Norwegian drinking vessel – a kjenge. From Atrå, Tinn, Telemark. | Photo: Jon-Erik Faksvaag – digitaltmuseum.no NF.2010-0506 – CC BY-SA.
Norwegian drinking vessel – a kjenge. From Atrå, Tinn, Telemark. | Photo: Jon-Erik Faksvaag – digitaltmuseum.no NF.2010-0506 – CC BY-SA.

A kjenge is a drinking bowl used in the old Norwegian farming society – usually with two handles – carved and hollowed out from a single piece of wood. In some regions of the country, they call it a kane.

Norwegian drinking vessel - a kjenge - made from birch. | Photo: Anne-Lise Reinsfeldt - digitaltmuseum.no NF.2000-1301 - CC BY-SA.
Norwegian drinking vessel – a kjenge – made from birch. | Photo: Anne-Lise Reinsfeldt – digitaltmuseum.no NF.2000-1301 – CC BY-SA.

It is predominantly used for drinking beer.

The kjenge is rounded, whereas the kane has a more elongated shape, like a ship. The word kane is related to old words meaning boat. In Norwegian, kane can also mean sleigh.

The bowl’s handles usually have a human or animal shape.

It is often carved from what the Norwegians call a kåte, a knot or protuberance on a tree. The wood in a kåte is harder than normal and is a sought-after material by wood carvers.

This is the kind of object the old Norwegian farmer would work on around the fire – during the long and dark winter evenings.

Norwegian drinking vessel - a kjenge. From Voss, Hordaland. Made in 1755. | Photo: Anne-Lise Reinsfeldt - digitaltmuseum.no NF.2010-0504 - CC BY-SA.
Norwegian drinking vessel – a kjenge. From Voss, Hordaland. Made in 1755. | Photo: Anne-Lise Reinsfeldt – digitaltmuseum.no NF.2010-0504 – CC BY-SA.


Recommended read: Norwegian decorative painting – rosemaling


Main source: «Norske drikkekar av tre» by Per Gjærder – Universitetsforlaget 1974.

Main photo: Norwegian drinking vessel – a kjenge. From Atrå, Tinn, Telemark. | Photo: Jon-Erik Faksvaag – digitaltmuseum.no NF.2010-0506 – CC BY-SA.