Viking closet part 2

So about 3days ago I posted about what women wore or would have worn in the viking age, today its the mens turn. Using my husbands kit as a model, I will do my best to make a list.

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Viking men

Tunic

So just like the women, men would wear several layers of clothing on their upper body depending on the weather.

  1. Layer 1, would consist of an under-tunic in linnen ( my husband doesn’t but he’s a warm blooded dude and easily get too warm). Just like the women’s first layer this would be a natural linnen colour, but again that’s a matter of taste and some have brown tunics or blue ones.
  2. Layer 2, an over-tunic made from wool or linnen. Colour varies here depending on choice. Just like the women’s serk, tunics were often adorned with tabletwoven bands, posamente, embroideries or brooches/fibula.
  3. Layer 3 is optional depending on the weather, my husband has an extra thick woolen tunic when it gets really cold.
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Pants

In the pants section you get 2 choices as a man ( lucky men :p), you can choose between a wide puffy pants or a tighter/ normal pants. These pants didn’t have pockets so whatever you had to take with, had to be on either your belt or in a bag.

Belt

Belts were a lot thinner then their “offspring”, the most commonly found width is 2 cm and had both a buckle and strap end. Its a bit like the women’s belt but men only wore leather belts and again the most important item on your belt was your knife. Besides the knife men would wear belt-bags to put their valuables in, sometimes a seax and in times of battle a sword. Belts were also a manner of showing of your riches as you can see in my last post.

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my husband was having trouble with his belt after his water sack kept slipping off

 

Winingas

winingas or legwraps, were sometimes worn to gather the pants at the ankles. These legwraps are also believed to have protected men from thorny bushes and cold. Some wrap them starting from the knee so that you don’t need any kind of fastening, others (like my husband) wrap them from the ankles up, in this case you need fastening in form of a fibula or hooks.

Cloaks, kaftans and hoods

Men could also wear kaftans when too cold, these were shorter then the female version but looked rather the same.
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Hoods would be worn by both men and women, the most common one in the reenacting world is the skjoldehamn hood. This is a very easy to make model and covers most of your chest,back and shoulders and of course your head :p

Shoes

As I said in my last post shoes were unisex, both men and women wore the same type of shoe. Most models were ankle high but there are finds of higher shaft shoes, shoes were often tied with laces but again there are finds with more elaborate closing systems. A loop and a knot system was found in both York and Hedeby.

Headcovering

Rich men would wear triangle shaped hats, often trimmed with fur and with a silver cap end. I could not tell you if women wore similar hats, but I have not yet seen one wearing on of these only men.5d38ea2c2c88e98fbae8033edc20a725

Other type of hats were more a bowl shaped hat, this could also be adorned with fur or a tabletwoven band as shown below. I have seen women wearing this type of hat so I guess its ok 😀 There is also a needlebound version of this shape, so I guess you could call it a viking beanie.
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Did women really wear head coverings to hide their hair? I don’t really think they did but again that’s open for discussion, maybe after Christianisation.

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So I guess that covers the men, there will probably be a part 3 with accessories or patterns.

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Viking closet part 1

I remember about a year ago I was searching the web far and wide for a list of some kind of what vikings wore, preferably with pictures of how it looked. The thing is, I also remember not finding such a list and hence having to puzzle together the outfits based on full dressed pictures.

So for the ones that are still in search of such a list, here is mine 😀440723aasr90zpk9

I’ll start with the ladies, seeing as that easiest for me.

Viking women

Dresses

  1. Layer 1, consists of a linnen undertunic/dress called a serk. Mine is a natural linnen colour and most of them are, but some dye them blue,red, orange. Its really a matter of taste.
  2. Layer 2, (optional) a linnen or woolen serk, this all depends on the weather. But let me tell you, I was very happy to have an extra layer on teylingen market ^-^ You could basically go wild colourwise, as long as it was possible in the viking age. (I’ll post a picture of some off the colors available below)
  3. Layer 3, the apron dress or hangerok or smokr (i’m not sure about this one). This can also be linnen or wool, again depending on the weather. And again colour is your choice.

Tortoise brooches

To hold the hangerok up women would wear brooches, depending on your wealth these would be made from anything bonelike to gold. Most common are the tortoise brooches, these oval pins were hooked in the loops of the hangerok to hold it up but they didn’t only serve that purpose.woman_fibula

In between those brooches women would wear strands of beads with amulets and again depending on how rich you were those beads would vary from crystal to amber to glas and even silver. Another thing depending from your wealth was how many strands you would wear, the more gold in your husbands chest the more bling would adorn your clothing.

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Belt

The belt is open for discussion, some don’t wear one and some do. I personally have to much crap to drag around not to and honestly I wouldn’t miss any chance on extra bling. Belts can be leather or tabletwoven bands, again this is open for discussion since some will say women only wore tabletwoven bands back then and others (like me) are a little more open minded on the matter and wear a leather belt.

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Remember when I said extra bling, I really meant it.

The most important item on your belt is your knife (this is the same for men), the knife is your symbolic ticket to freedom. It shows you are a free (wo)man and not a slave, if you however don’t want to wear a belt, you can wear your knife (thought a smaller version) suspended from a chain attached to one of your brooches.

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knife suspended from brooches

Shoes

There doesn’t seem to be any difference between men and women on this, so if its found you can wear it no matter if you are male or female 😀

adfa030b93a8198fa79ebc42b1a1cfe1Of course sock are advised though here there are no options, you can have needlebound socks made from wool but you can chose the length so you got that going for you :p But honestly not a soul will see what you wear in your shoes (I’m a bad reenactor :D)

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Kaftans,hoods and cloaks

Still cold with all your layers of wool? No problem, you can still wear a kaftan, a hood or a cloak.

The kaftan is basically a long coat, similar to the ones we wear today. Only this coat needs a belt or brooch to stay closed, they were often decorated (depending on how rich you were) with embroideries, tabletwoven bands,fur, silk or posamente ( a type of silver adornment).e7df11157c1454162061cd6b29210af2

Cloaks were short on the front and longer in the back, they were made in such a manner that the hands were free for working or in a man’s case fighting.

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That were the ladies, but I keep thinking I’m forgetting things and I probably am but if they pop into my mind I will post them with the men. I will spare you from a longer post and will post the men separate.

And as an added bonus a very awkward foto of me in my first kit :p

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Meditation trials

The past few weeks I noticed that my anxiety was getting the better off me, I was nervous to meet up with friends, I was scared to go to a store and worst of all my marriage is starting to feel it as well.

I usually game it off but this time no game really helps, so I was on the lookout for something new. First in mind is Yoga, but I honestly don’t feel like going to a class, more anxiety in sight there. I might give youtube yoga lessons a go see how that works out, but for now I am going to give meditation a shot.

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I tried meditation before, but I would end up getting upset about the fact that random thoughts just popped up, like now. I was trying to meditate when the thought “I should blog something, oh I know lets tell them how my meditating fails XD”

And then there’s the itchy nose and my cat wanting attention at the exact moment it starts to work 😦 I don’t seem to able to clear my mind and funny enough its stressing me out. I’m not giving up just yet thought, meditation isn’t going to get rid of me that easily :p

 

What is Reenactment?

So a while back I got this idea for a blogpost but I needed help from my Facebook peeps, I asked them what the first questions were that they would ask someone who told them they did reenacting.

When I asked on my private Facebook not many people answered so I had to turn to my cosplay Facebook pages and sure enough the questions flew in.

So lets start with the first question, the most asked question of all and the one every reenactor faces when they announce they do reenacting.

What is reenacting? Its rather simple, reenacting is about re-acting a period in time as correctly as you can. This includes dressing like people of that period, using the correct cloths like wool and linnen in my case, vikings did not have lycra 😉 Cooking on open fire, in a kettle and in most cases period accurate foods. Sleeping in period accurate tents, we cant just flop open one of those “easy” tents. Eating with period accurate cutlery and from correct plates and bowl.

How historically correct is it? We strive to be as accurate as possible, of course for certain periods this is easier then others. We mostly work on archaeological finds, but as in all things some people are more stern about it then others.

How much preparation did it take you and how do you know its correct? Research! A lot of it. Thank Odin we live in the age of technology and we have a library in our hands or it would have taken us dubbel the time to get everything ready. I was also lucky to have people assist me, I could ask here and there: is this okay? Is this accurate? But the greatest help was the interwebs, finding blogs, pinterest (yes I warned you I love Pinterest), visiting markets. It took us about 4 months to get our first kits ready, of course they don’t look the same anymore now but we did move at full speed. I remember the first hangerok I made was 4 sizes too big, made a mistake with the calculations and my first serk is much too wide and I really still need to fix that.

Where do you get all the clothing and stuff? Are they comfortable? Most of the clothing is handmade by me, yay me :p Some things like Dieter’s pants we bought, I didn’t feel like sewing 6 meters of linnen into a pants. Shoes and first accessories we bought on a website called celticwebmerchant, we bought things like Dieter’s seax, his belt pouch,shoes and my turtle brooches. But now most things are bought at events and at every stand, if they have a card, you can be sure I will take it with me. Oh and if I could, if society wouldn’t frown on it, I would dress like a viking EVERY DAY. I love it, its very free and comfy.

Whats the goal of reenacting? Basically to have fun, to learn about history and to teach the visitors of the events. But mostly fun

Would you have survived in that period? So far so good :p I honestly don’t know, I like to think I would, but then again lets be real, would you?

Did you need to learn a lot? I still do, I still learn every day. At every event people come with new tips and tricks that we couldn’t have thought of in a million years. They have been doing it for decades, we only for a year. Its like life, the older you are the better you get at it.

How do you come in contact with all those people? Events, plain and simple. Viking reenactors are super social and I have to say it helps to have balls and not be afraid to ask something. But most people we have met so far were extremely helpful and very eager to lend a helping hand. Of course social media is a huge helping hand as well and then there is the thing that knowing some people leads you to other people, who will in turn introduce you to other people.

And then this one who came from a friend: Do you prefer it over working? Well of course what kind of question is that :p

 

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Any other questions you want answered? Please, don’t be afraid to ask, I’ll try my best to answer all of them.