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Viking Women: The Narrative Voice in Woven Tapestries By Lena Norrman ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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Viking Women:


Women's Voices, Power, and Performance
in Viking Age Scandinavia Introduction

This study examines women as carriers of a poetic tradition in the Scandinavian Viking Age (ca. 800–1100). In it, I discuss women's weaving and embroidering and how this craft is contextualized in narratives in circulation, which are passed on from one generation to the next through oral tradition. In the epilogue, I briefly focus on Saint Birgitta. The traditional image of gender in Viking Age Scandinavia (as well as in the European Middle Ages) is that of woman as keeper of the household and of man as the active participant in the world outside its walls. This is a reflection of the long-held view of binary opposites: male/female, husband/wife, empowered/powerless, and public speaker/silenced (citizen). I reassess the traditional view of