The story of a national instrument

The legend of Prillar Guri and her lur comes back to life Eric Stavney Mukilteo, Wash. On Aug. 16, 1612, a young woman stood on a promontory above the Laagen River in Norway. This promontory was close to Sel, which is in turn near Otta, in Gudbrandsdalen. She had with her a white scarf and a long-tube “birch trumpet,” called a lur. She was anxiously looking downriver because of the important task given to her. So says the legend of Prillar Guri, a story that arose in Gudbrandsdalen, and, indeed, that day in August when she stood on the mountaintop, now called Prillarguritoppen, is celebrated annually every year. The l
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Eric Stavney

Eric Stavney is a graduate of the University of Washington Department of Scandinavian Studies and hosts the interviews and music podcast “Nordic on Tap” at

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