VERY MODEL OF A MODERN VIKING WARRIOR Part 3
This is not merely the aesthetic combination and meanings of colors, which is undoubtedly different from what is standard today. This refers to the actual hues as well, what was readily and inexpensively available and can be best found by seeing the results of serious experiments and not merely by running to the nearest Hancocks.
For example, many Viking reenactors wear and want to continue to wear black clothing. Obviously in their minds, black clothing is deep and moody and appropriate for their upper-crust warrior impressions. However, in his article, “I Litklæðum’—Coloured Clothes in Medieval Scandinavian Literature and Archaeology,” Author Þor Ewing notes:
“Some writers have contended that the colour word blár does not in fact represent blue-dyed cloth but naturally-pigmented black cloth. Kirsten Wolf will address this question in another paper in this session, but let me simply say here that the sagas make a clear and consistent contrast between high status blár or ‘blue’ clothes worn only by high-ranking characters, and lower status svartr or ‘black’ clothes which are often worn by slaves or as a low status style of garment such as the kufl. That blár clothing was perceived as coloured clothing is apparent from the passage in Eyrbyggja saga mentioned earlier, or from Njáls saga ch.92; in these passages, both Geirriðr’s blue skikkja and Skarpheðinn’s blue stakkr are described as litklæði.”
This, of course, involves a little research and reading, and that is not proper for those with upper-class impressions…
Wicca—the celebration of non-modern-religion—was invented in the early twentieth century. Though it claim to perpetuate the ideals of older, classical faiths, though the truth is that much was invented. The modern Asatru faith is based on many Wiccan standards, but is actually predates wicca. It originated in the nineteenth century, and it attempt to perpetuate the stories of a thirteenth-century Christian writer as the truth and faith if the heathen Norse of several centuries before it was written down. The fact that many of the stories seem to have been invented in the thirteenth century seems to often be conveniently overlooked.
The truth is that we know almost nothing about the heathen religion except for unreliable retellings and the descriptions found by Christian clerics sent to convert them. And these are the same beliefs that seem to have been chosen as absolute truths. As legitimate then for any faith-based philosophy but hardly for a provenance-based philosophy!
By the end of the Viking Era, many Vikings were at least nominally Christian. Immigrants in England, France and elsewhere had been baptized in exchange for peace and land rights. Iceland had peacefully converted in 1000 ce. The other Scandinavian areas were on a see-saw for many years, going back and forth between heathenism and Christianity, though even in places that were already Christianized, the Christianity was often not orthodox and practitioners practiced a form of dual religion, praying to Christ in the morning and then to Þorr in the afternoon when heading on a sea voyage!
For many modern persons who will subscribe to a single religious belief, this is not comprehendible. And so, it is another instance in which the average modern Viking reenactor is different from the individual he is attempting to be!
Hopefully this brief and not comprehensive account of historical beliefs will give you pause. You must put aside modern prejudices and modern taste. They are most probably incorrect or inappropriate, but time to time, lose a bit of formatting, but the you will be able to amend them with only a little research and education!
An interesting and informative book on how the Church decided in the fifth century what some folk today deem as immortal and the truth from God’s lips is examined in Jesus Wars.