Thursday, January 23, 2014

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 126

Kvinesdal, Vest Agder, Norway

The postcard this week shows a view of Utsikten, Kvinesdal, Vest Agder, Norway and was sent to me by Odd Svanstrøm in 1983.  Arne Normann who took approximately 300,000 pictures of Scandinavian scenes between 1940 and 1990 took the photograph.   Several postcards shared previously have been Normann cards. 

Kvinesdal is located in southern Norway and is a long narrow area that spans a distance from the coast to the mountains and has a number of small villages scattered along the way.   Some of the ancestors of Mikal Alfsen Roland Hornnes came from this general area, as did some ancestors of Didrik Thompson.  It is a beautiful scenic place as is typical of Norway in general.  A large number of Norwegians left for America from this region in the mid 1800s to the early 1900s and some later returned or their descendents returned to live here.  Today about ten percent of the population is made up of American citizens.  Each year a festival is held in local villages to remember the people who left Norway for America. 

The name Kvinesdal comes from the Old Norse name of the river Hvin (now Kvina) and dal meaning valley.  Between 1900 and 1917 the community was called Liknes.  The coat of arms shown below from Wikipedia depicts the confluence of the two rivers Kvina and Litleåna and was granted to the community in 1985.

The Kvina River is known for its salmon and fishing is a popular sport here. 

I thought it was interesting that a number of characters from the Saga Period or Viking Era (700 to 1000) called Kvinesdal their home.  One was the Skald Tjodolv the Frode (a poet and historian-genealogist) who composed a historic poem for king Harold Fairhair (850-932) known as the first king of Norway.  About 300 years later Snorri Sturlusson the famous Icelandic poet and historian, compiler of sagas combined this poem into the Heimskringle

Early painting showing King Harold Fairhair

In more recent times Kvinesdal is known as the home of one of Norway’s artists, Kristian Marcelius Førland (1891-1978).  He was best known for his portraits and landscape paintings.  Førland’s home in Utsikten is now a museum.   Beginning in 2006 there have been summer Rock music concerts held in Kvinesdal.  

The stamp on the postcard was issued in 1982 and is called the "circle" stamp.  If I have translated it correctly, the stamp was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Norwegian graphic arts association.

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