Cultural Processes in Nordic Woodland Communities

Norwegian text here

This page was made by Ingar Kaldal , Department for History, University of Trondheim . It contains information about a Nordic research project. Comments and questions about the project should be sent to . The last update of this page was made on February 14, 2003.

"Cultural Processes in Nordic Woodland Communities" was a research project initiated in 1995 and finnished in 1999. It was carried through by a group of social and human scientists from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. During the project period new participants were invited into the group, also from other countries. The project was conducted by Ingar Kaldal. Here you find a few pictures from meetings, seminars and excursions during the project
Short info about the project: It was the aim of the research team, from different angles, to focus on everyday life in landscapes and communities dominated by woods, and to analyse various cultural processes within a range of very dissimilar Nordic woodland contexts.

In great parts of the Nordic Countries, woods and woodland management have until recently been an essential basis of human subsistence. The way in which "woodland" was considered to be as well a poor as an unlimited resource, deeply influenced Nordic culture in various manners. I. a. it might have given other cultural meanings to property and inheritance rights than in more agrarian parts of Europe. Furthermore, it might have affected the perception of right and wrong, state and society, wealth and poverty, equality, household and work. Metaphors derived from everyday life in woodland contexts were used in the construction of cultural identities relating to gender, working status, locality or nation. The project group aspires to study what woods and everyday life in woodland communities have meant in various national and local contexts within the Nordic Countries.

The project was financed by Nordiska Samarbetsnämnden för Humanistisk Forskning (NOS-H). 

During the project period annual conferences with workshops and also invited, external participants, were arranged. The first conference was held in Kuhmo, Finland, in September 1995, the second in the forest museum LUSTO, Punkaharju, Finland, in May 1996, the third in Fredensborg, Denmark in May 1997, the fourth in Stockholm in November 1997, and the last conference was in Røros, Norway, 25-29. November 1998. 
The results from the project have been published in different ways, individually through articles and books from every participants, but also through a common anthology which was published in scandinavian languages, and with english summaries, in 2000:

Ingar Kaldal, Bo Fritzbøger, Ella Johansson, Hanna Snellman (red.). Skogsliv. Kultuyrella processer i nordiska skogsbygder. Historiska Media, Lund 2000.

The summaries from this book are also published on this www-page (see the links from every author). The rights to copy and use those texts are the same as in the book. 

Participating researchers, projects, summaries and addresses (adresses and phonenumbers have not been updated since 2000):

Siegfried Becker
Tree and Nation, Forest and Forces. Woodland and Forest During the Era of German Nationalism and Fascism:  1871-1945
Address: Universität Marburg, Institut für Europäische Ethnologie und Kulturforschung, Biegenstrasse 9, D-35037 Marburg, Germany

Michelle Facos
Picturing the Nordic Forest in Scandinavian Schoolbooks
Address: History of Art Department Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA

Bo Fritzbøger
"Thou Shalt Not Steal" Does Not Apply in the Forest:  An Historical Assessment of Eighteenth Century Forest Thievery in Denmark and Sweden (danish presentation here )
Telephone: +45 35 32 82 75 Fax: +45 35 32 82 41
Address: Københavns Universitet, Institut for Historie, Njalsgade, DK-2300 København S

Paul Tage Halberg
Social Status in Norwegian Farmer Forests and Company Forests
Telephone: +47 73 55 98 80 Fax: +47 73 55 98 51
Address: Trondheim Lærerhøgskole, Rotvoll Allé, N-7050 Trondheim

Tapio Hämynen
The Karelian Clondyke.  How Lumbering Practices Changed Life in "Border Karelia" During the 1920s and 1930s
Telephone: +358 73 15 11 Fax: +358 73 15 14 557/14 382
Address: Joensuu Ylipisto, Historian Laitos, Pl 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu

Kjell Hansen
Between Conformity and Resistence: on the Formation of Local Identities in Woodland Regions of Northern Sweden
Swedish presentation here
Address: Etnologiska institutionen, Finngatan 8, S-22362 Lund

Tim Ingold
Work, Identity and Environment: Finns and Saami in Lapland
Address: Department of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, Roscoe Building, Brunswick Street, Manchester M13 9PL, England

Ella Johansson
Poachers and Peasants. Cultural Meanings of  Hunting and Agriculture in Northern Sweden during the Industrial Revolution
Swedish presentation here )
Address: Etnologiska Institutionen, Umeå Universitet, S-90187 Umeå
Address at home: Bryggaregatan 9, S-22736 Lund

Ingar Kaldal
Gender, Work, and Forest in Narratives from the Changing Daily Life in a Woodland Region of Scandinavia
(norwegian presentation here)
E-mail: .
Telephone: +47 73 59 64 35 Fax: +47 73 59 64 41
Address: Historisk Institutt, NTNU, Trondheim, N-7491 Trondheim

Martti Linkola
Cultural landscapes of slash-and-burn cultivation in Finland (article not finnished)
Telephone: +358 040501/4050329 Fax: +0358 04050300
Address: Museiverket, Box 913, FIN- 00101 Helsinki

Helena Ruotsala
Reindeer Herders and the Forest in Finnish Lapland (swedish text here )
Helenas Ruotsalas Homepage
Telephone: (arb.)+358-2-333 6350, fax +358-2-333 6360
Address: University of Turku, Ethnology, Henrikink. 3, FIN 20014, TURUN YLIOPISTO

Anne Ruuttula-Vasari
Barons Should Not Be Trusted:  Especially Not Lumber Barons (swedish presentation here )
Telephone: +358 981 5533318
Address: Historian Laitos, PL 111, Oulun Yliopisto, FIN-90571, OULU
Another address: Niemelantie 1, FIN-85410 Sievi

Hanna Snellman
The Era of Timber Floating in Northern Finland (finnish text here )
Telephone: +358 9 191 22622, Fax: +358 9 191 22653
Address: Department of Ethnology, Box 3 (Fabiankinkatu 33), FIN - 00014 University of Helsinki

Kerstin Sundberg
"They have devastated this small pine woods" – Concerning use of Forest Resources in Agrarian Society (swedish presentation here )
Address: Historiska Institutionen, Box 2074, S-22002 Lund
Telephone: +46 46 222 32 95, at home: +46 46 53466
Home address: Trollskogsvägen 14, S-240 12 Torna Haellestad, Sverige

Øivind Vestheim
No project completed
Telephone: +47 62 83 56 26, Mobil: 90 88 54 26
Address: Rinda Gård, N-2230 Skotterud

Sakari Virtanen
On our attitudes towards the forests (article not finnished)
Telephone: +358 86 632 4858 Fax: +358 86 632 4865
Address: University of Oulu, Research and Development Centre of Kajaani, P.O.Box 51, FIN-87101 Kajaani

Pekka Virtanen
No project completed
Telephone: +358 57 345 1016 Fax: +358 57 345 1050
Address: LUSTO, Finnish Forest Museum, FIN-58450 Punkaharju

This page was updated on February 14, 2003 (but adresses and phonenumbers are not uptated since 2000).