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Norheim, “the farm by the narrow sound” is mentioned in a diploma from the Middle Ages and in an inheritance document. This is one of the large farms in Hardanger, of those that belonged to the powerful families; Sandven in Kvam, Torsnes in Jondal, Aga in Ullensvang and Spånheim in Ulvik.
When you come into the well-tended farm steading at Sæbø just above Etne centre, you get the impression of a Sunnhordland farm from well before the time of the tractor; from the time of the horse and the scythe. The hamlet at Sæbø, one of the farms neighbouring to Gjerde, was taken over by Sunnhordland Folk Museum in 1938.
Through Adolph Tidemand’s detailed close-ups of smokehouses in Kvam, the vicarage in Vikøy, where he lived during his painting trips through Hardanger, has obtained a central position in the Norwegian national romanticism.