I am forever curious about excavated textiles. The first thing I look for in a museum, any museum, is excavated garments and shoes. It fascinates me to no end.
In 2019, I finished my Golden Egg project in Drachenwald and it was so inspiring. For this reason, I have decided to embark on a new research & recreating adventure: the Skjoldehamn clothes, but it will not be a Golden Egg project. This will be for me.
I have been doing Viking re-enactment outside the SCA since 1994 and one popular item has always been the Skjoldehamn hood. Back then, I never really looked into it. I had enough handmade authentic looking garb already.
When I re-joined the SCA in 2011, I became more curious about the Skjoldehamn clothing finds because, to my surprise, a rumour had begun to spread that the garments COULD have belonged to a woman. Wait? REALLY?
The Skjoldehamn body was found in a bog near Andøya in Norway in 1936. The body was found wearing a hood (kaprun), outer shirt (kofte), under shirt (skjorte), trousers (bukser), a belt, ankle wrappings (ankelkluter) and ankle straps (ankelsurringer), socks (lester) and shoes (sko). The body was wrapped in a blanket (teppe). To this day, it remains a mystery whether the body died in a sacrifice or in a battle.
Back in 2008, MA archaeology student Dan Halvard Løvlid, from the University of Bergen in Norway, got interested in writing a marvellous thesis, which formed the basis of a new complete empirical study of the Skjoldehamn costume.
I get help with the Norwegian translation from Lady Ekaterina Vasili (https://www.arnfriduri.xyz/) and Lady Emoni de la Fère.
I will recreate most of the garb set: hood, outer shirt, under shirt, trousers, belt and socks.
I will not recreate the burial blanket; I am still alive after all…. Joking aside, I have a warm enough cloak already that fits with the style and era. The perks of doing re-enactment for a very long time!
The second challenge that I have given myself is to make something out of thrifted fabric. I want to spend no more than €40 (roughly 46 dollars). Not only will this hopefully help a newcomer who wants to test the waters before investing, it might also help a longterm member without breaking the bank. And let’s not forget the environmental & sustainability perspective! Recycle! RECYCLE! Help Mother Earth a bit.
And now? I am off to the thrift shop!