07 March 2019

"Kulning" explained

Kulning is an ancient herding call that Swedish women have practiced for hundreds of years. But in recent decades, Jinton says, it’s been largely forgotten.

According to Susanne Rosenberg, professor and head of the folk music department at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and kulning expert, the vocal technique likely dates back to at least the medieval era. In the spring, farmers sent their livestock to a small fäbod, or remote, temporary settlement in the mountains, so cows and goats could graze freely. Women, young and old, accompanied the herds, living in relative isolation from late May until early October...

The herds grazed during the daytime, wandering far from the cottages, and thus needed to be called in each night. Women developed kulning to amplify the power of their voices across the mountainous landscape, resulting in an eerie cry loud enough to lure livestock from their grazing grounds...

Rosenberg, who’s researched the volume of kulning, says it can reach up to 125 decibels—which, she warns, is dangerously loud for someone standing next to the source. Comparable to the pitch and volume of a dramatic soprano singing forte, kulning can be heard by an errant cow over five kilometers away... Some women have even learned the far-carrying cries as a form of self-defense...
Via Neatorama.


  1. I want to try that but am concerned about my neighbour's reactions.
    I have pet rabbits and chickens, and to summon them from the garden I merely have to shake the plastic cup that I carry the seeds and bunny biscuits in.
    Time from shaking to being surrounded is often less than 30 seconds.
    The cats, on the other hand, just need to hear a plate being moved and they appear at my foot.

  2. I don't think anything was explained about it, it was merely defined. The article has slightly more detail, but is there anywhere that actually explains the call itself?

  3. That is beautiful. I just yell, "Come on!" really loud. So brutish.

  4. I would be at her feet in a very short time.


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