These Scandinavian warriors have become so popular that there have even been a couple of series, a few movies, and documentaries created specifically around the culture, lifestyle, and their daily lives. Even though the origins of the title given to this society, i.e. the Norse word Viking, is not exactly known, amongst the many theories surrounding it is that the name stands for ‘raider’ or ‘pirate’.
The people that belonged to this group were characterized by their ability to colonize different areas within Europe and cause disruption everywhere they went. They were a combination of Swedish, Pagan Danish and Norwegian cultures built into these warriors. Because one can get lost in the rich history and activities recorded just about this one population, we will not get into this here. So if you are interested and want to find out further information about this fascinating community of culturally rich people, click here and read away.
The society was divided into three classes, namely Thralls, Karls, and Jarls, which were mentioned in archaeological manuscripts and findings. Thralls were the lowest in rank and treated as slaves, while the Karls were the peasants that owned farmland and animals, and the aristocracy of the communities were the Jarls, who were wealthy and owned a lot of property and land.
Because these three classes were differentiated by their clothing and jewelry, the difference between them was apparent where the poor wore simple clothes and the richest wore the more high-class and good quality clothes and expensive jewelry and ornaments.
Their Dress Sense
The media portrays them in various ways, and as with all things glorified, come of them go to the extent of adding things to their outfits that, historically is misrepresented. One such instance was the horned helmets, which were thought to be used during battles, however, the lack of practicality of these rendered them useless, not to mention they only used these types of helmets during ceremonials activities, and their original battle helmets, which were known as the Spangenhelm, consisted of several pieces of iron melted together http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/society/text/social_classes.htm.
The men would normally wear clothes made from several organic materials such as linen, wool, and skins of animals. Tunics and baggy or tight trousers were the norms and leather shoes were a must due to the waterproof factor. During battles, they wore chainmail and leather armor made by themselves. Their skills were far and wide and making clothes was just one of them. They also used natural plants and flowers to dye their materials.
Some of the clothing trends have recently seen a turn towards these types of designs and people have started to introduce them into their wardrobes, not just for the aesthetic appeal of the different outfits but also for the Jewelry and medieval designs rich in history. Enthusiasts and collectors alike can fetch a good profit.
Modern Day Ideas Influenced
The above cultures were active between the 8th and 11th centuries, however, nowadays you may find ancestors of them but not in the active sense. Everything that was and is now has been a result of historical findings and records that were published in various literature. The clothing was one of the main chapters in these.
As mentioned above, the difference in appearance was often seen in the clothes these classes wore. The Jarls were always well-groomed and wore clean clothes and adorned themselves with expensive Jewelry as a status of wealth. Their clothes were expensive too and made from silks fibers and their Jewelry has specific designs that spoke of and reflected the culture. The women wore beads and amulets made from silver or colored glass beads.
Necklaces, belts, and belts buckles, arm bracelets, and rings were all meticulously handcrafted with appealing shapes and forms that were highly sought-after even after the ages were no more. Now it seems the trend has begun again with the Viking clothing and jewelry, all well-crafted pieces that still have the insignia of the original items. With each piece telling a different story or reflecting a different class.
And it is no wonder people are obsessed with this culture and their various outfits and ornaments, and one reason is that the way in which they were made and the various motifs that were engraved on them were unique and only found in this society.
The geometric designs coupled with interlacing motifs and Viking era stylistic cuts were all specific and sacred to only this group of people. Many other cultures have borrowed these shapes and structures from them, only to remain the original creation of the Norse architects and Jewelry or clothing makers.
Why wouldn’t people want to be part of such a rich culture? Or if not, at least have a fondness for their attire and ornaments? The modern-day ideas were grossly influenced by these images and both online stores and retail outlets have been increasing their selection of apparel to include this exclusive part of historical merchandise as well. From jewelry to clothing, and even watches, rings, bracelets, and pendants, have all become popular pieces to wear to set individual status even in the 21st century.
Of course, modern-day has made the most out of this trend is extending to more than just outfits, and some stores have a catalog full of household items too. Pillowcases, beer mugs, home décor for bedrooms, lounges, kitchens, and even wall hangings have been introduced for your abodes. Adorned with famous Norse gods such as Odin and Thor, the Gods of death and war, or Valhalla, which is the place where people go when they die or as the Valhalla Vikings put it – the afterlife.
Whether you’re a fan or not, this trend is here to stay and has had a big influence on other clothing worldwide as well. even cities that were once graced by these groups still have many symbols engraved on street pavements and buildings when walking through them, as a reminder that even though we may not see them, they are still amongst us.