You all are welcome to enjoy this blog which I hope will bring many of you to go and click to be a friend of our wonderful project.
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Keep scrolling down here for all the fun movies.
Those of you who are already ‘following’ and may have been to events in the past will be pleased to see here a gathering of films and photos of our progress at the house.
Things are Happening at the Viking House.
This beautiful place has been awaiting us for so long. Many have asked and are interested in being actively involved. Of course the world has been in lock-down and the house is a very small part of that.
It is the time to start looking at what we can do to re-celebrate the place; to tidy and renovate and to decorate. We wish also to be able have things happen there.
What is the Viking house? There is a whole series of films and photos here in this blog about our house and our plans. Let us tell you now though that it is a rebuild of a house from that age and is in the grounds of UWGB. The university in Green Bay, Wisconsin is the home of this great feature. The ‘Jarldress’ or perhaps keeper of the house is Professor Heidi Sherman who is head of history for UWGB.
When I say that she is responsible we are talking about a budget-free situation. So anything that happens here is down to our Jarldress to make possible. For us to appreciate.
Who am I? And who are the others in the films below? There are lots of groups and individuals who are willing to take part and to arrange events. The three of us in the films below are volunteers.
I missed the house being open over the summer, for as well as wanting to help out, I miss being the storyteller for the house. Here now I can say I am just a volunteer though acting out of good will. I do happen also to be Professor Sherman’s husband which could be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage. We turn to her for guidance, permission and often for funding.
Trodin Hegn (Dwayne) and Di An are two other active participants with exciting hopes for the future.
Celebrating the Viking house will be timed nicely with the making of shields. Trodin is making shields for decoration.
Sigourney has designed a UWGB Shield image and we hope to be taking her two of Dwayne’s shields for painting. One with her design, and one with Dwayne’s (Trodin’s) own personal image (Sigourney will this be OK and fit in with your plans? – I would also love to see your other Viking design idea and see if we can use them in some way).
Dwayne and I have plans to invite gifts of shields and flags etc to show affiliations.
A Presentation Day will invite people to visit and make a gift as they walk through. This could be a decoration for the Hall made specially for the day or a ‘blessing token’ selected on the day.
We will have selection of tokens to pick from; simple things such as stones, beads and feathers and we would be glad to hear from people who wish to make or offer decorations suitable for the Viking ages such as tablet weavings or utensils. While arranged outside folks can talk about the donations and the work of others.
There are of course severe restrictions and we will plan within these. IE masks must be worn, people must gather with six feet apart in the area of the Viking house and then parade through the hall slowly with a maximum of ten people in there at any one time. This will include the presenters and hopefully a small film crew.
(Dress for the weather.)
This event is planned to take place on Saturday October 3rd A provisional date. from one o’clock onwards. We will publicise once it is confirmed but for now please ‘pencil’ it in and start thinking ahead. Exciting times.
Let us know that you are interested.
As for those affiliations, this will be groups or festivals which we have connections with. We will be glad to hear from you about connections we have with you. To date we are approaching five different groups we have affiliations with.
As Skald to the Chieftain of Njardarheimr Viking Town in Gudvangen, Norway I will be approaching my chieftain (my blood brother) for a flag of the Njardarheimr symbol. No, I will ask now – Dear Georg is it possible that you could arrange us a flag of the town or a banner for the town for our display? I will be glad to pay if needs be.
I am also a member of The British association The Vikings through their group at York University; Vanaheimr. I am a member of this dynamic group from the university and will be asking them for a flag or banner for us to display. I will ask them now too. Dear Jarl please could you arrange a symbol of our affiliations?
I say hi to Tim Jorgenson of Viking Connections, the coordinator of Viking events for The Historical and Cultural Society for Clay County.
Tim I am pleased you are ‘cogitating’ upon the idea of sending us an affiliation item. We will be displaying our pride in connection with River Ravens upon our hall walls in the near future I hope.
I interviewed Tim for a project I was involved in prior to the Covid catastrophe. Here is the interview. Although almost everything was cancelled for all of us in 2020 I am hoping that most of the things mentioned will reappear in a new guise in 2021.
Stop Press – I’ve chatted to Tim and we are saving a space for a shield and he will be making us one especially later in the year.
My present title is “Director of Viking Connection,” although I’m also known as a general coordinator of various Viking events in our region, as well as a hobbyist blacksmith and woodworker. Viking Connection (www.vikingconnection.org) is an outreach program run by the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County, Minnesota (HCSCC). We are housed in the Hjemkomst Center, in Moorhead, home of the Gokstad Viking ship replica Hjemkomst, that sailed to Norway in 1982. HCSCC also interprets a Hopperstad Stave Church replica, a reconstruction of the Viking-Age stavkirke still standing in Vik, Norway. Viking Connection is a natural extension of HCSCC’s on-going work to preserve and present Viking-Age folk art in the Midwest.
We invite artists specializing in the Viking Age crafts of Scandinavia to teach and tour in the states of ND, SD, MN, IA, WI, and the UP of MI. We also offer an apprenticeship program to send dedicated students from the Midwest to study their chosen craft with a master artist in Scandinavia. Lastly, we offer a database of international artists interested in networking with each other.
Together with fellow Minnesotan, Kyle Jameson, we started a Viking living history group called, “River Ravens” (www.riverravens.org), largely as a way to have a name for our group when we are hired to provide an encampment, crafts, or entertainment for events in our area. We joined up with UK-based, Regia Anglorum because we really enjoy the authenticity policy they have in place, their research, and their continuous efforts to stay up-to-date with recent archaeological findings. In all, we participate in between 5-10 events annually, the largest being North America’s largest Scandinavian festival, Norsk Høstfest, in Minot, North Dakota.
[Sadly the next paragraph covered plans which were cancelled due to the Covid thing, so I have cut the details, but I am sure there will be another exciting program in 2021 with a Viking skill being brought back to share around festivals and events here. – Ade.]
One of the exciting things to look forward to in 2020, is the Viking Connection apprenticeship. Each year we send a student to Scandinavia to learn from selected artists with the goal of learning new skills or advancing pre-existing skills with a Viking Age craft.
I’m continually being contacted by different organizations interested in creating Viking Age events, or adding a Viking presence to a broader-themed event, so keep an eye on the River Raven’s and VC websites for 2020 opportunities.
Thank you Tim.
Visit the site for The Historical and Cultural Society for Clay County…
Here is the River Ravens site…
We had a wonderful visit to Balagard the Viking age Finland festival in Hancock, Michigan. A great town and a great festival. This is a bi-annual festival so the Covid epidemic probably wont be an effect and then this exciting event will be back in 2021 as planned.
Toby of Balagard was saying to me about the idea of links between groups and how it would be good to have a story linking each shield or item to the group it was from.
I ask now, ‘Hi Toby, can I ask if it is possible to have a shield or item representing your group for our house in Green Bay?’
Here is their FB page – https://www.facebook.com/Balagard-Viking-age-Finland-304102503794434/
The Viking House, University Wisconsin, Green Bay. New era feature.
So yes, my wife Professor Heidi Sherman, as well as being head of history for UWGB, is also the Jarldress for the Viking house. I have never thought of this before, but, wait for it, what does that make me!
Answers on a postcard please.
She has created many events and developments around the house but of course it has all been on hold this year. We are just starting to get the place going again.
There are many who volunteer to help keep the place going and I have been along with a couple of good pals recently to make a start. So here is a feature on the place.
Dwayne is making a shield with his own design on for the display with our collection. We are hoping for donations from other groups and other individuals (you) of samples of their craft.
My groups shield from York University’s Viking group Vanaheimr.
A group planted Hops and I wanted to capture them flourishing so they could see what a good job they had done. Each year they will get more and more prolific.
Raised beds were in lock down.
You can tell the fire pit hasn’t been used in a while.
We need a clear out or a hiding place.
Ideally there shouldn’t be anything modern on view if someone comes to take a photo. The oven needs its cover though to protect all Dwayne’s hard work and we remove it as soon as an activity is preparing.
I can’t wait to get that oven going again and get some cooking done. We are still limited on events of course. Let us look ahead though.
The current wood pile is mainly stuff which was too long for our stove at home, so I guess we will soon get through it and be looking for more.
This is the John
I am thinking we could cut some of the buckthorn to make our little fence out of.
Ah apparently the hawthorn is an invasive so we can cut as much of that as we like.
The box fence is our next project. We are hoping for a bit of help, and to have it finished before the decorations day.
Just down the slope from us is the Frisbee-Golf
The grounds are beautiful
Owen and Elspeth are the lovely couple who made all of this possible.
I haven’t met Harry, but we are all very grateful that he found a way to make a difference to our Viking heritage here at UWGB.
(I would like to know a little more about the cookhouse too)
Maintaining a Viking House can be a Hornet’s nest
We came back again and had a bit of an inspection;
The full team inspection
The Parking situation
After we left today we passed a few Heron, they were standing close to picnickers by the river and I was surprised at how tall they were. I guess at nearly five foot, Dwayne tells me they can reach six foot. The Heron not the Turkeys, or we would be having a good Thanksgiving.
Flax drying will make an interesting addition to the decor.
Then we could process it ready to spin into linen thread.
We have plans for wool too. Insulation.
The return and this time we are equipped.
We needed refreshing.
Refreshments were created by team host Jarldress Sherman
I will catch that frog
Let us be-strim
This is why we were here.
And we got the job done, well Dwayne did.
What’s next boss?
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