|Project by stefang||posted 05-23-2013 02:25 PM||2795 views||6 times favorited||41 comments|
The ‘Budstikka’ was an early ’Short Messaging System’ which was used in Norway and perhaps throughout Scandinavia from the time of the Vikings and up to the latter half of the 1800’s. It was a relatively effective and rapid way to spread important information.
The name ’Budstikke’ is composed of two words. First ’bud’, which in this particular context means ’bid’, as in the ’doing the kings bidding’. In other words, not just a message, but also a command from the King or other national or local authorities. The rest of the word ’stikke’ just means that it has a sharp point to allow it’s being anchored in wood somewhere. The budstikke in Photo 5 dates from the middle 1800’s, and an older one from 1610 in photo 6.
The message could be anything from the King calling up men to arms in time of war, to the local authorities commanding attendance at an important official gathering. The recipients were most often farmers. When the farmers were not at home the budstikke could be anchored in a door frame of their house or any other obvious place where it was sure to be seen on their return. The farmers were then responsible for forwarding the message to predetermined neighbors, and they could be punished for failing to do so. Punishment could be a fine, confiscation of property, imprisonment or even death depending on the importance of the message.
This budstikke was made for a good friend. Turned and handcarved from Linde wood. The design is my own, but true to principal. I doubt that none were alike, but they were all turned and hollowed out to contain a brief message which would stay dry, and some, although not all were topped off with the official looking crown design as on this one. Perhaps the crown was to signify it as a message from the King.
My carving was not very good as I have never been much of a woodcarver and even the turning is a little crude. This all works well as far as I’m concerned because these were never meant to be woodworking masterpieces, but rather an effective way to deliver important information. There would have been many dispensed at the same time, so pretty much mass produced items. I tried to make this one look rustic by first applying brown shoe polish, then some sanding and a final coat of beeswax/carnuba combo. My friend likes to make leather knife sheafs, so I thought he might like to keep his leather sewing needles in it.
I hope you found this little bit of Norwegian history and culture interesting. Thank you for having a look.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.