Michael (mukashi_banashi) wrote in little_details,

The Seter or Summer Pasture in Norway

Sorry to post another question so soon after my last...but the reason I need to know the answer to this kind of stems from the answers I got to my last question here.  My setting is medieval Norway, specifically Gudbrandsdal, probably mid 1200s.  I've tried to do research online, and have actually spent months researching the subject in books.  I've found numerous books which addressed the seter (sometimes spelled sæter) or summer pastures in the mountains, but nothing that does much more than touch on it briefly.  I've checked out the wikipedia article on Transhumance, which discusses it briefly but does not answer the specific question I have.  I've done various Google searches ("seter in norway", "seter season", "summer in norway", etc.) but most everything I get is for tourism.  I've also read the wonderful Lisbeth Longfrock which describes seter life, but has no details, again, on the specific question I need answered.  

The question I have is: what time of year did women usually go up to the mountain pastures?  I know it was summer, but what part of summer?  Basically, what is the earliest time in summer that they could be found up there? 

I did find this page, which says: "...farmers began herding their cows, sheep and goats up the mountains in the spring, where they would graze throughout the summer."  This is promising, however, considering the source (an article on how getaway cabins are becoming popular in the modern day), it's a bit questionable.  I'd appreciate it if anyone could provide some concrete, reliable information on this.  Thanks again! 
Tags: 1200-1299, norway: history, ~agriculture, ~middle ages

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