- Birgit Kjellström
Swedish signal horn. A ram’s or bovine horn would be boiled or otherwise softened and the soft parts scraped out; then the tip was sawn off and an aperture made in the end to serve as a mouthpiece. The bockhorn was used until at least the end of the 19th century, mainly in connection with herding cattle, but also as a signal in hunting or fishing and as a means of outdoor communication. The horn (known also as vallhorn, tuthorn, tjuthorn, or björnhorn) was used for calling the cattle and for frightening away wild animals; for the latter use the kvickhorn, taken from the living animal, was supposed to have special magical power. Drilled with three or four fingerholes, the horn was also known as the lekhorn, låthorn, spelhorn, prillarhorn, fingerhorn, and many other names, derived either from the instrument’s function or its substance. Similar or identical horns are used all over the Baltic region. Archaeological discoveries of bovine horns with fingerholes date from the Iron Age....