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The Art of Kulning: The “That’ll Do Pig” of Sweden

Jonna Jinton summons cows and millions of views with the sound of her voice.

Credit: YouTube / Jonna Jinton

This is Jonna Jinton, a 26-year-old photographer, artist and blogger living in the forests and mountains of northern Sweden. She practices the art of kulning, or herding calls, which enchants people and livestock alike. 

The pristine countryside of Sweden is something out of a fairy tale, and Jonna’s ability is no different. The remote regions of rural Sweden and Norway have produced many talented and popular singers like AURORA and Astrid S. It follows that there must be something in the water because the art of kulning has been a fascinating staple of Scandinavian livestock raising since medieval times.

Kulning is most often used to retrieve goats and cows from mountain pastures, though it can also be utilized as a form of singing – a bit like yodelling – and even long-distance communication. The high pitched notes echo across mountains for miles, in many cases reaching wandering cows as far as five kilometres (over three miles) off. And thanks to its half-tone and quarter-tone rich nature, kulning has a highly distinct and haunting melody. Talk about Middle Earth!

Scandinavia proves livestock herding isn’t just for sheepdogs and pigs; it can be an art. And while travelling to see such interesting and scenic countries has hit a snag with the pandemic, here are some other gorgeous locales everyone should consider visiting someday.

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