Skattlösberg & Luossastugan
Once the ”capital” of the Finnmark, birthplace of the poet Dan Andersson.
The Luossa cottage with the singing guide open daily Jun-Aug, 11am-5pm,
Entrance ticket. Walking-path 800 m. For information please contact the tourist office +46 (0)771-626262 or
The village of Skattlösberg is generally know as the capital of Finnmark, a community of Finnish settlers. It comprises ten farms situated in a group on a hill. The buildings and their location are typical of Finnmark. The farmed areas were most extensive in the 1850s, after which a large proportion of the land became overgrown again. Nowadays, landscape conservation is used to keep the site open.
The Finns practised an ancient version of shifting cultivation, whereby trees were felled in an area, which was left to dry out during the summer. Then, in August, they set light to the area. After a year had passed, they sowed rye-grass seed in the ashes to produce the grain for making rye bread. The burnt land was very fertile, and yielded a good harvest. After crops had been grown for two years, the land was left for pasture and a new area would be cleared.
The Finns retained their own culture, and at the open-air museum at Finngammel-gården you can see an old Finnish cottage or cabin from 1771. The inside of the building was dominated by a large stove, and there was no flue or chimney—the smoke escaped through a hatch in the roof. Over the years, however, the Finns were influenced by Swedish customs. One example is the “Swedish cottage”, which is basically a Finnish cottage to which has been added a chimney and, sometimes, a window as well.
Because of the extensive mining and the ironworks, the area suffered an acute shortage of timber. Thus, before the end of the 17th century, the practice of shifting cultivation was prohibited by the authorities. This forced many of the Finnish settlers to take up charcoal-burning to provide charcoal as fuel for the ironworks. At Finngammelgården, there is an old charcoal-burning stack, which you can see in cross section.
For many Swedes, the village of Skattlösberg is linked with the name of a poet, Dan Andersson, who was born there in 1888, in the school at which his father was the teacher. The school was later destroyed by fire. A plaque in honour of the poet can be seen on the road into the village. In 1905, his father gave up teaching and embarked on new life in the village of Mårtens, 10 kilometres to the north. The new home was a tied cottage, which they could rent in return for providing charcoal to the Ludvika works. It was here that Dan Andersson turned his hand to charcoal-burning, a theme which would often be found in his poems.
But living in a tied cottage did not work out so well and, in 1912, the family returned to Skattlösberg and found a home in Luossastugen. This is where Andersson wrote his first main work, which included stories of charcoal-burning and most of his songs about charcoal-burner watchmen. Many of these were later set to music. However, he did not live to enjoy the fruits of his success, as he died in an accident in 1920, aged just 32.