The Faroe Islands: Interpretations of History
University Press of Kentucky, 2015. jan. 13. - 280 oldal
Stranded in a stormy corner of the North Atlantic midway between Norway and Iceland, the Faroe Islands are part of "the unknown Western Europe" -- a region of recent economic development and subnational peoples facing uncertain futures. This book tells the remarkable story of the Faroes' cultural survival since their Viking settlement in the early ninth century.
At first an unruly little republic, the islands soon became tributary to Norway, dwindled into a Danish-Norwegian mercantilist fiefdom, and in 1816 were made a Danish province. Today, however, they are an internally self-governing Danish dependency, with a prosperous export fishery and a rich intellectual life carried out in the local language, Faroese.
Jonathan Wylie, an anthropologist who has done extensive field work in the Faroes, creates here a vivid picture of everyday life and affairs of state over the centuries, using sources ranging from folkloric texts to parliamentary minutes and from census data to travelers' tales. He argues that the Faroes' long economic stagnation preserved an archaic way of life that was seriously threatened by their economic renaissance in the nineteenth century, especially as this was accompanied by a closer political incorporation into Denmark.
The Faroese accommodated increasingly profound social change by selectively restating their literary and historical heritage. Their success depended on domesticating a Danish ideology glorifying "folkish" ways and so claiming a nationality separate from Denmark's. The book concludes by comparing the Faroes' nationality-without-nationhood to the contrasting situations of their closest neighbors, Iceland and Shetland.
The Faroe Islands is an important contribution to Scandinavian as well as regional and ethnic studies and to the growing literature combining the insights and techniques of anthropology and history. Engagingly written and richly illustrated, it will also appeal to scholars in other fields and to anyone intrigued by the lands and peoples of the North.
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... the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a Senior Research Fellowship from
the Fulbright Program in the Sosialantropologisk Institutt at the University of
Bergen, the Danish Marshall Fund, and the American Council of Learned
The sagas tell us that Bergen was founded in 1070 by Ólaf Haraldsson, called
Olaf Kyrri, “the Peaceful.” Olaf's father, Harald Haröráði, had been slain with most
of his army at Stamford Bridge, a convenient if somewhat arbitrary marker for the
as the native merchants in Bergen” (Joensen, Mortensen, and Petersen 1955:8).
Trading rights were granted by the Norwegian king (or the Danish-Norwegian
king, with more and more emphasis on the “Danish”), who rented them out to ...
In 1533, the incumbent bishop having died, a certain Amundur, a canon in the
cathedral at Bergen, was chosen bishop, perhaps (exceptionally) by the Faroese
clergy themselves. Amundur's election was confirmed by Frederik I, in
It developed on its own, in increasing isolation from the remnants of the old
Bergen-based North Atlantic confederacy. A small token of this is the fact that the
Icelandic hymns composed after 1609 never became known in the Faroes. The
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