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Gvendur dúllari

Guðmundur Árnason was born on 7 July 1833. He was brought up at the farm Tunga in Vestur-Landeyjahreppur parish, but he was young when he lost his parents. It was said he got typhoid fever and encephalitis, that caused damage in his brain.

Guðmundur was known by his nick-name, „dúllari“, that was supposed to describe his own method of singing he called „dúll“. He moved the tip of his tongue very fast in the roof of his mouth and thus produced a sinuous sound in many variations and pitches. Most often he „sang“ psalms and sometimes he advertised public performances. Guðmundur also imitated priests, chanted rhymes and composed his own.

Guðmundur died on 20 April 1913 and thus his centenary is now commemorated. Pictures of Guðmundur were published on postcards that are preserved at the National and University Library of Iceland. On 25 May the exhibition Utangarðs? (Outsiders?) will be opened in the Library. There, Guðmundur and other uncanny characters, will be covered.

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