I was a Viking on my summer holidays
- Greetings all,
Now that I am back from an amazing adventure, I wanted to share with you my excitement. I spent ten days as a historic interpreter (aka a Viking) at l'Anse aux Meadows (LAM), the site of the only confirmed viking habitation in North America. I went as part of a team of 16 (including two children) to help with the 50th anniversary celebrations of the site's discovery. We got to meet one of the archaeologists who participated in the digs, some of the boys conducted the first successful smelt at LAM of bog ore to iron in 1,000 years, and the rest of us worked at various activities and exchanged ideas and techniques with the regular interpretive staff.
This took a lot of preparation, and has weighed heavily on my A&S50 challenges for much of the past year. I went fully kitted out with a new pleated apron dress, a different style of dress in linen, new shoes, underdrawers (I know they can't be documented, but northern Newfoundland can be very cold), and various tools for textile crafts (soapstone spindle, netting shuttle, many balls of wool, two styles of bone lucet, stacks of bone needles for naalbinding). I also made a bone comb for a friend, in exchange for the box her husband built for me, and had a functional (though not yet decorated) bone line winder for fishing. My goal while there was to make a fishing net, but I got sidetracked and instead made ropes, net bags, naalbinding socks, and decorative braids.
I learned three new knots for my fishing net from three different resident Vikings; this is an old fishing community, after all. I had a chance to ask some of my burning questions about what the Vikings at LAM ate, I learned enough about smelting iron to be able to explain it to visitors in French, finally memorized the rules to hnaftafl, if not any of the strategies, and got an educated opinion on the use of the traditional netting shuttle despite lack of evidence in period.
I have posted some pictures on my blog at http://siglindesarts.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/lanse-aux-meadows/.
- One word, Siglinde = ENVY!!!!
If that wasn't the vacation/opportunity of a lifetime, I don't know what
Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
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