Ancient Jewelry of Viking Women
Vikings, perhaps, can be subsumed to one of those medieval peoples that are known almost to everyone. Unfortunately, getting to know about these people who lived in Scandinavia in the 8-11 centuries, we can only by being guided by art works, movies and paintings. So this source of information led to the emergence of many prejudices concerning the life and way of living of the Vikings.
In the modern world, it is commonly believed that among the main occupations of the Vikings were wars, robberies and outrages – so this is how we get the image of bellicose and rude men who appear in the face of us. However, the written sources and archaeological excavations of those years suggest the opposite. Few people know, but the medieval Scandinavians were actively engaged in cattle breeding, agriculture, the manufacturing of weapons and, of course, Viking woman jewelry.
Viking women’s jewelry
The jewelry in peoples of Vikings could be seen almost on everyone. They were worn by men, women and children. Such adornments were considered as amulets and mascots. Besides, expensive items were a sign of the status of their owner. Noble representatives were wearing silver and gold jewelry more frequently, people of the lower class were content with bronze and tin. Sometimes jewelry items were inlaid with semiprecious stones, which made the item look even more original.
With or without stones, the adornments made by this northern people were beautiful and elegant (even by today’s standards). Not surprisingly, even now, after so many years, adornments based on Vikings’ jewelry items are beloved by millions of people all around the world. At that, by right, the most attractive ones are Viking women’s jewelry.
How the women’s adornments of the Vikings looked like?
The Vikings worshiped many gods. Moreover, they deeply esteemed and feared them. Religion greatly influenced all aspects of life and way of living of this people, jewelry art was no exception. Each piece of manufactured article made by a craftsman carried a variety of mysterious ancient symbols of wealth that were designed to protect the owner from troubles or give him strength in different endeavors.
The judgment about women’s jewelry can be done with a help of excavations and extant written sources – quite often such descriptions were made by travelers or traders who came in contact with the inhabitants of Scandinavia. Among the adornments worn by Viking women, you can name:
At the same time, the cost of each piece of jewelry was a criterion of how well-provided was the husband of the woman. It is for this reason that husbands, as a rule, were not stingy of buying gifts.
The list of the main female ornaments also includes rings. In so doing, the ancient woman rings could be made in different ways. Quite often it was a wide ring, entirely covered with different patterns like geometric figures, religious symbols or animal and plant design. Seal rings were also met at that time, women wore them on a par with men. On the seal ring, one could find the picture of Agishyalm (Helm of Terror), The Wheel of the Sun, Yggdrasil (Tree of Life).
Historians also admit that ancient women rings with precious and semiprecious stones. They were hit upon such an idea because of the archeological find of a ring with a red stone in the grave of a woman.
Vikings’ women wore bracelets of different kinds. It could be items completely made of metal or made of fabrics and even leather, augmented with metal details, elegantly manufactured in one form or another. Metal items were certainly decorated with numerous patterns and complemented with beads.
Pendants – is one of those categories of Viking women’s jewelry, which included a huge number of all kinds of variations. Each woman had it, as the Vikings faithfully believed in the magical power of such objects like talismans and amulets. They were made with the image of revered gods:
- Wheels of the Sun are ancient symbols of wealth, prosperity and success in any endeavor;
- The left-sided Moon Swastika (the path of the left hand and the goddess) is a female symbol;
- Frigg (Oddin’s wife, the mother of the gods, patroness of all married women) – the amulet gives inspiration, intuition, supports peace and love in the house;
- Frey (Scandinavian goddess of fertility, patroness of women) – women wearing an amulet believed that it helps to enhance attraction and sensuality.