Easter at Archeon

Today we set out to what we thought would be a fantastic day at the first viking market of the season. Boy were we wrong!

When we arrived at Archeon the parking lot was fairly full so we thought it would be another great event and there would be plenty stalls to buy from. However once inside we soon discovered it to be very different, there were maybe 5 or 6 stalls with items. Needles to say we were very disappointed, but it wasn’t all for not.

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Since we were at the stand from the Daugava Sibbe vikings, we said hello :p My main purpose were scissors and I found them for a very good price, score 1 and thank you Dirk 😀

A little further into the park we came across this nice German man who had beautiful glass beads, hubby bought me 4 gorgeous ones, score 2 😀 This kind man also reminded me I really need to learn German so its easier to communicate with other vikings.

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Since it wasn’t only vikings at Archeon we took a little peek at the 18th century encampment, but again there weren’t a lot of  people there 😦

Hubby scored a nice woolen comb woven band for his kaftan so that’s score 3.

We were rather sad since we really looked forward to the start of the season and hubby really wanted to have a go at the archery stand (which wasn’t open). I am however happy we were able to score some nice items and got to say hi to the Daugava Sibbe clan.

Next up is Quondam, even thought its a 15th century event we were able to get some nice items there last year (like my fox) and I’m hoping to get some jewelry and some wool. After that its Litha Fest, our first event where we wont be just visitors but actually part of the gig 😀

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The kaftan project

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A while ago my husband told me he wanted to get a kaftan for colder events, now that we would actually be spending the nights on some events things would get colder fast. So we stocked up on cloth for his kaftan and well I just couldn’t help myself when I saw this gorgeous grey wool and the musterdish yellow linnen.cloth collection

The grey linnen would be the lining for his kaftan while the brown wool would be the outer. Of course I’m an idiot and I only took a progress shot when it was almost ready 😦

kaftan one sleeve

I totally underestimated the work that goes into making this (and I do most of it with a machine :p) So far the kaftan was the hardest most labor intensive viking piece of clothing I made and I have one more to go, mine. I am not looking forward to it, I thought it would just be a tunic with an open front which happend to have 2 layers of cloth. But it was so much more then that and after his first fitting my husband noticed that the armholes were too small and the nek hole didn’t line up, back to the sewing machine it was.

You can imagine how happy I was to have this over with. There will be fur or tablet woven bands attached to it as soon as he figures out what he wants but it is wearable and that was the main goal.

And of course I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t start a last minute project on my items. I started doing a seam finish on my hangerok called the vandyck stitch and honestly after one seam, I’m starting to regret my choice since the first viking market is at the end of the month and I just started my new job. Looks like my weekends are packed :p

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Viking closet part 3

Its all about the bling

The most common items found in viking graves and other viking excavations were jewelry and gold. As most of us know vikings as the dirty, smelly brutes that went looting and pillaging every village in sight, that doesn’t come as a surprise. However besides pillaging vikings were skilled craftsmen and traders travelling most of the known world selling both goods (like jewels and clothing) but also slaves they had acquired in their pillaging and plundering.

Jewels and gold were the only way to show your wealth and status in the viking age, the only way you could tell the Jarl (this is thought to be the early word for earl, you can hear its somewhat similar) apart from the farmers were his jewelry and gold. They wore brooches, armbands, rings and brooches to show off how rich they were, even their combs would be adorned with bronze of silver. The vikings main export item was amber and amber jewels are often found in excavations, mostly as beads.

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all amber jewels

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How would you show your wealth

As I mentioned in Viking closet part 1 women would wear beads between their brooches, the more strands of beads and amulets you had the wealthier you were. These brooches were worn to keep up the hangerok, they came in all sorts of shapes depending on the timeline.

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From those brooches women would hang all sorts of things, like needle cases, knives, scissors, tweezers, ear spoons ( yes they do what you think they do), amulets for both protection and beauty, keys and combs.

 

There were of course other kinds of brooches, like the tri lobed brooch which was mostly used to fasten a kaftan or to close an open collar.

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Mine has a small ring to attach an amulet

The simplest brooch was a fibula, this had been around since roman times and was still worn a lot by vikings. They came in all shapes, materials and sizes like most things.DSCN7696

Arm rings were worn to show wealth or to be used as payment. Some silver bracelets and rings were found with the sole purpose of being a payment method to which archaeologists refer as ring money.

Belts and belt pouches would not escape the “bedazzling” hand of the vikings and even these items were adorned with small bronzen,silver or golden artworks.

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my husband went all out on his belt and pouch

Last but not least, amulets. These items were worn as protection but of course not a single opportunity was lost to show off ones wealth so the more elaborate and the more expensive the material, the better.DSCN7703

Thor hammers were the most common amulets worn by vikings, it is believed that this was worn to counter the christian cross ,but I don’t know the truth of it some say yes, others say no.

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