Borre viking market, July 2018

  • 04.11.2018 - 16:14

I got the post market blues and therefore looking through pictures. A great way to try to cure it is of course to look at, edit and post pictures from markets. This does not really make it better. A lot of great moments and memories remains in the heart and in the head tho. Thank you so much for this year's market. We always love to come to beautiful Borre and your awesome market. See you in two years!

Psst! Be sure to make it to the end of the pictures. There's a juicy (and rather sexy) surprice at the end!


Leikvin viking market, May 2018

  • 19.09.2018 - 18:19

Hi! This summer's market season is sadly over for now. Now, as I have finally looked through all the pictures from this summer, I miss all of my friends and the atmosphere so much. Here are some of the pictures from Leikvin viking market in Sunndal. Can't wait to return again next year.

The guys I was travelling with is the best! We arrived some days earlier than the rest of the team just to enjoy the place and the calm. There is a lot of waterfalls and big mountains around the area so we decided to go for a short hike one of the first days. Thank you Ricky, Remi, Raino and Øystein for the trip.


What to think about when making historical clothing

  • 14.07.2018 - 12:37

Lately I have received a lot of questions regarding how to make different historical clothes, if I can make viking clothes for people and if I can show people how to make clothes. Earlier I actually made clothes for people, but as it is a lot of work, I stopped doing this last year. Instead I've assisted people in making their own clothes. Still, I receive lots of questions and I've decided to make several posts on how to make different garments on your own.

I have also wanted to write something about making historical clothing in general, what we use as sources, what to think about, and what textiles and colors to choose. So, this post will be an overall introduction on what to think about when making historical garments and how I think when I make my garments. But more important, this post will be a place where you easily can find all the "How to make"-posts on how to make different garments. But please be patient. It may take a little while before all the posts are done. There will eventually be links to click on for a more in-depth description of how to make the different garments.

Here is a list of post on how to make your own historical garments
∴ How to make an underdress
∴ How to make an apron dress
∴ How to make a Dublin cap
∴ How to make a cloak
∴ How to make a hood
​∴ How to make a tunic
∴ How to make trousers

What do we base our historical clothes on?
First, I would like to point out that we don't have many garments left from the Viking age. In fact, we only have a few handful of close to intact garments. Some examples are The Viborg shirt, the Kragelund tunic, the Moselund tunic and the Skjoldhamn tunic and trousers. These are all from the transition period between the viking age and the medieval period. We also have some later findings, from the early and mid-medieval period, like the Guddal shirts and the Herjolfsnes findings. It is also useful to look at older findings when we are trying to recreate garments. The Huldremose lady is one example on earlier than viking age findings. The Huldremose lady probably died some time between 160 BCE and 340 CE. These are all very useful to look at in an attempt to recreate the clothes of the vikings.
The Skjoldehamn trousers                                                                                      The Viborg shirt
Photo: Dan Halvard Løvlid                                                                                      Drawing by P. Nørbo and Jørgen Kragelund

Because the majority of the textiles we have preserved are only small fragments, we really do not have much to work with. It is really hard to base a garment on these little pieces of textiles. That is why it is good to have those few whole garments to look at and inspire us too. Fashion came and went a little bit slower then than in our modern time. The fragments and the garments still do not give us that much to go after. We must therefore look to other sources as well. We can use art from the period for example. On small figures from the viking age (Uppåkra, Tjørnehøj, Nygård, Tissø, Öland, Lejre, Björkö - just to mention a few), on some rune stones and in some embroideries from the period we can get an idea on how people dressed. We can also go to the written sources - the sagas. They also gives us a few descriptions on what the garments could have looked.

Valkyrie from Haarby, 9th century
Photo: Asger Kjærgaard/Odense Bys Museer

Silver figure from Tissø, Denmark                               Figure from Björkö, Sweden
Photo: Nationalmuseet, København.                          Photo: Historiska Museet, Stockholm.

Drawings from the Oseberg embroidery drawn by Sofie Kraft.

Although this may sound like a lot of sources, we still know very little about how the vikings actually dressed. Most of the fragments of textiles that we have is found in what we believe is graves of rich people who belonged to the highest rank in society. The fragments that we find is often related to metal objects that has been lying firmly against the fabric and therefore preserved it. The more metal objects, the more textile is preserved, and more metal often means more wealth. One should therefore keep in mind that these graves generally show how the richest people dressed. The small figures I mentioned a bit up may be depictions of gods or high-ranked persons. The sagas were often written some hundred years after the events actually took place so the descriptions may be colored by the time they were written. We don't know. But we have something to grasp and all these small leads can help us make pretty good interpretations of historical garments.

It probably goes without saying that we must guess a little when it comes to making garments based on the textile fragments that we have. There are a few good articles covering textile fragment from the viking age. I highly recommend Hilde Thunem's articles "Serk" and "Smokkr". They describe the most important findings when it comes to underdresses (serk) and apron dresses (smokkr). A quick search on google will give you other great articles as well. Just remember to use source criticism.

In our attempt to recreate the past, it is important that we think about what we do and why we do it. Why do you do reenactment? What can you learn from it? How can you do reenactment in a way that you can learn something and so that others can learn something?

A good tip before starting on your garments, is to think through who you want to convey. What type of person do you do want to show, from what societal rank? Which geographical area do you want to show and what time period within the viking age (or any other historical periods that you might reenact)? A great way to start is to set limits to oneself within the historical framework. Another great way to do reenactment, especially if you are an experienced reenactor, is to recreate a finding or a grave for example and to convey the person in the grave with all the belongings. Then there's the question about whether to do a reconstruction or a replica of a garment or just to based your garment on one or several findings. Let me explain!

I would like to point out that there's a big difference between a replica or a reconstruction of a garment or an object and that a garment or object is based on a finding. A replica or reconstruction is when you do everything exactly as the finding - from using a tread in the same size as the one that was used on the original garment, weaving the fabric exactly as the original, plant dye it if the original textile was colored, use the same stitches as on the original, to use replicas of jewelery which may have been found in connection with the clothes. If you base your garment on a historical piece of fragment, you are less restricted and can therefore use a little more imagination. But hold yourself in the reins! You still want a historical piece of clothing that is as true to the original as possible, will not you? So, always try to keep within reasonable limits.

Silver embroidery from Valsgärde, 10th century.

If you want your garments to be close to historical correct, you should use a textile that they actually used in the viking age. When you think about viking clothes you might think of thick and rigid textiles, and many even imagine potato sacks... The vikings were very, very skilled craftsmen and they could spin very thin thread and weave very fine and thin fabrics with beautiful patterns. The fabrics that are found in graves varies of course based on how rich the persons in the graves were. We have plainer weaves also, of course. Just to mention some weaving techniques that have been found we have tabby, plain 2/2 twill, plain 2/1 twill, diamond twill, herringbone and chevron. You can read about what patterns they used (and what graves they were found in) in the article "Cloth Weaving Patterns'". This article lists where the different weaving techniques was found. You should read it! I noticed that there are a few findings that are missing, but the most important are mentioned.

Mainly they used wool, linen and some silk. The silk was often imported and they often had vivid patterns and colors. The silk is often found cut into narrow strips regardless of the pattern on the fabric. In the Oseberg ship they found a lot of cut silk. Also in Birka and Pskov they have found silk fabric.

Silk fabric from the Oseberg grave. Picture borrowed from Caroline Mawer's blog.

When it comes to colors, we know that the vikings knew how to dye with plants and such. Some colors were easier to get your hands on and some you had to pay a lot to get. Ordinary people, free farmers and others probably had plainer colors natural colored wool, like brown, grey and other colors that the sheep may have had. The richest had stronger, richer colors like red and blue for example. There are many examples on colored textiles found in different graves.

Did you get through the whole post? Wow, that's impressive! Now that you have some meat on the bones, I hope you are eager to make your own historical clothes. As an ending, I would just like to say that you can of course make your clothes as you wish and based on what you wish. This post is only meant as a pointer to help you understand how serious reenacters think and what to think about if you want to do serious historical dissemination like we do. I really do hope you found this post interesting, inspiring and helpful. If you have any question regarding how to make your viking clothes, what to think about, what findings to base your clothes on or anything else, please do not hesitate to write me!

- Tonje Årolilja


Viking winter games and midvintersblot, 2018

  • 03.02.2018 - 13:42

O'hoy there!
This year - as so many years before - Trondheim vikinglag went to compete against our good friends in Österhus vänner in the annual viking winter games on the snow covered Norderön. We also participated in the midvintersblot which is always so beautiful! Guess who won this year! Oh yeah! Go Norway!

Here are some pictures from this year's trip taken with my new lens!

Thank you so much for this time, Österhus vänner! See you again next year! <3


Jämtlands vikingadagar, August 2017

  • 03.02.2018 - 13:34

Hi again!

Last summer our friends in Österhus vänner arranged a second viking market in addition to their traditional event at Österhus. This new event was held in the centre of Östersund in Sweden. They had done a great job arranging and even though it was small with just a few tents, the atmosphere was amazing. It was a very nice and fun event. Here are some pictures from our weekend in Östersund in August last year.

As you will see we made lots of food and I only remember eating the whole weekend. Hahaha!

Thank you so much for a great event. See you soon!


Trip to Uppsala with Österhus vänner, May 2017

  • 02.02.2018 - 16:37

In May last year Trondheim vikinglag was invited to an educational trip to Uppsala in Sweden together with our friends from Österhus vänner. It was a wonderful weekend filled with lots of trips to museums, lots of burial mounds, a huge amounts of rune stones, great talks, lots of laughter together with friends, sauna, alcohol and a bagpipe playing naked Finn... (What?! Is there pictures? Scroll down and see!)

​But first, a little history.

Uppsala is a very old and interesting town with lots of history. It's also a very "mythical" place. This means that we do not really know for sure if the things we can read about Uppsala is actually true or not. Many of the written sources we have were written hundreds of years after the events took place. We must therefore take it with a small pinch of salt. We must be critical! Using multiple sources together, like archaeological findings, art and written sources, we will get a better understanding of the past. This text is not meant as an educational text, it is only meant as a small introduction to Uppsala as a historical place.

So, according to the medieval writers (now, remember the pinch of salt!) Adam of Bremen (Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum) and Snorre Sturlason (Heimskringla), Uppsala was the main pagan centre of Sweden during the viking age and the town had a temple which supposedly contained magnificent idols of the norse gods. If you've seen the series Vikings, this is the place (that they have tried to replicate) where Ragnar and his family went to sacrifice to the gods. Adam of Bremen describes a temple devoted to Odin, Thor and Frey and how sacrifices of both animals and humans were made.  The trees were considered to be divine, and sacrifices were said to have been hanged from trees and left to rot, and elaborate ritual songs were sung. According to the sources, the temple was located in what is now known as Gamla Uppsala, Old Uppsala. The old town of Uppsala was actually located a few kilometres north of where the city is currently location.

Findings of extensive tree structures and log lines together with different other archaeological findings supports that there has been on-site activities. Under the present church in Old Uppsala there have been found remains of one or several large wooden buildings. Some archaeologists believe that these are the remains of the temple, while others believe that these are remains of an earlier Christian wooden church.

There has been found large amounts of historical findings in the ground in and around Uppsala, there's many burial mounds in the area and Uppsala has been mentioned in many different sources. People have been living and buried in Uppsala for at least 2000 years and the findings are evidences of that. There have been found evidence of settlements all the way back to the nordic bronze age even though most of the grave fields are from the iron age and the viking age. It's been said that Uppsala was the place to bury the royals and maybe the high concentration of burial mounds is an evidence of that. At least there were some rich people living there. Originally there were between 2000 and 3000 mounds in the area but most of them have become farmland, gardens and quarries. Today only 250 mounds remain.

Three of these (seen in the picture above) are today called The Royal mounds (Swedish: Kungshögarna). They are the biggest and best known burial mounds in Uppsala and they are located in Old Uppsala. According to ancient folklore, the mounds were made for Odin, Thor and Frey. Later they thought that the mounds were made for kings of the legendary House of Ynglings. Today their geographical locations are instead used to name the mounds and they are called the Eastern moundMiddle Mound and Western Mound.

(Sources and inspiration: Wikipedia: Uppsala, Battle of Fyrirvellir, Temple of Uppsala, Gamla Uppsala)

Here are some pictures I took during the trip showing some of the rune stones that we saw, some of archaeological findings found at some of the museums and then just fun and games. Enjoy!

Tweed is discussed

If you don't have a beard, you make one from forest materials.

Thank you so much for a great weekend! We should do this again. And a huge thank you to Elias who organized the whole sha-bang!

Oh yeah! That's right! I promised a picture of a naked bagpipe playing Finn... Well, I can't give you a naked one because of artistic creation, but I can give you a almost naked Finn playing the bagpipe. Here you go! The drawing is made by Bert-ola Henriksson Nordenberg. Thanks you letting me show everyone. It's so awesome!

Viking winter games and midvintersblot, 2017

  • 01.02.2018 - 14:18

So, yet another very delayed post. This is from our trip to Österhus last year! The viking winter games and the midvintersblot at Österhus on Norderön have become an annual tradition for us in Trondheim vikinglag. We go back every year to revisit the deep Swedish forests in Jämtland to compete for the most important price in the viking history - vandrepokalen.

Sadly, we didn't win that year, but this year we were going to win! Hahaha! 

Viking market at Gunnes gård, September 2016

  • 01.02.2018 - 14:04

Hello everyone!
It has been ages since my last update... again. Just too long and I'm so sorry about that. After we moved to an new apartment I haven't really had access to a computer. Therefore it has been hard editing and making these posts for you. Now I have had some days off and some motivation to make new posts, and I've been editing pictures from one and a half years back in time!! I've also decided to start writing in English since I know that many of you don't understand Norwegian.

Here are some pictures from Gunnes gård back in September 2016. We were a few people in the camp, 12 in all if I can remember correctly. Anyway, a brilliant and a lovely group of people it was!

(Warning! There are pictures of dead animals in this post. They were used for cooking purposes)

Fredrik brought his daughter Ida for the event. She is so adorable and so fun to be with. We played around, looked at the animals and sang together.

Now I want to show you some pictures of Emily. Emily is part of a group calles Andrimners Hemtagare. They travel around to different markets where they demonstrate historical cooking and other historical crafts. I have learned so many things from these guys. Emily is for example the person who taught me how to spin yarn with a spindle.

At Gunnes they demontrated how to make various dishes, how to slaughter and prepare a rooster and they prepared European hake (a fish), just to mention some. We also had a cheese table party together in the evening where we served the weirdest and most unpleasant cheeses you can imagine. I brought with me a classical Norwegian cheese called gammelost - old cheese... It was horrible. We had so much fun at this party that I forgot to take any pictures.

She scalded the rooster in boiling water to make the plucking easier. The rooster was of course already dead when she did this.

Thanks everyone for a great market! It was so fun going to a market with only a few people I knew from before. It was truly a relaxing and cozy weekend.

Photoshoot i Haithabu

  • 18.08.2017 - 22:46

Det var så utrolig pent i Hedeby, så vi måtte jo selvfølgelig ta litt bilder.
Her er noen bilder av meg og Astrid fra 2015!


Sjøfruene på Borre

  • 13.07.2016 - 14:54

Bilder tatt av Line Rogstad Wikan og meg.

Borre vikingmarked, 2016

  • 13.07.2016 - 14:11

Her kommer noen bilder fra Borre vikingmarked.

Takk for et herlig marked!

From Russia with love og vikinger?

  • 07.06.2016 - 23:44

Det har igjen blitt sabla lenge siden forrige post... Sånn går det!

Nå starter årets markedssesong for min del på torsdag. Da drar jeg og noen andre fra Trondheim vikinglag til Moskva! Tenk det! Moskva. Der skal vi være på et av Europas aller beste reenactment-arrangement, Times and Epochs. Jeg gleder meg utrolig mye, ikke bare fordi det blir mitt første møte med Russland, men særlig fordi det er snart ett år siden jeg så mine utenlandske og utenbyske vikingvenner. Det blir et fantastisk arrangement! Jeg skal forsøke å ta masse bilder.

Her er et bilde fra markedet i Sarpsborg i fjor.

Håper alle får en strålende vikingsommer!

Nålebinding, finsk sting

  • 26.12.2015 - 14:04

Hei igjen! Det er atter en gang blitt lenge siden forrige innlegg, men her kommer altså ett om nålebinding.

Nå har det jo blitt vinter og det er mer enn på tide å komme i gang med neste sesongs forberedelser. Jeg har ikke ork til å begynne med noe stort prosjekt akkurat nå og derfor tenkte jeg at nålebinding var tingen. Jeg har egentlig aldri blitt noen superflink nålebinder, men jeg har da fått til noe (noen pulsvarmere, et påbegynt sjal, ett par-tre sokker og et par rare og litt politisk ukorrekte votter). Nå har jeg imidlertid blitt lei av det stinget jeg alltid ender opp med å bruke. Jeg har funnet ut at det er det som kalles Mammen-stinget. Om man skal lage sokker eller votter blir det ikke så tett som jeg skulle ønsket. Selvfølgelig har dette litt med typen garn man bruker å gjøre også, men nå snakker jeg sånn generelt.

Jeg bestemte meg tidligere i høst for at jeg ville lære meg ett nytt og bedre sting. Med nytt mener jeg for meg nytt, men i historisk sammenheng gammelt sting. Med bedre mener jeg ett sting som gjør produktet tykker og maskene/stingene tettere. Jeg ville lære meg ett sting som er basert på funn fra vikingtid, som gjør produktet tett og godt og som er forholdsvis enkelt å lære.

For en god stund siden fant jeg en flott, finsk dame som heter Sanna-Mari Pihlajapiha (Neulakintaat) på YouTube som viser hvordan man nålebinder. Hun viser hvordan man nålebinder med forskjellige typer sting, blant annet hvordan man nålebinder med ett finsk sting. Damen har også en hjemmeside som du kan se her. Her beskriver hun mange forskjellige typer sting, som hun har delt opp i tre kategorier (de finske typene, de russiske typene og såkalte vridde sting). Hvert sting er flott beskrevet og med henvisning til videoer. Jeg har alltid likt finsk og russisk nålebinding så jeg bestemte meg for et finsk sting, såkalt F2 2+2, eller UUOO/UUOOO. Her kan du se hvordan hun gjør stinget.

Her er noen bilder av hvordan jeg gjør. Beklager dårlige bilder, men jeg var nødt til å ta bilder med mobilen min.

Det blir ett veldig fint og tett mønster.

Jeg har to løkker rundt tommelen.

Jeg tar en ny løkke og så en gammel foran, deretter to gamle bak.

Litt om nålebinding
Nålebinding er en gammel håndverksteknikk hvor man bruker en nål og ofte tommelen som redskaper. Denne teknikken ble og blir brukt over store deler av verden. Et av de eldste funnene man vet om er fra en grotte i Israel, datert til rundt 6500 før Kristus (om jeg ikke tar helt feil). Det har også blitt funnet rester etter nålebinding i Egypt, Kina, i Sør-Amerika og selvfølgelig i Europa. Det er funnet votter blant annet på Island og i Norge, og det er funnet rester etter nålebinding blant annet i København og i Mammen i Danmark, York i England og Eura i Finland. I en kvinnegrav i Eura fant man et par votter nålebundet i rødt, blått og gult garn. Dette er det eldste funnet av nålebindingsfragment i Finland. I følge Krista Vajantos master-oppgave om funnet ser det ut til at vottene er nålebundet med stinget kalt 2+2 eller UUOO/UUOOO. Krista Vajantos master-oppgave kan du lese/se her. Dessverre er den på finsk, men bildene er fine og man kan jo forstå noe.

Det er altså dette stinget fra Eura-funnet jeg har begynt å nålebinde med nå. Og nå som jeg har begynt med et funn fra Eura så kunne det kanskje vært gøy å lage noe mer. Klærne er jo ganske spesielle og annerledes. Vi får se hva som blir neste prosjekt. Akkurat nå står det ellers litt stille på prosjektfronten.
Følg med!

Photoshoot i Romania

  • 24.10.2015 - 12:44

Vikingsesongen er på hell, og jeg har allerede lyst til å dra på marked igjen. Det hjelper litt å se på bilder fra sommeren, men det gjør også at jeg vil enda mer til sommer og marked. Mens vi venter på neste sesong kan dere få se noen bilder fra photoshooten vi hadde i Romania, for vi måtte jo selvfølgelig ha en photoshoot på fortet i Romania. Det er Signe Karmhus som er fotograf.

Jeg har lenge hatt planer om å sy en ermeløs kjole, og da vi skulle til Romania ble det raskt sydd en for det var meldt varmt vær og mye sol. Kjole uten ermer ble det, men sol og varme ble det lite av. Det var vel en dag med skikkelig varmt vær, og da var det utrolig deilig å ha på seg en slik kjole. Det var flere som hadde sydd seg en ermeløs kjole (eller skjorte), så kanskje ermeløs serk under selekjole blir det den nye moten til neste sesong?

Så, hva burde neste jeg skal lage, tro? Jeg tar gjerne imot forslag.

Fightshow, Râşnov, Romania 2015

  • 01.09.2015 - 20:27

Alban, Pär, Jimmy, Kristofer, Linda, David, Johan og Remi organiserte ett fantastisk show for det rumenske publikumet. Jeg var sikkerhetsvakt og så det rundt seks ganger eller noe og syns det var like bra hver gang. Barna var helt med og buet på de de syns gjorde urettferdige ting, og heiet frem sine helter.


Tonje Årolilja Rogersdatter


Hi and welcome to my blog! My name is Tonje and I am a viking reenactor. In other words, I try to recreate the viking age as close and correct as possible. I make my own historical garments. I convey the daily life of the Viking age together with my viking group, Trondheim vikinglag. We travel all around Europe and visit viking markets. We show cooking and handcraft correct for the viking age period. If you are interested in history, archeology, handcraft of any sorts of food - this is the blog for you! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you just want to say hi.

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