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Human Trousers from Iceland April 8, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Human Trousers from Iceland

Regular readers of this blog will know the name ‘Leif’, who always sends in excellent copy about Viking culture, correcting my excesses and offering new perspectives. Leif recently sent in these reflections on Lappish breeches (extraordinary and horrific picture at the foot of this post) after my post on a human drum. Here we return […]

Finns, Snow and Magic December 23, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Finns, Snow and Magic

The earliest eyewitness account of the Laplanders (the Sami) to leak into European writing comes in Alfred’s translation of Orosius (late ninth century). It depends on the testimony of one Othere (aka Ohthere), a Viking who had travelled along the freezing coast of Norway and who had encountered the peoples of the White Sea. Note […]

Skraelings and Demons August 30, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Skraelings and Demons

Here’s a nice example of how intelligent men and women were able to create beasts/demons from a compounded misinterpretation. First, in the early Middle Ages, some of the Viking dragon boats sailing out of Scandinavia missed the party to the south, where the pointy-headed ones were wrecking settlements in Britain, the Baltic, northern France, Spain […]