Friday, July 18, 2008

All kinds of marks and signs to be made from morning till night

When Anne Kvæn had no longer leave to go into the blue room to my mother, she silently went through all kinds of performances outside the door. I remember once standing on the stairs, and seeing her bowing and curtseying, wetting her finger every now and then, drawing on the door with it, and muttering, until I fled in terror.

In her incantation formulæ, the word "Jumala" often occurred, the name of the Bjarmers' old god, whose memory, in the far north, is not so completely eradicated as one would think, and who to this day has perhaps some sacrificial stone or other on the wide mountain wastes of Finland. Against Lap witchcraft—and a suspicion of it was fastened on almost every Lap boat that landed at the quay—she also had her charms; she apparently melted down Fin and Christian gods together in her mystical incantations, for the confounding of Lap witchcraft.

In the midst of such mental impressions as these, I grew up.

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