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Viking Costume

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Peppermint | 10:41 Thu 23rd Sep 2004 | History
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Can anybody direct me to some on-line resources which give details of the sort of clothes the Vikings would have worn. My son is taking part in a project where we have to re-create a viking costume. I have been looking for re-enactment societies on the web with no joy - are there any weekend Vikings out there who can help us?

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I don't know if the following is useful as you specifically ask for on-line resources, but in case no-one can come up with anything better, here's what I can think of. Years ago, around 1990, I went to a re-enactement of the battle of Maldon (Essex) as it was the 1000th year anniversary; so I think the warriors must have been in Viking costume; they also re-enacted a Viking funeral with a ship burning on a lake. Unfortunately I don't know the name of the society so it's a bit of a long shot but if no-one else comes up with anything better, I wonder whether Maldon Council might have a record? Also Mountfitchet Castle, in Stansted, Essex, is a recreation of an 11th century village, and they might have leaflets/books etc. Finally I would imagine the Victoria & Albert Museum shop would stock books on the subject.
Do an Image search on Google, simply using "vikings" as your search term. I've just done it, and there are lots of pictures of viking costumes.
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Thankyou Hgrove and Sylday for your prompt answers - I shall certainly investigate both your suggestions. Hgrove, thank you for those interesting links,very useful - I shall be investigating them to find a viking re-enactment society. I have previously been entering searches for "Viking Clothes, Cloth, jewellery etc" but we are finding it hard to find a variety of materials they would have worn. It appears that more is known about Viking womens clothing because of the amount of jwellery they were buried with. There isnt much evidence of mens clothing especially the difference between warriors, farmers or children. I would like to know how and where they wore fur, did they wear plaid and did they really wear those architypal horned helmets?
Peppermint, I was fascinated by your question, and did a google search on "viking re-enactment societies" and got lots of hits. In particular the following link: http://www.montacute.net/histrenact/societies/viking/createc ontacts.php gives a page headed "listings for viking period re-enactment societies". There are lots all over the world, of which several are in the UK. I also looked at www.frojel.com which is a viking re-enactment society based in Australia, but has a links page that looks jolly useful. But there were lots of other hits at well. Have fun - I did.
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Hgrove, great minds think alike - I was looking at the exact pages you refer to before seeing your link - the U.K societies appear to have lots of galleries for ideas that we can use, the re-enactors look as if they have a great time. Im now off to look at your suggested Frojel link. It looks as if I shall be getting out the fake fur and making a pointed helmet out of paper mache - now where is that pack of balloons and jar of pickled herrings!Thank you so much for your help.
I know this isn't particularly helpful, but apparently they didn't really wear those horned helmets. It's somewhat of a myth, according to a telly program I saw once.
If you need any more resources, peppermint, there are tons of websites here in Sweden, where I live now. If you do an ordinary search or a picture search on google using the word "vikingar" (Swedish word for vikings) or "vikingarna" (Swedish word for "the vikings")you should find a lot. Some of the websites are in Swedish and English.
You could try "Regia Angolorum" (www.regia.org) as they're a re-enactment society around that period - I know several people who were in it and they know their stuff.
For modern interpretations of viking costumes, you could try typing Up Helly Aa into Google...it's the Shetland Fire Festival. Lots of modern-day vikings there!
Hey Pep, A little know fact about a certain sect of sweedish vikings, the Russ. They raided and traded in what is now known as Russia. When these vikings settled in this area they often settled disputes among the native population and earned the reputation for being fair in their decisions. This is how they became accepted as new comers and becoming so respected, eventually lent their name to the peoples of this area now known as Russia. So check out mideval Russian history, you may find some of the information you are looking for. Lady X
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Thank you everyone for all your wonderfully helpful answers - they have opened many doors of interest and fascination. Thanks to you we are now more than well equiped to create a truly authentic Viking costume.

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