This weekend the Gamla Uppsala Muesum (yeah yeah, most people say Old Uppsala in English but frankly, I find it silly to translate place-names!) hold an Iron Age event and we are planning to attend together with a couple of friends. That, and a nice little phone conversation I had with Ida got me thinking about Iron Age fashion, the problems of Viking Age clothes (more specifically the female clothes) and purely practically speaking... what I should wear in Gamla Uppsala.
It is however very important to note that Annika never claimed that this was the only outfit used by Viking Age women. No, her interpretation is that this is an outfit for very specific events, probably ceremonial. So all those who refuse to accept this theory based on the "but that would be SO unpractical when you are working in the field" argument can just go away, please. =)
What the everyday Viking woman still makes me feel highly uncertain. Flipping through my old copy of Viking Clothing by Thor Ewing I found myself once again considering the more odd possibilities. For example, have a look at this carving from Oseberg (from the cart!).
"Around her neck hangs a very long double string of beads, and instead of the brooched dress, she wears a skirt and a blouse. The skirt appears to be belted at the waist and hangs in folds around the back: the front of the skirt is either covered by an apron or, more likely, hangs flat like a kilt front, and it appears to be patterned. The waisted, patterned skirt is strongly reminiscent of the shorter garment from Huldremose with its drawstring gathering." (Ewing 2006:46)
I find this horribly interesting! If you've ever seen a reconstruction of this outfit then please tell me, because I'd love to see one! Now if you look at the male figure next to her... doesn't it look like he is wearing a sort of waistcoat? Either that or only the sleeves are pleated, with a smooth front. However, if you'd accept the interpretation of is as a waistcoat, then what is there to say that the woman isn't also wearing a similar garment, seeing that she too has pleating only on the sleeves but not on the front! Probably not, but I still think that there are more possibilities than the one Ewing suggests, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this as well.
Have a great day and as usual, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this so feel free commenting!