Jo Gjende

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**Biography of Jo Gjende:**
– Born in 1794 in Vågå, Norway
– Known for reindeer hunting and sharpshooting in Jotunheimen mountains
– Built many cabins at Lake Gjende
– Purchased Brurusten mountain farm in 1850
– Died in 1884 in Murudal, buried in Vågå churchyard

**Jo Gjende’s Family Background:**
– Son of Tjøstolv Olsson Kleppe and Marit Pedersdotter
– Lived with maternal aunt on Heringstad farm
– Had four siblings
– Took over Heringstad farm later
– Adopted the name John Gjendin, later shortened to Jo Gjende

**Jo Gjende’s Philosophical Beliefs:**
– Publicly skeptical about established Christianity
– Engaged in discussions with the local minister
– Recognized as a freethinker
– Occupied by natural philosophy
– Participated in philosophical debates

**Jo Gjende’s Legacy:**
– Believed to be the model for Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt
– Monument on his grave depicts a wild reindeer herd
– Portrait by Per Hohle titled “Jo Gjendestorjeger og livsfilosof”
– Several literary works inspired by his life
– Influence on local history and culture

**References and Literature about Jo Gjende:**
– Biography by Jacob Bøckmann
– John Gjendin (en biographisk skitse)
– Excerpts from municipality history by Ivar Kleiven
– Appearances in literature by Theodor Caspari and Tore Ørjasæter
– Works like “Swinging Suites” by Edward E. and Edward G.

Jo Gjende (Wikipedia)

Jo Gjende (1794 – 27 February 1884) was a Norwegian outdoorsman and freethinker. He is believed to have been the model for Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt.

Jo Gjende

He was born in Vågå, the son of Tjøstolv Olsson Kleppe of Sygaard (a well-known rabble-rouser, also called "Galin-Tjøstolv", who died in 1797) and Marit Pedersdotter (died 1803) from Horgje in Heidal. He had four siblings. He lived during the period 1803–18 with his maternal aunt on Heringstad farm in Heidal and later took over the farm.

He was well known for reindeer hunting and sharpshooting in the Jotunheimen mountains and built many cabins or huts at Lake Gjende. He moved there in 1842. In 1850 he bought the mountain farm Brurusten in Murudal from Jakob Kleiven.

He took the name John Gjendin, and shortened it to Jo Gjende in his later days.

He was publicly skeptical about established Christianity. Occupied by natural philosophy, he participated frequently in discussions with the local minister. As a result, he was recognized as a freethinker.

He died on the Brurusten farm in Murudal, and was buried in Vågå churchyard. On his grave is a small soapstone monument, which shows a wild reindeer herd in flight, after a painting by Gerhard Munthe.

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