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Updated on February 4, 2015

Hedningarna: a scandinavian folk music group

I discovered the Swedish group Hedningarna more than 10 years ago, when a friend of my roommate came back from archeological digs in the Gotland (a Swedish island). She spent her summer listening to Hedningarna and bought my roommate one of their CD ("Tra"). It was an instant love affair. The kind that makes you wonder how you could have lived before without their music.

Featured here: Hedningarna: 1989-2003 CD

Buy Hedningarna Latest Album

Who is Hedningarna anyway?

Hedningarna means "The Heathens". Their music is an interesting mix between Scandinavian folk, electronic and rock. Some of their pieces even have a gothic appeal. This "techno-gothic" sound was very present on the album "Tra", making it their most successful album in term of sales.

Hedningarna is a Swedish band inspired by Swedish as well as Finnish traditional folk songs.The group is currently formed by 4 instrumentalists. Two of them have been with the group since the beginning in 1987: Hallbus Totte Mattson and Anders Norrudde. The other two, Magnus Stinnerbom and Christian Svensson joined the group in 1999 and 2000 respectively. These guys can play an amazing assortment of instruments, including many ancients: lute, hurdy-gurdy, mora-oud, mandora, Swedish bagpipe, willowflute, moraharp, goathorn, viola, hardingfela, basmoraharp and many more.

The original group was formed by Bjorn Tollin, Hallbus Totte Mattson and Anders Norrudde in 1987 and a first album was release in 1989.

In 1991 two female Finnish singers joined the group: Sanna Kurki-Suonio and Tellu Paulasto. This Swedish-Finno version of the group lead to their 2 best and most acclaimed albums: "Kaksi!" in 1992 and "Tra" in 1994.

In 1996 Tellu Paulastro left the group and she was replaced by Anita Lehtola. In 1997 Ulf Ivarsson, a bassplayer, joined Hedningarna and the album "Hippjokk" is released. He will leave the group in 1997.

In 1999, "Karelia-Visa" is released and after a three week tour in the USA, a new member, violin player Magnus Stinnerbom, join Hedningarna.

In 2000, Sanna Kurki-Suonio is replaced by Finnish singer Liisa Matveinen. Anita Lehtola and Bjorn Tollin left the group. Anita is replaced in 2001 with the return of Tellu Paulastro (now Turkka).

In 2003 a compilation album is released and after a Scandinavian tour, the Finnish singers left definitively.

One of the only music video By Hedningarna: Vargtimmen - One of my favorite song by hedningarna

Wait a bit, music starts at 30 seconds

Buy your own Hedningarna CD - You will not regret this: Hedningarna - Tra


I discovered Hedningarna with this album and love what I heard . Tra packs a lot of punch and if you have to have one Hedningarna album in your collection this is the one.

It's from their best period (1991 to 1996 ) when the group was made of Bjorn Tollin, Hallbus Totte Mattson, Anders Norrudde, Sanna Kurki-Suonio and Tellu Paulasto.

Amazing music, you won't get bored. I listen to them since almost 20 years and it's still as fresh and interesting as it was the first time.


Hoglorfen video by Hedningarna

One of the too few video of a live Hedningarna performance! From their album Hippjokk.

Knarklaten By Hedningarna

"Knarklaten" (the Bulldog) perfomed lived. You won't find this track on any of their album, but on "Nordic Roots" volume 3

Watch Hedningarna performing live on TV

There is only one Hedningarna music video that I know of, and close to none live performance available on video. It's a shame we can't see more of them outside live performances.

Pornopolka by Hedningarna - a Traditionnal Finnish song

This track is on the "Tra" album. Sung in Finnish by Sanna Kurki-Suonio and Tellu Paulasto. If you need a little motivation to do your fitness training, play "Pornopolka".

What is represented on Hedningarna's Kaski cover?

Ok, I haven't found any information regarding the Kaksi album cover. Is it a blurry picture representing something, or just some doodle / modern art?

And if someone have a definitive answer (with proof) I'd be interested to know. So let's do some brainstorming here, your guess is as good as mine!

Does this album cover represent something??

It's not abstract, it really does represent something

It's not abstract, it really does represent something

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    • DeeDeeGee LM 3 years ago

      It looks like a hamster to me. That was the first thing that came to mind as soon as I saw the cover.

    • LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      it looks like a ram's head, like the vikings used to have in front of their boats?

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm going to say an animal mask, with someone behind it.

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      a weird hamster

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      It's a blurry picture of a skull, don't know what animal, though definitively not human. The eyes are placed frontal and up high in the skull, so a bit like a monkey's? Maybe they heard people say they made monkey-music. Better music than what most people listen to, though.

    • irenemaria 8 years ago from Sweden

      The Swedish word Hedningarna means "The heathens".

      May be the photo is something mysterious, viking kind of supersticious thing? =)

    • Nathalie Roy 8 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Everytime I take this CD to play it, the cover just scream "Mooooo". It looks like a jersey cow to me. I am 100% certain it is NOT a Jersey cow, but I cannot figure out a better answer. What's your guess?

    It's just some insignificant doodle, nothing more.

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      • Not-Pop 6 years ago

        It's just a fuzzed-out sheep, I think. Or a baby giraffe. But I think they just included the picture because it will make people say, "What the heck is it?!" LOL

      Did you know about Hedningarna before coming here?

      See results

      If you enjoyed Hedningarna music, don't miss some of these artists

      "Nordic Roots" will be a good pick to sample some of the best Scandinavian Folk-Rock artists. It includes tracks from Hedningarna, Vasen, Groupa, Hoven Droven, Hege Rimestad and many more. A great album that will make you want to discover these artist's work.

      Swedish group "Garmarna" is another sure choice if you liked what you heard here.

      "The Wizard Women of the North" features Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish female musicians.

      And of course, you have to listen to one of "Varttina" album. The finish group is probably the leader in Scandinavian folk revival music. They certainly have open many doors to younger artists.

      © 2007 Nathalie Roy

      I hope you enjoyed Hedningarna!

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        • Lemming13 profile image

          Lemming13 4 years ago

          I've loved Hedningarna since I came across one of their songs (Rivaton) on a world music compilation album. My favourite album isn't mentioned on here, though - Karelia Visa. Haunting stuff.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          I'd never heard of Hedningarna - what a treat for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

        • Lady Lorelei profile image

          Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

          The music of Hedningarna is so very hauntingly beautiful. It makes me feel as though I am in ancient times and at a rock club (at the same time!) Very different music but I love it. What an emotional experience.

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          JoshK47 5 years ago

          Wow - really good stuff here! Right up my alley. :) Thanks for introducing me to them - blessed by a SquidAngel!

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          Live tune I'm listening to right now. Thanks for introducing me to Hedningarna.

          The video titled "One of the only music video By Hedningarna: Vargtimmen" is blocked in the US for some reason.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          Very interesting and definitive type of music! Thanks for the introduction. :)

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          grannysage 5 years ago

          Darn, I wish I had a better internet connection right now. I can't play the You-tube vids. I'm half Swedish and half Finnish so this really appeals to my roots. Thanks for introducing them. Maybe I'll get to hear it better later.

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          Jerrad28 6 years ago

          Interesting! Thanks for sharing :)

        • LouisaDembul profile image

          LouisaDembul 6 years ago

          Very interesting music!I like it.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          I loved the lens's music videos. So how do I best describe them --- the music is haunting, romantic and very melodious.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          Nordic Roots is one of the greatest things to happen. It showcases such great artists, like

          Hedningarna, ove them. Thanks for this great lens.

        • KarenHC profile image

          Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

          Thanks for this lens about Hedningarna! I love the music that you featured here. I'm always looking for good folk-rock groups, and I now have another group to listen to.

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          WeirdStuff 6 years ago

          Thanks for the tip, i am starting to discovern scandinavian folk...

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          anonymous 7 years ago

          Love their music. I can't get your module to work. One of the videos has been removed - but I'm going to feature this on the Squidoo Music blog soon.

        • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

          Nathalie Roy 7 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

          @anonymous: Thank you! I have change the video and added amazon MP3 instead of goear.

        • mbgphoto profile image

          Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

          Very enjoyable!

        • pkmcruk profile image

          pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

          That is fascinating! I had never heard of them but can certainly see the attraction. Isn't that one of the amazing things about Squidoo we get introduced to some amazing material

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          anonymous 8 years ago

          I love varttina and gamarna and vasen so naturally I like this too. I came to see how you used the music widget and stayed because it was so much fun. Thanks!

        • mariaamoroso profile image

          irenemaria 8 years ago from Sweden

          What a lovely surprise to find your lens. I know Hedningarna very well too. You are welcome to my group Sweden!

        • RolandTumble profile image

          RolandTumble 8 years ago

          The album that got me hooked on Hedningarna was Karelia Visa. I've since acquired their Heathen's Fire and their self-titled first album. All WAY cool. I'm also a big fan of Vassen.

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          leejb 9 years ago

          Hi, thanks for joining my group beautiful music>!

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