felt right at home. No worries about snakes or spiders either 😉

At the end of the afternoon, two wonderful  and very funny performers shared their knowledge of ancient Norse instruments including the mouth harp and flute as well as doing some incredible throat singing. I caught some video and will be seeing how we can incorporate it into the DNA Music project.

Thank you  – Tusan takk vakker folk ❤ Feeling immense gratitude.

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