Ancient Scandinavian Media Magazine
Germanic, Scandinavian and Slavic peoples are very similar in lifestyle, mythology, appearance. Even the Viking mythology is called German-Scandinavian, and according to the Norman theory of the founding of Russia, a connection between the Scandinavian people and the Slavic appears. Slavic mythology is also similar to German-Scandinavian.
In ancient times, many peoples of the world had long hair meant a free, that is, a free husband (in this case, men, although this also applied to women sometimes), but a shaved head meant that its owner was a slave. We can say that the shaved head was a distinctive sign of a slave. But this was not always and not with all nationalities and civilizations.
Germanic and Scandinavian pagans (by the way, and not only them) took oaths on their hair or beard. The Scandinavian supreme god Odin was nicknamed the long beard and in most cases was portrayed with a gray long beard, his son the god Thor was called the red beard. Shaving off a beard was considered dishonorable. This was written in his work “Varangians and Russia” (1876) by the historian Gedeonov Stepan Aleksandrovich.
Also Gedeonov S. A. writes that the Slavs in those days had the custom of wearing a bundle of hair on the front of the head: forelock, chuprina (by the way, this term is found in all Slavic peoples). During the time of the Zaporizhzhya Sich, free Cossacks wore forelocks and were free people, not slaves at all (but this was later than the Viking era).
In the Middle Ages, people wanted to be like their glorious gods, the gods of Asgard, and externally too. There are ancient images of Thor and Odin with long hair and a beard. Men’s beard was just as fashionable in the Middle Ages as today men shave their beards (a maximum of three days is unshaven). And sometimes even men with long hair and a beard may not even be hired for certain positions. Times are changing, morals are changing. It's all about fashion.
In Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Odin, Thor and Freyr were revered as the main Gods of Asgard, and therefore all men imitated their appearance, and they were all with a beard. True, the idols of the god Freyr do not have such a voluminous beard as that of Thor, but still he has it.
In the Germanic-Scandinavian sagas there are many nicknames and names of not only gods, but also ordinary people who belong to the beard. Often men received nicknames that indicated the particular color of the hair of the beard of the owner, the beauty of the hair, or vice versa, their appearance was not very well-groomed or completely neglected (for example, Harald Kosmatiy).
How did the Scandinavians relate to people without hair and beard? With pity and regret, because a man without hair and beard was on a par with a slave and now was no different from him (this, however, did not apply to very young boys). The lack of a beard was even perceived as a physical disability of a person. There are written confirmations to this (Scandinavian sagas). According to historical sources (all the same sagas), a shaved head said that things were going very badly with a person.
But there is very little information about the hairstyles of the ancient Scandinavians. From the excavations of ancient burials, it is known that the Vikings had long hair, they could braid individual strands of hair into braids, braided into braids and beards.
The beard was and is an additional gender, that is, the hallmark of a man from a woman. She inspired others with courage, courage, strength of its owner, however, with these same characteristics, men’s beard is associated now. Perhaps in ancient times there were simply more pressing problems than shaving. And now men mostly shave to work, if they require this so-called dress code, but for holidays and various celebrations.
True, in Kievan Rus according to the claims of Gedeonov S.A. these values came with Christianity. By the way, what priests looked like in the Middle Ages can be seen now (they haven’t brought anything practically new in their appearance, having left the old traditions). Until that moment, on the contrary, Slavic men shaved their beards and hair, leaving forelocks and mustaches, such as, for example, the well-known appearance of the prince of the times of Kievan Rus Svyatoslav.
Many modern women like unshaven long-haired men, charismatic and brutal. Perhaps this is the call of the ancestors, through the centuries reminds us of our history. Now more and more often men begin to grow beards and long hair, many do stylish hairstyles, characteristic of the Cossacks of the time of the Zaporizhzhya Sich. Indeed, these are very beautiful hairstyles that captivate the eye and win female hearts.
The literature used when writing the article:
- Gedeonov S.A. Varyagi and Russia. SPb., 1876, Pages 363-365
- Prozorov Leo “The Caucasian Frontier of Rus” (Appendix I. Appearance of Prince Svyatoslav Igorevich as an Ethno-Defining Character Chapter 3. Customs of the Scandinavians)
- Wikipedia: Odin, Thor, Freyr and the other gods of Asgard
Hairstyles for women
Scandinavian women grew hair very long. They braided them in length or in knots behind the head. Colored ribbons could also be woven into the knots. The latter are also often tied around the head.
Brides braided their hair in braids. And when the girl got married, she covered her head with a scarf or hat.
How to use headscarves:
The famous silver amulet that perfectly demonstrates the female hairstyle:
Braided hair on images on runestones:
Viking beard style is back
If you went to a store 40 years ago to buy a beard ring, you would definitely be worth a very surprised look from the seller. Fortunately for us, we live in an era of self-expression, an era when an abundance of diverse styles and modes reigns. Thanks to this, recently, the Viking (Norman) and Old Russian clothing styles and beards in this sense have become very relevant. As a result, Viking attributes such as beard rings have recently become relevant.
But the question is: did the Vikings really adorn their beards with this kind of jewelry?
An indispensable attribute of the image of a Viking - a beard ring
In our time, very few reliable sources about the life of the Vikings have been preserved, some ideas are given by the Scandinavian sagas and the results of excavations. So, given how little we really know about the Vikings, it is entirely possible that they really used beard rings, but without a doubt, this has not yet been proven. However, there is some indirect evidence that the Vikings adorned their beards with rings. Basically, this evidence is based on the results of excavations of burials. But Viking burials usually contain a lot of jewelry and it’s quite difficult to unambiguously determine the exact purpose of a particular object.
Some surviving manuscripts of travelers who visited Germanic and Anglo-Saxon tribes noted that sometimes beards were pulled together in rings, but it is impossible to say for sure whether it was the Vikings or one of their contemporaries.
In the Middle Ages, a beard was an integral part of a man’s appearance. She gave status and served as a striking gender distinction. The bald beardless man was immediately associated with a slave, causing pity and sympathy. The absence of facial hair was recognized as normal only for young men. Otherwise, others considered this a physical flaw.
Literary works about the history and life of the Scandinavian peoples contain references to the fact that a shaved head testified to serious life troubles.
Social processes in society undoubtedly affected the face of the people. The lifestyle of warlike sailors influenced the style of wearing and braiding hair.
Interesting facts from history:
- So that the facial hair does not interfere in fights and hunting, it is often braided in braids. Sometimes they made pigtails in the form of pitchforks.
- In the Viking graves found rings that were used to fix the weaving. The presence of such accessories is also evidenced by the manuscripts of travelers, preserved to this day.
- It was considered dishonorable to shave clean. This is stated in the work of the historian Gedeonov "Varangians and Russia", 1876.
- In mythology, the supreme deity Odin was called Longbeard, and his son Thor - Redbeard.
- Nicknames associated with the characteristics of the hairline were received not only by the gods, but also by people. They emphasized the unusual color, accuracy or carelessness of the hair (for example, Viloborodny, Shaggy).
- Pagans swore on this attribute of appearance, carefully looked after. Cheeks and neck were carefully shaved.
What does it look like?
The Viking beard was a tourist attraction of a whole nation, their hallmark and pride. In ancient times, the Vikings determined the most courageous and strong warriors who could give healthy large offspring by the density and length of their beards. Today, a certain barbaric style in the image of a modern man expresses his charisma, masculine principle, which is so appreciated by the fairer sex.
To understand what a Viking beard is, you can view the photo:
Scandinavian at the peak of fashion. The style of the ancient warriors received special recognition after the release of the historical series “Vikings”. The beards of the heroes of the picture are diverse and colorful. The most beautiful can be called the neat beard of Jarl Borg. The second place in this nomination is Leif, because his image is successfully complemented by accessories. This gives the character of a hero masculinity.
The appearance of medieval Scandinavian sailors is associated with jewelry, most often rings. But in this context, it is exclusively a male element that emphasizes gender.
The popularization of the brutal appearance was also affected by the release of the Hobbit trilogy. The character creation of the Dwarves was influenced by the style of the Norman tribes. The priority accent of appearance sometimes reaches the size of the body.
Most Scandinavian men had shoulder length hair. Although some grew them longer. Some warriors braided pigtails on the left and right of the face so that the hair does not interfere with the eyes. Others fastened their hair with colored tape around their heads.
It is also known that many wars of the late Viking era (11th century) had long bangs, and in the back of the head, hair was short on the contrary. This is clearly visible on the tapestry from Bayeux.
Reconstituted similar hairstyle for the character of Bjorn Zheleznobokogo from the series “Vikings”:
Viking beard rings in pop culture
There is no doubt that the image of the Vikings in modern culture is strongly romanized, and those gaps that exist in the historical image of the Vikings are now generously supplemented with speculation based on unreliable sources. So, for example, horned helmets appeared as an indispensable attribute of the Vikings, in fact, this detail of the Norman style owes to the images in the church writings describing the Vikings as devilish offspring and devils. It is possible that beard rings are the same “modern” attribute of a Viking image as a horned helmet.
In any case, beard rings are part of our contemporary perception of the Viking style. And it can be used, especially since such rings are not difficult to make, and they can emphasize how big your beard is. And be that as it may, beard rings are the most masculine element of style.
Let's turn our eyes to the Vikings Series for a second. There are many interesting examples of clothes and hairstyles of other style attributes in this series, which are partly borrowed from historical sources and partly inspired by trends in modern culture (such as the image of the warrior Lagertha).
The moment when you can not help but admire the beard of Jarl Borg
As for the beards, in this series all kinds of styles and styles are shown in abundance, but definitely the prize in the Best Beard nomination goes to Jarl Borg. The second place can rightfully be given to Leif, whose beard has gathered an interesting collection of all kinds of trinkets, which nevertheless made him look even more courageously.
If the Dwarves existed, they would win all the beard and mustache championships.
Another epic saga in which beard decoration is an integral part of the whole picture is the Hobbit trilogy. Yes, of course the Dwarves are not Vikings, but one gets the feeling that most of the fictional Dwarfs style is borrowed from the Norman tribes. Especially if the Viking beards do not inspire you anymore, maybe you should pay attention to the Dwarf beards, as their beards are sometimes so big that they cover the whole body.
Who needs this style?
The beards among the Vikings were a real “mainstream”, they could be of different lengths and densities, braided in braids, ponytails and other types of hairstyles. Indeed, the Viking beard is considered the most unusual, non-standard, for many it is perceived as a sign of subculture.
A beard will require a tremendous amount of time and effort to grow, model and care, but the end result is worth it.
A Viking beard will not suit those men whose face skin is much lighter than the shade of facial hair. The ideal Viking beard is when a man has white skin and a red shade of beard. Also, a beard is suitable for tall men, since only its length can be from 20 cm or more. Best Viking beard will look on a man with an oval elongated face.
Beards were very common, it was a real "mainstream". They were short or long, but always well-groomed. His neck and cheeks were clean shaven. Numerous evidence points to this.
It was fashionable to braid pigtails in a beard so that it would not interfere when hunting or in battle. Some braided several pigtails in the shape of a pitchfork.
Svein Viloborodiy received such a nickname precisely because of his beard.
The fashion for the shape of beards, as well as for hairstyles, changed in time and space. Here is an example of “goat” beards on a runestone from Gotland:
Jarl Borg’s braided beard from the Vikings series:
Modern beards in the Old Norse style:
When and how to use beard rings
Usually, rings for a beard and pigtails in a beard go hand in hand, not surprisingly this means that your beard is long enough to braid a braid or use a beard share ring. This, by the way, is another reason why the beard ring is so amazing, they are a kind of measure of how skillfully you have grown a long beard.
Some men with long beards braid their beards every night, so that they have already become real masters in this business, but many only come to this style and they have many questions.
Firstly, it is very important to know that the beard should not be braided very tightly, this will lead to tangling of the beard and damage to the hair roots. The beard should be braided quite freely.
Secondly, it is advisable to weave braids in a beard once every 2-3 days, using hair from another section of the beard. Thus, by dissolving, then braiding different areas on the beard, you will ensure uniform growth of the beard.
Keep in mind that after the braid is braided, the hair remains wavy for several more days.
Viking style beard braids how to weave?
The braids on the beard became a real trend of the Viking time, although in those days few other peoples understood why this barbaric wild people had a long beard braided in a braid.In fact, the northern people gathered their hair on their faces in tails and braids, so that their hair does not fly in the wind, clings to clothes, and most importantly, does not interfere with hunting and fighting.
A Viking beard may consist of one or more braids. To do this, the desired part of the hair is divided into 3 identical parts, after which the left section is sent to the center first, then the right one. According to this principle, the left and right sections of the braid will alternately perform the function of the central section, forming a beautiful braid. The movements are repeated until the beard is over. The Vikings could weave 1-2 braids, but could immediately and 3-5 braids in one beard, it all depended on the thickness and length of the vegetation on the face.
Hair beauty and care
The hair on the head and beard was thoroughly washed and combed. A large number of various crests made of wood or bone were found.
For slaves and women of bad behavior, their hair was cut to form a short haircut. For a noble or simply free Scandinavian, long, well-groomed hair was considered pride.
In the saga about Ragnar Lodbrok, the impression of the beauty of his future wife Aslaug is mentioned. She had long hair that touched the ground and shone like silk.
Harald Lovely-haired wore such a nickname because he had outstanding beautiful thick hair.
Curly hair was considered decent only in women.
In the north, blond appearance was especially appreciated. Brown hair was also considered attractive. Whereas black hair was considered not very attractive and was associated with foreigners.
How to braid a beard
The main thing in weaving braids from a beard is to know the measure
In order to braid a beard, you need to separate the area that you would like to braid and divide it into three sections. They must be parallel to each other. Take the left section and move it in the center (thus the left section will become central), then take the right section and move it to the center (now the right section has become central). And repeat these two movements along the entire length of the beard.
After your beard is woven, fix the braid with beeswax oil, this will help the beard to keep in shape.
Viking beard rings how to choose and use?
Beard rings are an addition to the Viking style, and today many specialized stores offer the most similar copies of rings, according to historical legends and legends about the northern people. Rings were used if the hair on the beard was braided into braids. The true Viking beard was never braided tight, and just such decorations helped to fix its end.
In order for the ring to stay on the beard and perform the function of a retainer, it is important to choose its width correctly. It depends directly on the density of the beard, so the width can be determined directly in the store by braiding a braid from the beard. Several braids can be threaded into the ring, or after fixing the ring one braid can be divided into several small braids.
Ring width selection
In order for the ring to hold well on your beard, it is important to choose the right width of the ring. Those. Before buying a ring, it is better to measure it or if it is impossible to measure, just wrap the thread around your beard, gathered in a braid and measure the resulting length of the thread. You can also use tapes, and put rings on these tapes, which will allow him to hold on better.
There are many options for using rings and weaving, so do not be afraid to experiment, put several braids in the ring at once, or vice versa, divide the beard into pigtails after the ring. In any case, you should definitely adopt this wonderful accessory to get the image of a real brutal Viking.
The hair on the head and on the face must be washed thoroughly using cosmetics or soap. It is better to do this in the mornings and at bedtime, especially if the beard has an increased density. Also, after each meal, you need to inspect the beard for the degree of contamination and, if necessary, also wash. After that, she must be combed with a comb.
From the ancient times of the existence of the Vikings to this day, long well-groomed hair on the head and face was considered a hallmark of the nobility. And today, a long thick beard, only with careful care, can become a matter of pride and attention. The beard can be braided not only in braids, but also to form tails using rings and ribbons. In this matter, restraint and a sense of proportion are important.
Undoubtedly, in every woman, the appearance of a Viking beard is associated with the strength, brutality, courage and even militancy of a man. But in order not to cause the opposite effect of rejection and even disgust, such a thick and long beard needs daily comprehensive care. Hair is first grown for a long time, then it is given a uniform shape, it is looked after and laid in braids and tails. Only a confident and courageous man can afford such an appearance and image.