Birch (Betula, Betulacae) bark horns and similar instruments in Norway.
Wooden horns wrapped in coiled birch bark (Norwegian: lur) have a long history in Norway, dating back at least to the 7th century AD. By the Vikings, they were used for various signalling purposes, e.g. during battles. More recent uses are generally peaceful—to celebrate the opening of fairs, announce bishop visitations etc. In the 19th century, playing such instruments was as a popular past-time when herding cattle, and, if needed, to scare off predators (bears, wolves, etc.) or signal for help. Common throughout the southern part of Norway, such instruments gained symbolic importance during the 19th century national revival.