High up and far into the rural wooded mountains was the areas animals was herded to for pasture during summertime every year. In the villages, quite far from the wooded mountains, the fields were farmed for necessary crops. It was mainly the unmarried or elderly woman who followed and dwelled with the herded animals, from may to september. The woman lived alone beside and together with the animals and the Beings that are dwelling among treestumps and under the roots in the forest. This is the place where the elves dances in the fog, over lakes and tarns, during the hours the trolls are dwelling in every stone.
This is Dalarna, a province located in the middle of Sweden. Traditions has been hold in trust during generations and are therefore still strong and alive today. Several of the swedish national symbols origin from Dalarna. For example ”dalahästen”, a painted woodcarved horse. Also the special painting and decorating style called ”kurbits” and the traditional clothing and music, origin from Dalarna. The herding woman in the rural wooded mountains developed a special singing technique called ”kulning”. The sound travelled far trough the forest and over the mountains and served both as a calling that the animals responded to and made them return to the woman to be milked and served also as a communication system between the woman on different pastures and in different huts.
As a child I heard many stories about the life of these woman during the summerpastures and the life of trolls and magic places. I heard about the hut that should be buildt in the summerpastures but time after time got torned down to finally be abandoned in the belief that the trolls opposed to the building of it. These stories comforts me and my roots are there even if I now live in other places.