hey ive heard of kulning, an ancient swedish herding call, and i think its super cool i was hoping maybe you could tell me more about it? (how ppl learn it would be rad but thats not /exactly/ history) and would it be appropriative for someone not of swedish decent to learn it? could characters use it to communicate in a big city(think new york) in a sort of post apocalyptic scenario wheres theres less noise since yknow,, apocalypse and stuff
Since it doesn’t belong to a minority/marginalised group I say it’s not appropriation for anyone non-Swedish to learn it.Unlike the joik, which is a Sami tradition that I would advice not to use for characters that aren’t Sami. Kulning has nothing to do with any certain people or religion; it’s simply a way to call the cattle home - it’s a herding call. It sounds hauntingly beautiful and can reach across large distances.
However, it’s not a language. It’s sounds, rather than words and while it supposedly has been used to communicate between people, it’s not what it has been primarily been used for. It contains no words and has no fixed melody; it’s a random sequence of notes.
To sing kulning your characters would need to keep their pitch at 800-1300 Hz and avoid vibrato. Each tone lasts between 3-4 seconds. Usually one learns the technique by mimicking kulning. So your characters would need a source of some kind - preferably one of their characters would already know the technique and teach the others. Something to keep in mind is how loud this sound is; it can go up to 125 dB, which is above the level the human hearing can tolerate (120 dB). Another thing to keep in mind is that the technique was developed for people who went through oestrogen based puberty and would be a lot more difficult to learn for people who went through testosterone based puberty.
Kulning also uses a high subglottic pressure. When humans talk we expel air from the lungs through the glottis which creates pressure on the lyrnax. The pressure makes the vocal folds oscillate, once it’s high enough. Normal speaking pressure is measured as 2–3 cm H2O. In contrast, kulning reaches 40 cm H2O.
So, could your character use it? Morally, yes. If it’s a few years into the post apocalypse then it’s not impossible that they have based a communication system on kulning. Though, not every single character would be able to do it. It’d be more likely that you would have a few characters tasked with communicating to other groups this way, as kulning is not something anyone can easily learn. It’s such a high pitch sound, after all, and it needs to carry.
Hope that helped, good luck with your writing!