The Kuli stone collage
Kulisteinen er å finne på på Kuløy i Smøla kommune. Steinen er et svært viktig objekt fra norsk viking-tid, og ble altså laget og funnet på denne gården. Alt tyder på at gårdsdriften har ligget her siden 1034 og bosetting trolig også før det. Stein-inskripsjonen forteller om "Tore og Hallvar", og det er også navnene på nålevende Kuli-slekt som bor her.
Teksten på steinen er huggede runer:
Tore og Halvard reiste denne steinen etter Ulv...
Tolv vintre hadde kristendommen vært i Norge...
(Teksten har siden vært noe omdiskutert, men betydningen i alle tolkninger mer eller mindre den samme)
Steinen som står her i dag er en eksakt kopi av originalen som står i Vitenskapsmuseet i Trondheim. En annen kopi står utstilt på Stiklestad. Kulisteinen ble også nevnt i Børge Lilleliens berømte "tirade" etter at Norge slo England i fotball.
In the mid-1990s the inscription was subjected to laser scanning and microcartography in an attempt to arrive at a more sure reading. It was then suggested that the word translated "been" (vært) above should be read as "um rétt", and that this could mean that Christianity had "supplied law and order" for twelve years. The runic stone would then have been propaganda for the new religion, Christianity. There are, however, serious paleographic and philological/linguistic problems with the new reading and interpretation. The stone has a cross on the broad side, also indicating that is was a christian marker.
It was first suggested by Nils Halan that the inscription refers to a national event, the establishment of the law that formally made Christianity the religion of Norway at the Moster Thing in either 1022 or 1024 by King Olaf Haraldsson. The Kuli stone was later dated to 1034 since it was originally found adjacent to a Viking Age boardwalk dated dendrochronologically to that year, on the assumption that the two were contemporaneous. Others have suggested that the inscription refers to the conquest of Norway in 995 by King Olaf Tryggvason and his forced conversions.
The transcription and translation below use that accepted in the Rundata database. The runic text refers to Nóregi, or Norway. One other Viking Age runestone refers to Norway, the larger Jelling Stone, which was raised by King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark and uses the name Norveg. The Kuli stone also marks the first known use of the word "Christianity" in Norway.
The "Kuli" family still lives at the farm next to the stone. Findings indicate, according to present farm owners, that there is an unbroken family chain here from the farm's original settlement in 1030 (approx.). Other finds indicate that settlements here date back from a time much earlier than that.
There are also several viking graves and other findings on this small island next to the main Smøla island. See also the "Solskjel Battle" cache for other viking age happenings in this area. The outdoor play "Fru Guri of av Edøy" ("Gurispelet") also tells a story from the time Norway and this region in particular, was christened towards the end of the viking era.
The stone you can see here at Kuli is an exact copy of the one that sits in the "Vitenskapsmuseet" in Trondheim.
FTF: Guunder and Annekriin