The saga regarding the settlement of Hordaland started off about 10,000 years ago. Most of this saga has been recorded in writing, not on paper, but on stone and on the earth in the forest and the marshes.
From 4,500 to 5,000 years ago most of Hordaland was a landscape of forest, right out to the coast and the islands. With our inner eye we can see old oak trees putting their stamp on the heat-loving deciduous forest.
It is in Hordaland County that we find the oldest traces of a folk music stemming from our national instrument, the Hardanger fiddle. And it is still this musical tradition which is characteristic of folk music here.
Language tells us both about social distance and human contact in many different ways. The dialects show how people who have had connections and dealings with one another throughout the ages, have developed a common language.
Naturopplevinga hjå lyrikarane våre gjev ofte vår eiga landskapsoppleving ein djupare resonnans-botn, men styrken i naturens krefter kjem også fram, i mektige epos om fjellet og om havet.
A tale of man and the environment
In the still and dim church interiors of the Middle Ages the performances of belief came to life in the gleam from the wax candles. Here the essential articles of faith were presented, here the church was presented through holy men and holy women and here the events from the Gospels were told: the angels with Maria, the birth of the baby Jesus, the Three Wise Men, the history of the drama of the Passion and the victorious Christ.
The art of spinning, the art of weaving and the art of dyeing wool is knowledge which has been an important resource in the natural household for several thousand years. And the art of weaving still fascinates new generations.
På ferd mot vest over Hardangervidda opplever vi det dramatiske panoramaet når vidda går over i djupe bergkløfter og høge fossefall – eit utsyn som har fascinert kunstnarane.
When Professor Emeritus Knut Fægri (1909-2001) was asked to write the book's chapter about the natural science pioneers of Hordaland, he answered unequivocally, "yes". It was one of the last things he wrote before he died, at the age of 92. In typical Fægri language he presents some of the scholars who, in the time before the University of Bergen was founded, led the way in studying the natural science of The West Country.