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Primitive Farm Norwegian whetstone sheath

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I want to thank Irene and her husband Jim Nelson from Irene's Creations on Etsy for helping me identify this farm tool. Here is their message to me.

"My husband Jim is of Norwegian heritage. He would like to shed some light on your dilemma with the Farm Implement listing. Please read his response that may help you:

Here are two links for photos of Norwegian whetstone sheaths. The Norwegian. word is bryneslire (bryne, to sharpen + slire, sheath). Click on the photos in Link 1 for enlargements. All three are housed at the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo (Norsk Folkemuseum, with a website in Norwegian and English).


Note the positioning of this one. They were generally stored upside-down, to prevent moisture from rotting or cracking the wood when not in use.


I last observed whetstone sheaths in use by Norwegian farmers near Luster (Dale municipality) in Inner Sogn province, in the summer of 1977. They were worn on belts around the waist. These farmers kept large jars of water on hand to moisten the stones for sharpening the scythes (ljå, pronounced "yoe") as they cut hay on the steep mountain sides by the spectacular Sognefjord. The sheaths I saw were solid pieces of wood, oval or rounded in shape and hung from belts. The one in this photo is birchbark and leather. The last time I observed a scythe being used in western Norway was on a sheep farm in Lindås, north of Bergen in July 1996. It was used on multiple enclosures of grass and hay that were too small and/or inaccessible for mowing machines to reach.

By Jim Nelson

Best Regards,
Irene Nelson

If you are an International buyer please be aware that the shipping price is only an estimate and if your item is larger or heavier and you live in a particular country the price may be higher or lower so convo me prior to purchase for a more accurate shipping cost.

Primitive Farm Norwegian whetstone sheath


  • Vintage item from the 1930s
  • Ships worldwide from United States
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