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Virtual Lecture: Viking Sails—The Power of Helga's Whorl with Katherine Larson, PhD

Date & Time

Sat, Nov 13, 2021
12:15pm - 1:15pm PST

Location

This is a virtual event

The image of Vikings in their impressive longships may spark the imagination, but it was spinning
and weaving done months and years before a Viking crew ever set sail that powered those ships
over great distances. Yet while the wood-working tools required to build a longship may be
recognizable to a modern audience, the same cannot be said for the implements and processes
used to make the sails.

Textile production was a woman’s pursuit, and the humble spindle whorl, a small stone disc
fitted on a stick, was perhaps a woman’s most important textile implement. With simple tools
and a good deal of skill and experience, Viking Age women spun and wove yards of fabric, not
only to clothe their families, but to create the sailcloth that powered the Viking ships. Learning
about these long-forgotten tasks adds balance to our understanding of Viking culture, and reacquaints
the modern audience with textile skills that were once universally recognized.
 

Cost: $5 members, $10 general admission

The image of Vikings in their impressive longships may spark the imagination, but it was spinning
and weaving done months and years before a Viking crew ever set sail that powered those ships
over great distances. Yet while the wood-working tools required to build a longship may be
recognizable to a modern audience, the same cannot be said for the implements and processes
used to make the sails.

Textile production was a woman’s pursuit, and the humble spindle whorl, a small stone disc
fitted on a stick, was perhaps a woman’s most important textile implement. With simple tools
and a good deal of skill and experience, Viking Age women spun and wove yards of fabric, not
only to clothe their families, but to create the sailcloth that powered the Viking ships. Learning
about these long-forgotten tasks adds balance to our understanding of Viking culture, and reacquaints
the modern audience with textile skills that were once universally recognized.
 

Cost: $5 members, $10 general admission

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Virtual Lecture: Viking Sails—The Power of Helga's Whorl with Katherine Larson, PhD
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