The term Viking is actually a verb used to refer to what the Norse men were doing in the summers...going 'a viking' or going to sea for the purpose of trading and exploring. This exploring and trading lead to the group we know today as the Vikings. Vikings were fearful characters from the 790's until around 1066. This period was known as 'The Viking Age'
The Vikings were known for their seafaring prowess. The Viking ship was the center of their culture. They controlled the waterways. They sailed as far South as the Byzantine Empire and as far West as the North American continent. They established settlements in Greenland and Iceland.
Excavations show that Vikings were concerned with hygiene cleanliness. They were also had a very strong oral tradition and wrote on stones, Rune Stones. Women in the Viking culture had rights to property and they had much more freedom than women of the age in other countries. They were not warriors, but they did travel with exploration parties, however there are rare accounts of women fighting alongside men in raids.
In Petersburg, we celebrate the Viking tradition during our Little Norway festivities. The Vikings have been part of our holiday tradition for many years. In the early days, they would go to the schools and take teachers to the Harbor Bar for a drink. They would take people out of their businesses to the bar too. They even would go up to Alaska Airlines and grab flight attendants and pilots. Of course they can't do that anymore. These days, they ride around in the Viking Mobile, a large van, complete with kegs. They grab people along the way and put them in the bus and drive them around while everyone drinks and has a merry time.
Androg The God Of Grog leads his band of fierce Vikings and Valkyries in raiding and merriment.
(Photo courtesy of Paul Newman)
Vikings and Valkyries attending the dedication of the North Harbor
Harbormaster Glo Wollen with her Viking and Valkyrie entourage at the dedication of the North Harbor.
It's a Party #178