Fans of Vladimir the Great, in the 2016 Russian movie, Viking, are super excited about the increased sales and production of Viking jewelry. This increase in manufacturing stems out of the need to authentically represent Viking culture to the modern world.
A Little History About Viking Jewelry
The word “Viking” refers to ancient nautical individuals who are primarily believed to have been from Scandinavia, modern day Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Between the 8th and 11th centuries, otherwise called the Viking Age, this tribe of people were famous for raiding, pirating, trading and settling all over different European regions. While the Viking Age lasted, the smaller Norse regions were slowly integrated together to form bigger Kingdoms which are now present day, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
In the course of their travels across the Mediterranean, Iran, North Africa, Arabia, North America, Constantine, and the Middle East, they spread Norse culture. When conquering battles and upgrading themselves in political hierarchy, they often returned with slaves, mistresses and other foreign cultural influences, thus significantly affecting their genetic and historical advancement. Their occupation mainly included fishing, farming, trading and crafting. According to excavations from archaeological sites, they possessed all manners of colorful clothing and jewelries. Modern day Viking craftsmen utilize the carvings on these excavations to promote cultural awareness and authenticity. Research shows that these jewelries were not worn merely for aesthetic effects, they carried great significant importance to the Vikings.
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Significance of Viking Jewelry
Wearing a pendant around the neck was an expression of faith to their gods in Viking society. It was a method for recognizing and honoring each member in the temple dedicated to the gods. The custom was upheld by the entire populace, whether young or old, man or woman.
These gods, just like in Greek mythology, had no bias in gender. In Norse mythology, Freya, was the Viking goddess of affection, magnificence, fascination, predictions and fertility. She was a twin to the god Feyr, and her necklace is called Brisingar, made of gold and amber. It is said that she is irresistibly charming when she wears it.
It is believed that wearing a Norse pendant often gave its owners access to the magic it contains. These powers differ per god, thus each individual receives the powers acquainted with his/her god. A Viking warrior, for instance, will possess increased strength if he wore his necklace while battling his foes.
How Viking Pendants are Made
The Vikings were incredible craftsmen, as is proven in archaeological findings. The materials used for crafting of their jewelries included:
- Mallets ;
- Forceps ;
- Pliers ;
- Anvils ;
From archaeological revelations we find that they used molds in the formation of these jewelries. They created these molds by supplementing already existing lead models in clay.Materials often used include:
- Gold ;
- Silver ;
These were used to make jewelries for the rich and high profiled in the society. Those who could not afford it, bought jewelries made with glass beads or amber.
Prior to the dawning of civilization and Christianity, the Vikings had tribal rules, art and building design. Modernization brought with it the misconceptions and misrepresentation of the tribe, which are all quite contrary to reports from archaeological findings. Fetishized images of Vikings as savages emerged in the 18th century, this conception began to spread widely in the nineteenth century.Current famous perceptions of the Vikings are regularly founded on stereotypes, and this further complicates present day awareness for the Viking heritage. The recent trend in sales and marketing of a Viking necklace, is set to change this stereotype.