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The Swastika in Norway

28th November 2015
Posted by S Taylor

The Norwegian for Swastika is Hakekors. 

When investigating the prehistoric culture of Scandinavia we find many similarities between the ethnographic symbolism of Norway and the neighbouring countries of Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.  In many places we find strong links between runes and Swastikas.

Early Swastika
Early Swastika

This article seeks to portray the distinctive decorative contribution made by Norway.  Seemingly only found in Norway a piece of silver-plated horse-gear from Thorsbjorg, showing simple and complex Swastikas, dates from the Bronze Age, c 1500 BC.

One of the most intriguing examples of the use of the Swastika is on the rock carving from Kårstad, where runes, boats and an elaborated Swastika are found together. A rather more complex configuration of Swastikas appears on a bronze brooch.  Another equally ornate example comes from Nordheim,

These  ornate brooches are usually in plain bronze but sometimes with elements of silver. They come in two main types;  punched patterns with incised lines are  also well-known in Denmark and England whereas those with drilled circles are commonly met with in Eastern Norway but  rare in brooches from Denmark.

Runes and Swastika
Runes and motif

A bronze sword was found with runes and a Swastika inlaid with silver, dating from c AD750-800, from Sæbo [illustrated above].  The inscription is very similar to that on the Vælose fibula, or brooch, found in Denmark.

Offices
Municipal ArchItecture

Commissioned for the local power company a prestigious example of municipal architecture is found in the district of Sommerrogata.   Festooned with Swastikas the building now houses government offices and is now under a preservation order.

 Similar usage is found in Sweden and Iceland.  In Sweden the Swastika was incorporated into the commercial logo of ASEA for many years.  In Iceland it is used as a cartographic symbol to indicate hydroelectric and geothermal power stations.

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