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Nathan F




Location: ireland
Joined: 24 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 22 Oct, 2009 12:54 pm    Post subject: the jobs of a viking woman         Reply with quote

hello all,
i recently began to bring my girlfriend to reenactment shows with me. she really enjoys them but theres one small issue. while im off fighting or doing things she has little to do. she has started tablet weaving but i know very little of what viking women actually did with their time. i gave her some suggestions such as tablet weaving but does anyone more learned in this are have any ideas?
thanks for your help we will both greatly appreciate it.
regards
nathan

for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Marc Blaydoe




Location: Maryland
Joined: 29 Sep 2006

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Thu 22 Oct, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Typically everything beyond the door of the house (outside) was the responsibility of the man, everything inside was the responsibility of the woman. Of course she would have to mind the whole farm while you are away. The woman kept the keys to all the lock boxes, the key was a symbol of her status.

Spinning thread, weaving, sewing clothes, nalbinding socks, hats, scarves, making butter, ale, mead, skyr, grinding flour, keeping the home fire burning and keeping the house in order would generally keep her quite occupied.

Check the Viking Answer Lady for lots of good information on daily Viking life, as well as the Hurstwic site.

An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
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Harry J. Fletcher




Location: Lost in Texas
Joined: 19 Aug 2009
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Posts: 260

PostPosted: Sat 24 Oct, 2009 5:57 pm    Post subject: Jobs of A Viking Woman....Hmmmmmm!         Reply with quote

1. Fetch the beer horn

2. Fill the beer horn

3. Refill the beer horn

4. Make dinner while keeping an eye on the beer horn

5. Run to refill the beer horn so dinner doesn't burn

6. Rush back to finish cooking dinner

7. Serve dinner to the Viking drinking beer from the beer horn

8. Refill the beer horn

9. Clean up after dinner

10. Refill the beer horn

11. Entertain the Viking drinking beer from the beer horn

To Study The Edge of History
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Oct, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marc Blaydoe wrote:
Of course she would have to mind the whole farm while you are away.


Sounds like she would probably be able to kill wolves bare handed. Personally, I would rather she refill the mug with mead. I am drinking some pretty good homemade mead now.....

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Sun 25 Oct, 2009 8:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

What level of society is your portrayal? I ask because roles were not as clearly divided between the sexes the lower down the ladder you go. In Medieval times women even hunted small game. Having a family member sitting around not doing much is a luxury of the rich.

There are other possibilities and they depend in part on what she enjoys doing. She could try her hand at archery, or cooking. It sounds like she may not be much into crafts so perhaps she could try music or games from the period.

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Oct, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Scandinavian Vikings seem to have been very industrious in many aspects. I would believe in the possibility that they had extensive crafts. The excavation od Jorvik below York revealed quite a bit of interesting objects. http://historymedren.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/...tre.co.uk/
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 5:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:


What level of society is your portrayal? I ask because roles were not as clearly divided between the sexes the lower down the ladder you go. In Medieval times women even hunted small game. Having a family member sitting around not doing much is a luxury of the rich.

There are other possibilities and they depend in part on what she enjoys doing. She could try her hand at archery, or cooking. It sounds like she may not be much into crafts so perhaps she could try music or games from the period.


This basically.
Also, though not 'historicaly accurate', couldn't she also join you in the glorious din of battle?

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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Nathan F




Location: ireland
Joined: 24 Dec 2008

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Posts: 141

PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hello again
thanks for the help id get a smack if i suggested some of those ideas she is trying to portray the wife of a low ranking warrior. and yes she is learning archery but not at most shows and she can fight yes as a man but does not want to risk broken fingers. she does do cooking and so on but at shows its not always easy to do with restrictions to fires etc so other ideas of crafts and so on would be best

for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Nathan F




Location: ireland
Joined: 24 Dec 2008

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Posts: 141

PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

also i need to get her shoes any ideas on where to go and what to get her and i need warm ones she is not to hardy in the cold
for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Marc Blaydoe




Location: Maryland
Joined: 29 Sep 2006

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 4:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan F wrote:
also i need to get her shoes any ideas on where to go and what to get her and i need warm ones she is not to hardy in the cold


Not a lot of difference between men's and women's shoes in the VA. I recommend you start with Bohemond Bootmaker. He is about as reasonable as you are going to find.

A good pair of thick wool socks goes a long way and stay warm even when wet. If she learns nialbinding, she can make her own and a pair for you as well. Vikings often stuffed straw in their shoes as well. It works!

An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 10:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Nathan

For a good primer on the roles of women in Viking Age society suggest to your girlfriend to get hold of a copy of 'Women in the Viking Age' by Judith Jesch. On a living history encampment it can be restricting as to what every day activites performed by Viking Age women your girlfriend may wish to recreate,

Irrespective of status, many of the tasks would be common to the low and high born, Encourage her to lean basic textile skills, as you already seem to have done. Embroidery and naalbinding could be added to tablet weaving.

Cooking, food preservation and preparation could be considered. Butter and cheese making are good fun and you get to eat something afterwards. A simple display of the herbs and spices, their culinary and magico-medicinal use could be an interesting presentaion.


There have been found in some female graves weights and balance scales suggesting that some women may have traded.

For shoes try Anna Period Shoes here in the U.K for a good basic shoe. Naal Binded socks mits and even a cap for under her head scarf will help keep out our northern chilly days, most re-enactment groups have some one profficient in naal binding.

cheers
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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