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A guest performs the halling, a display of male physical prowess by kicking a hat off the end of a pole. This folk dance for couples originated in Hallingdal, the men executing difficult leaps, kicks, and other acrobatic stunts to demonstrate vigor and virility.
Katrina Thomas's notes: Although Norwegians are the most numerous of the Scandinavian immigrant groups, many starting in the 1800's to settle the upper Midwest, weddings that keep customs are difficult to find. However, at a strictly Wasp reception, I photograph a bride of Norwegian descent, who shares kransekake, the traditional wedding cake. Eventually, in 1999, a Norwegian museum in Iowa informs me that a bride in California will borrow its copy of a 19th century wedding crown. She is of Norwegian ancestry whereas the bridegroom is of Scottish mix. I fly west to photograph the nuptial rite, performed in a Lutheran church, and after it, a potluck reception. In combining the two ethnic traditions, Norwegian musical instruments lead the procession to the nuptials, and a bagpipe leads the newlyweds to the reception.