Every time I hear kulning songs, I have a somatic response in my body. A chill runs through me, tears well in my eyes. I want to sing too.
Today I came across a docu-series called Woodlanders, a totally crowd-sourced project documenting the forest-ways of forest-people. The episode that I happened to stumble across was on the Fäbod culture of Sweden, and explored the tradition of the Swedish people to move their cattle north to the boreal forests in the summertime, which was where the tradition of kulning arose from as a way for the, more often then not, young women to both call to each other across the forest and call in their livestock from grazing all day. It is a haunting melody, that makes me think it is not human women singing in the forest but some fae creature, perhaps a skogsra.
My father's grandfather came from Sweden, I bear his name, a legacy of those lands and those peoples.
My inner forest woman sees these women tending their cows and their goats, swimming i...