Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tracking Halfdan the Black: Hadeland Folkemuseum; Stein in Hole

There are two museums we found that may relate to Halfdan the Black who drowned on a sad winter day when his sled, horses, self and retainers fell through ice on the large lake.  Apparently one is not to drive too close to the animals' watering holes on the lake, as their deposits soften the surrounds.

1.  The head of Halfdan the Black.  We went to the Hadeland Folkemuseum, having been told that the head of Halfdan the Black was on display thee.

  • In Norway as elsewhere, body parts may well come to their separate rests.  
  • In the US, recall that the amputated arm of Stonewall Jackson is buried on a farm near Chancellorsville, at Ellwood Cemetery, with its own headstone [armstone]. His rest, after death some 20 miles away, is in Lexington [now part of West Virginia, not VA?).

Museum grounds, buildings. It was all closed. Tourists can stay home after Labor Day.

The museum is not far from Tingelstad Old Church. See http://www.historiskehadeland.no/aktorer.asp?m=54008&s=54471

The other museum is the Ringerikes Museum, see http://www.ringerikes.museum.no/velkommen.html/  
We knew we were late to be touristing, as other Scandinavian countries also close up their shops the first week of September, and with the Hadeland closed, did not go to the Ringerikes.

2.  The Mound.  We tried to find the mound where his burial ship (a Viking burial may be in that shape) may be, and found the Stein farm in Hole, Ringerike, but this is private property and we could see no defining shape from the road. See http://archive.archaeology.org/9801/newsbriefs/viking.html/ 

I had read that some in the community did not want the mound, wherever it is, excavated because they prefer just considering that he is there as a matter of lore. Why be disappointed?  We agree. 

3. Halfdan the Black. 

The reference to hue could be to the swarthy complexion and/or dark hair of some Scandinavians, along the lines of the Black Irish also being notably different -- similar phenomenon, but there the tradition comes by way of migrations through Spain, but reaching back further by centuries, from the eastern Mediterranean, apparently.  Some say there were ancient migrations of peoples from as far as the Middle East (are you thinking lost tribes of Israel?  think on?).  See DNA topics at http://www.nature.com/news/ancient-european-genomes-reveal-jumbled-ancestry-1.14456/   See lore about origins and migrations for Ireland and the British Isles, with much travel between Scandinavia and the northern Isles, at http://irelandroadways.blogspot.com/2010/03/tralee-queen-scotia-and-slieve-mish.html

The Saga of Halfdan the Black, to be enjoyed with the same respect and loose historical references as any other wonderful saga of human memory, is at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/heim/03halfdn.htm

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