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February 6, 2012

On becoming a Viking

No, not a MN Football player, but a MN-born, Viking re-enactor. On June 22 and 23, 2012 I will be participating in a viking camp at the huge "Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival / Midwest Viking Festival" in Moorhead, MN: http://www.nordiccultureclubs.org/
So where do I begin? I thought I'd document my adventure as I transform myself into a Viking for a couple of days, because when I look at this adventure I can't quite wrap my head around what it is like to live in Viking-Age Northern Europe. They were Germanic people, one step removed, like the other developing Germanic people from what is now Germany, England, France, etc. Those Germanic people who happened to settle in the North all had more regular contact with each other than with the southern Germanic people. So where do I begin becoming a Viking and experiencing what it was like to live then as a Viking?
I begin with research. Mainly I begin with research into what period-authentic items I will be wearing and using at the event. I will need tools, clothing, shoes, tent, sleeping and cooking ware, hand-made products to sell and trade.
Since I am a woodcarver/woodworker, I just picked up this book as a starter: http://www.amazon.com/Mastermyr-Find-Viking-Chest-Gotland/dp/917402129X
I also found some great information on woodworking, clothing and textiles from the Viking Answer Lady, who has posted a lot of good research information: http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/index.shtml
It's a start to becoming a good Viking.
Step 2: Start growing a beard, as It seems that almost all Viking men let it grow. It probably won't be very long by June, but we'll see.
Step 3: attend a Viking Feast in two weeks at the Danish American Center, put on by the Viking Age Club & Society-Sons of Norway. I hope to meet other Viking-Age enthusiasts. They have already been helpful in providing me with a Viking-Age tent plan.
Nothing to photograph yet, but the transformation will include visual and intellectual knowledge that I'll share here. Now I have reading to do...

Posted by carl1236 at February 6, 2012 1:53 PM