The coastal federation - Forbundet KYSTEN

Forbundet KYSTEN is a federation for the use and preservation of historical vessels, coastal culture and maritime heritage.

Nordlandsbter i regatta i Sandnessjøen.

Alt. text: Two boats on the ocean.
Photo: Tuva Løkse

Mission statement
The Norwegian Coastal Federation (Forbundet KYSTEN) is an organisation
dedicated to the preservation of Norwegian coastal culture. Its mission –
in cooperation with other preservers of cultural interests – is to
strengthen our identity as a coastal nation, including:

• Promoting the preservation and general use of traditional vessels, buildings, and coastal heritage.

• Conducting
informational activities aimed at increasing awareness of the value of
the human and cultural traditions that make up our coastal history.

• Maintaining and developing traditions within intangible maritime heritage and handicrafts.

• Enhancing the professional expertise concerning the maintenance and safety related to use of historic and traditional vessels.

About Forbundet KYSTEN
The federation Forbundet KYSTEN was founded in 1979. At the end of 2021, the Association had about 10 000 members throughout Norway and abroad, and 128 local branches. The object of the Association is to work to strengthen our identity as coastal people, to maintain, transfer and develop traditional knowledge and practical learning (crafts, seamanship etc.) and to improve the standards of protection of our coastal culture. The local branches rally people from their communities to restore or build replicas of boats that are representative of the particular areas heritage. The original intent was to fix or build boats, but the focus has evolved and the scope of its activities has widened constantly. Working with the local character of a given area, the most ambitious of the local branches strive to create nothing less than coastal cultural centers, where one can go to experience the very foundations of the coastal community; the food, the work - the life. And at the center of it all, the boats.

Alt. text: A lighthouse.
Preservation of protected lighthouses is a vital part of our activity as well. Photo: Bente Foldvik

In Norway, traditional crafts and knowledge associated with shipping and fishing have played a central role for several thousand years. The accumulated knowledge that such traditions represent has intrinsic value as culture. Forbundet KYSTEN want to see coastal culture and traditional crafts in a global perspective. We want to promote international cooperation for the protection of this part of cultural heritage.

Short film (6 min.) from Oslo maritime festival 2014.

Nordic clinker boat traditions inscribed on UNESCOs Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Read more here.

Translated to English/Oversatt til engelsk (med bidrag fra Samtekst) by/av Tore Friis-Olsen.