Traditional Boats and Rigs of Norway, The


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by H. Warington Smyth

reprinted from Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia

The destiny of Norway remains, as it always has been, upon the sea. Two-thirds of its population live upon its wondrous coastline. The value of the fishing-trade alone amounts to 10 per cent. of the estimated total national income; and of the trade of the country, local and foreign, 95 per cent. is carried upon the water. The rugged character and comparative poverty of the country inland has obliged the Norwegian race always to turn its eyes seaward; and to this day, as in the dawn of history, the young Norseman looks down the fjord towards the open sea, and sets there the dream of life before him. The history, the art, the poetry, the commerce, and even the politics of Norway all speak the influence of the ocean upon the character of the nation, more potent even than that of the mountain, the forest, and the snowfield. And may this not in large measure be the explanation of the singular attraction which the Norwegian people and scenery exercise upon many of our race? To many a wanderer there is nothing so clean and bright in memory as the little log-built Norwegian village, nestling among the rounded granite blocks, lapped by the ripples from the blue waters of the fjord.

20 pages, 1 plate(s)


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