I love these small houses along the coastline, often red or with traces of red. The oldest ones have no paint at all. And they are not all the same. Some places in Norway there is sort of a common style and architecture, but not in northern Norway. The main reason can be the Second World War. When the Germans withdrew from northern part of Troms and the County of Finnmark, they burned nearly everything, all houses, barns and boathouses disappeared. After the people was poor and they used what they could get, and just started to build the houses they needed.

naust Kvænangen

A small boathouse built after the Second World War

I try to find new angles when I take photos, but standing there it’s like they look right into my eyes, and they often happen to be placed right in the center of the photo. Slowly I try to move around them, perhaps there are new things to see?

In Norway it is not allowed to build huts or houses near the shore, the rule is to avoid the 100 meters closest to the sea. The red boathouses are popular to use as huts, standing so close to sea as possible. You can see some of them have got new facilities, their owners trying to avoid the rules.

morgenlys naust

Boathouse in early morning light

These boathouses are traces and echos of a long lasting culture of fisheries which made it possible to survive under these harsh conditions. Every man and some places also women fished for food and income. They took their boat out every day, rowed to the fishing area, fished and then rowed home again. The fish fed the people, in wintertime even their animals. You can see it as an underlying main pulse of these areas. Boats, boathouses, fish, rowing and sailing forth and back. Perhaps you can think of that when you see those boathouses lying there along the shore.

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