Norwegian Mountains

"Håhaugsteinen" on Haustveit, Oct 29 2005


This rock is located at Håhaug above Haustveit. The nearest map reference is Hauso by Sørfjorden, Hordaland county.


The Håhaugstone "legend" (1-2 Grade Hauso 2001-2002)

  1. There lived a witch on Hausanuten.
  2. The witch was in love with a boy from the village.
  3. But the boy had found another girl to marry.
  4. When they rowed to the church the witch became very angry.
  5. She took the garter from her sock and used it as a sling.
  6. The first stone landed by the boat, but did not hit it.
  7. The second stone landed on the other side of the fjord.
  8. She placed the third stone in the sling, but the garter broke.
  9. The stone landed on Håhaug. She gave up because she was tired.
  10. Therefore the stone was called the garter stone.

Håhaugsteinen is a cultural landmark in Hordaland because of its rock carvings, dated back to the Bronze Age.

Important note: Attempting to climb this rock, or in any way cause damage to it, is a violation of Norwegian law, and will be prosecuted.

Håhaug is a hump sticking out into the meadow, with a small flat surface on top. It commands a good view up and down the fjord.

The Håhaugsteinen petroglyphs were first recorded by Bergen Museum in 1962, but there is reason to believe that the petroglyphs were discovered when the land around Håhaug was opened up to cultivation, around the Second World War.

The petroglyphs have been dated back to the Bronze Age (1800 - 500 BC) and belong to an ancient fertility cult.

The sun image is a symbol of the sun- and sky-god. He had his female counterpart, an earth goddess: Mother Earth, the forces behind growing things.

Worship was about the basic and essential needs of a primitive farming community. Religious activities included the cutting of the holy symbols and the cultic actions into the everlasting rock, so that blessing should have permanent effect, beyond the day itself.

The sun played an important role in Bronze Age religion. There are several solar images on Håhaugsteinen, one with a handle, to carry in processions.

The boat or ship is one of the most important and commonest symbols in Bronze Age petroglyphs. Håhaugsteinen has boats of a recognisable Bronze Age type. A detail of a boat shows that it was not designed for use on the water: outside the sternpost has been carved a small, four-legged male animal. A line has been cut from the neck of the animal to the first 'crew line' aft in the boat. A boat with an animal following on a leash is more likely to have been part of a cultic procession on shore than in the sea.

Information from: "Forntida i Odda, Ullensvang og Kinsarvik" by curator Egil Bakka, taken from "Odda, Ullensvang og Kinsarvik i gamal og ny tid" by Olav Kolltveit.

(The above text has been translated from Norwegian language)

Pictures of the rock carvings

The rock and where it might have come from

Note that the pictures refer to Hauso, while the more accurate location is Haustveit.

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