Faroe Islands' communities: isolation or connecting?
Did you know?
Faroe Islanders and Icelanders came from Scandinavia around 1000 years ago but are not Arctic Indigenous People!
Like Arctic Indigenous Peoples, Faroe Islanders have their own old traditions. The Faroese Chain Dance is a unique example: they dance from house to house and in the streets singing very long songs that recite their history.
An old photo of a Faroese chain dance. By Sophie Petersen — Nationalmuseet/Det Kongelige Danske Geografiske Selskab, Public Domain | wikimedia
A recent photo of a Faroese chain dance. Eileen Sandá, CC BY-SA 3.0 | wikimedia
There is a total population of 50,000 people on the Faroe Islands and 70,000 sheep spread over 18 islands.
The Faroe Islands has a crooked air approach due to mountains!
Follow the Faroe Islanders' dance
The Faroe Islanders have a fun and lively cultural heritage with the chain dance. Many can join, but there are no drums or music! All that can be heard is the rhythm of the dancers and their singing. There is a lead singer who starts every verse in the song – then the other dancers join in. The songs are long, dramatic stories with more than a hundred verses about historic events from hundreds of years ago involving nature, knights, heroes, saints and trolls. The songs and dance are from the medieval times and have helped promote literacy in Faroese, preserving the language, and helping to develop an understanding of the Faroese society.
Can you make your own chain dance including a song about your history like the Faroese Chain Dance?
Does your family have any traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation? For example, "first-footing" in the UK at New Year. This is a tradition in which the man goes out of the back door of the house taking with him symbols of wealth just before mid-night and enters the house just after midnight through the front door to be greeted by his partner with a drink and some food. This is supposed to bring good luck for the New Year.