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Joshua R




Location: Montana
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 07 Apr, 2010 11:20 pm    Post subject: Odin's hat?         Reply with quote

In reading through the books I have sitting around about vikings and Norse mythology, I came across a description of Odin as wearing a broad-brimmed hat. This, of course, I knew about, but had forgotten but given my recent studies, it has given me thought, and I don't know where to start looking for research, so I'll start here. (Somehow, I imagine it looking somewhat like Gandalf's hat. Which, in turn, tends to make me think that Gandalf looked a lot like Odin. Only with two useful eyes. And a staff instead of a spear. And no wolves or ravens.)

What might Odin's hat have looked like and was there any evidence of similar hats and headgear being worn by viking-era Norsemen? Or is it a post-Christendom invention retroactively fitted to Odin?

Anything will help! Thanks!

" For Augustus, and after him Tiberius, more interested in establishing and increasing their own power than in promoting the public good, began to disarm the Roman people (in order to make them more passive under their tyranny).... "
-N. Machiavelli, The Art of War
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Myles Mulkey





Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Thu 08 Apr, 2010 4:33 am    Post subject: Re: Odin's hat?         Reply with quote

Well, I'm by no means an expert on Viking Age clothing. But given my current understanding, the only Viking Age head wear to be found so far has consisted of close fitting caps and some hoods. And none of them had brims.

However, several have been found with tablet woven bands at the base of the cap, and I personally think the term "brim" in the sagas may actually refer to this band of trim. If this is the case, the real image of Odin would be much less dramatic than the Gandalf image you mentioned.
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K J Seago




Location: Suffolk, England
Joined: 12 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Apr, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i do believe in some anglo saxon manuscripts there have been depictions of saxon men wearing what appear to be rush or straw wide brimmed hats, these i most definately know existed in the roman empire and later on in the mediaeval age so the idea of it being a straw, rush or reed hat is possible.
just another student of an interesting subject, Happy
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Apr, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are a number of depictions and finds of brimed caps or hats in the medevial material. These appear to be simple felted affairs, that are not very broad brimed by modern standards.
Since this kind of hat can be made by anyone with a bit of unspun wool and some time on their hands, they have been in use pretty much any and everywhere. They have, however, never been very pretty, and thus more of a utility item than fashion.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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M. Hayes




Location: Huntington,WV
Joined: 25 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: Thu 08 Apr, 2010 5:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
(Somehow, I imagine it looking somewhat like Gandalf's hat. Which, in turn, tends to make me think that Gandalf looked a lot like Odin. Only with two useful eyes. And a staff instead of a spear. And no wolves or ravens.)



Considering J. R. R. Tolkien's interests and inspirations, your seeing similarities between Gandalf( whose name means staff-elf and is found in a list of dwarves in the Poetic Edda) is probably more than mere coincidence. Also this 18th century depiction of Odin might serve as a useful data point



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Myles Mulkey





Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Thu 08 Apr, 2010 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
There are a number of depictions and finds of brimed caps or hats in the medevial material. These appear to be simple felted affairs, that are not very broad brimed by modern standards.
Since this kind of hat can be made by anyone with a bit of unspun wool and some time on their hands, they have been in use pretty much any and everywhere. They have, however, never been very pretty, and thus more of a utility item than fashion.
Very interesting Elling,

Do you have a photo by chance? I'm curious what these brimmed hats looked like.
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