intangible cultural heritage

A Living Nation or a Mythological Image? About the Chudes in Norwegian Folklore

Author: Roald Larsen
Institution: The Arctic University of Norway
Year of publication: 2019
Source: Show
Pages: 9-22
DOI Address:
PDF: kie/126/kie12601.pdf

The objective of this article is to consider legends or oral narratives in Norway which deal with the Chudes. Who were the Chudes - an important nation acting in a particular historical context or a mythological image? In order to answer this question it is necessary to examine different references to the Chudes preserved in Norwegian legends and historical sources. Here I consider the following tasks: 1) to clarify the meaning of the word ‘Chude’ in Norwegian culture; 2) to analyze legends about the Chudes in order to pick out the main plot-constructing elements. Legends are narratives which claim to be true and are usually connected to well-known places and people. Migrating legends are narratives which have been narrated in many places and for a long period of time. This also concerns legends narrating about the Chudes. This article discusses the effect on the percentage of truth in the narratives. For fifteen years I have taken the lead in doing research work at UiT (The Arctic University of Norway), the Institute of Teacher Education and Pedagogy, where my students and I collected several hundred legends, mainly from Northern Norway. The reason why pedagogy students were involved in this work is that legends can be applied as a method of knowledge development. It will be helpful when the students become trained teachers and face their own pupils at primary and lower secondary schools. Interest in legends can strengthen skills and content awareness, being at the same time a gateway to establishing knowledge structures.

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