Wednesday, 16 June 2010

V as in Viking - abc-Wednesday, Round 6 - V / Alphabe-Thursday - V

This is my 8-year old son, Erik, who has been kind enough to help me with this post.



It is Wednesday, June 16th (even if I started this the day before yesterday) and both Mrs. Denise Nesbitt's abc-Wednesday and Mrs. Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday have the letter 'V' as this week's assignment. Without even opening a dictionary, there was one word that came immediately to mind: VIKING. Instead of coming up with many different V-words, I am going to try to stick with just one word, 'Viking' and see what I can do with it.

'Varning för Vikingar' means 'Beware of the Vikings!' These are my son Erik's drawings.



Since 'Viking' or the 'Vikings' or the 'Viking Age' is a subject that could fill several books, I have decided to limit my study of the Vikings to just a few things that an eight-year-boy might deem important.



The Vikings were people who lived in Northern Europe from about 700 to 1000 A.D. (Take a look at this map of their travel-routes. Courtesy of Wikkipedia.)



They were tradesmen or pirates who travelled widely and who loved beautiful and intricate jewellery! They got a bad reputation for some of their methods of trade though (plundering, killing, burning villages, taking hostages with them and making them slaves at home). But whatever they did, they left their mark and are remembered. So why not use this name for a company that makes rubber boots?





Or why not use it for the name of a company of cruising ships/ferries that sail on the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland? This one sails in our bathtub:



The very word 'Viking' seems to mean 'daring', 'surprise attack', 'fast get-aways on small light-weight ships that could be carried from one river to another', 'the ultimate tourist' and generally really 'tough characters' with bad personal hygiene! Yes, and they were our ancesters too!!! (If you have Scandinavian ancesters, that is.) So here are are more of my son, Erik's Vikings:


I did the basic outline drawings from the illustrations in this book and then my son Erik coloured them and then I cut them and made the stands for them. (Quick and simple 'paper-tin-soldiers'! I've made lots of them!) Photo of two viking warriors from page13 of the Swedish transaltion of Viking, Eyewitness Guide (1994) [See Amazon-widget on sidebar.]


The manufacturers of toys and popular culture for children are quick to cash in on anything that stirs the imagination of little boys. Look at this page from a Lego-catalog:



Take a closer look at these guys:

Images from LEGO.com






Take an even closer look at this mini-Viking's helmet, it has horns!



On behalf of my eight-year-old son, Erik, and the historians and archeologists that have studied this area and period of history, the Vikings/Norsemen did not have horns on their helmets. Their helmets looked like the helmets that the men wear in the photo from Viking, Eyewitness Guide. The few written accounts (see Wikkipedia's article-Viking-here) and pictorial materal (such as the Bayeux Tapestry ) from that time, show that they had simple helmets without horns. Here is one of Erik's Vikings with a simple, hornless helmet:



But the Vikings did fight dragons, sea-monsters and giant squids!



Let's not forget that the Vikings could write and used letters called runes to carve in wood or stone. This is what their alphabet looked like:





There are lots of Runestones left in Sweden that often tell about a relative who was left behind in a country far away. (Look at 'Rokstenen' on my R-post.) These are photos that I took of the front and back side of a model that I have of the runestone, Rokstenen.


------
I am beginning to feel a little guilty, because, this is a jewellery-blog and I haven't said that much about the Vikings love of silver and gold adornments! Sorry. But the age of the Vikings is a big subject. Too much for just one blog post. We'll have to stop here.

Seven-ringed collar from Möne in the Gold Room at the Museum of National Antiquities, Stockholm, Sweden



And thank you Erik, for being such a good sport!



Here are some links to museum and encyclopedia sites for those who would like to know more:
Wikipedia/viking
Historiska museet

There are also books listed on the right-hand sidebar.
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Best wishes,
Anna

First Commenter:
Wanda of
Brush Strokes from the Heart



Jenny      Matlock

For more V-words at Mrs. Nesbitt's abcWednesday please click here.
For more V-words at Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday please click here.

Read some last thoughts about the Vikings here.

42 Comments:

Wanda said...

Love the young artist and his talented renditions of Vikings.

Great V post.

Wanda said...

Anna ~ I have nine grandchildren, and 2 great grandsons.... I love children's art. I think it's the best art of all. I love when my grandchildren visit, and draw me pictures.

Being a watercolor artist, myself, I try to encouragement kids to express themselves in Art.

I'll be back!

Ann said...

That was great of Erik to take time out to help you with todays post. His drawings are wonderful.

Tumblewords: said...

A wonderful Viking discovery post. Lots of good information, some fab photos and art! Good job, Erik!

Jenny said...

Anna, Hi! You won spot one on Alphabe-Thursday's Letter "V" this week. I will link you into that spot!

Congratulations!

Beverley Baird said...

A great post! Love your son's drawings! My Mom's family was from Norway so I am partial to all things Viking!

Roger Owen Green said...

I have an odd affection for the Vikings.
must be those purple uniforms...

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Your son's drawing are wonderful! I bet he love his Legos.

Viki said...

What a great idea to get Erik involved in Alphabe-Thursday. His pictures are great. Very interesting V post.

A 2 Z said...

That's great! Blogging with purpose! Your little guy is so smart and cooperative. Thanks for sharing.

Anne-Marie

Jo said...

Those home made vikings are cool! and what a great idea to have your son participate in your blog post!

Pondside said...

The Great Dane would be very happy to see this great V post!

Jen said...

Isn't it funny how things are rewritten/changed? I wonder who decided the Vikings needed to have horns on their helmets (Hollywood?) Love the Legos - those are COOL!

Mumsy said...

Beautiful drawing to contribute to the Alphabe..Wonderful post!

mrsnesbitt said...

Loved the drawings! Yes I have taught all about the vikings in primary school -fascinating era.

Mary said...

How fun that Erik participated~ love his drawings :-)

Cheryl said...

I love Erik's pictures best of all. I'm of Swedish descent so I'm guessing that's where my ARGH comes from.

Debbie said...

What a wonderful young artist indeed. I adore childrens artistic abilities...my older son can draw well, however has not much interest in it. Excellent V post.

Theresa said...

Very entertaining! Great visuals and volunteer:)

laterg8r said...

totally cool and informative post :D

love the vikings you both created :D

H said...

'Invaders and Settlers' (of Britain) was one of the topics we studied with our year 3 children (7-8yr olds) and it was always a favourite. I'm so pleased that you commented on the horned helmet, because as soon as I saw that catalogue picture I was shouting inside my head "Viking helmets didn't have horns!!!" Great post. Loved it :)

Short and Sweet said...

Erik did a great job with the illustrations and your narrative was very informative. Thanks for sharing.

Riet said...

What a lovely V post. Great childrens arts.

Sue said...

Great post, with a very cute and talented son! By the way, my husband's family on his father's side is Norwegian. In fact, both of his paternal grandparents were born in Norway.

=)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Very interesting post about Vikings, Anna! I learned a lot. Erik's illustrations were wonderful!

Dina said...

What a terrific post!
I love how you brought all these elements together.
Erik is such a handsome boy and a good artist. What a pleasure.

anthonynorth said...

Informative post about Vikings. Enjoyed that.

Reader Wil said...

The Vikings were very important to Europe. The British judicial system has its roots in that of the Vikings. There are many English words derived from the Viking languages(Norwegian, Swedish..)

mbkatc230 said...

What a fun and interesting post Anna! The lego creations are quite amazing, especially the sea serpents. Your son looks like he's having alot of fun with this, he sure is cute! Kathy

Alesa Warcan said...

Woops, your cheering squad is a bit late. : p
That was a perfectly valid and veritably veriloquent post, as usual. Loved the drawings of the vivacious vikings. ;j

BeadedTail said...

What a fun Vikings post! Erik's drawings are wonderful and we enjoyed learning more about the Vikings very much!

mrs. c said...

What a wonderful grandmother your are! Erik is such a lucky boy...and he is such a talented artist. Thanks for your infromation about Vikings! It was terrific!

Sweetums5 said...

What a neat idea! Nice and interesting post. Enjoyed reading it and viewing your precious son's drawings. Thanks for letting us know how Viking helmets really look like! Learned something new. =)

Amanda said...

What a perfect V post! Love the little Lego Vikings, even if they do have historically inaccurate helmets. :)

Susan said...

Eric did an awesome job, and isn't Eric a viking name?? cool post thank you and thanks to Eric!

:)
Susan

Alterity Button Jewelry said...

Wow! That's a lot of history in one blog post! I didn't know they didnt really have horns on their helmets. Media...hmmm.

Great pics...tell your boy he is an awesome artist :)

Jenny said...

Erik! I love your drawings! My favorite is the crescent moon with the stars inside it. I am going to try drawing that on some cards I am making!

You are very clever and talented!

And your Mom is really lucky to have such a neat guy in her life helping her with her "V" post for Alphabe-Thursday!

A+ for your Mom
A+ for you

Sarah said...

You and Erik did a fabulous job on this post. As an elementary teacher, I always taught a mini unit on the Vikings. Fun subject! ~ Sarah

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

A great, informative "Viking" post! I loved Erik's artistic creations and the cut out paper vikings that you both created. How fun!

Blessings & Aloha!
(thank you for stopping by and thank you for saying that you will check out my "U" post too. :o)

maggy, red ted art said...

Wow! What a great Viking post!! I think I learnt some things there...

Maggy

jeff campbell said...

Anna, sorry I missed this...I love Vikings...They are one of the groups that get credit for discovering N. America. The pictures and drawings are wonderful...superb choice for "V" week:-) Peace and blessings

jeff campbell said...

Sorry...Christina...It seems to easy to call you Anna...

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