Bragi


“Bragi” by Carl Wahlbom (1810-1858).
Bragi is the skaldic god of poetry in Norse mythology.
Bragi is generally associated with bragr, the Norse word for poetry. The name of the god may have been derived from bragr, or the term bragrmay have been formed to describe ‘what Bragi does’. A connection between the name Bragi and English brego ‘chieftain’ has been suggested but is generally now discounted. A connection between Bragi and the bragarfull ‘promise cup’ is sometimes suggested, as bragafull, an alternate form of the word, might be translated as ‘Bragi’s cup’. See Bragarfull.

Bragi is shown with a harp and accompanied by his wife Iðunn in this 19th century painting by Nils Blommér.

Snorri Sturluson writes in the Gylfaginning after describing OdinThor, and Baldr:

One is called Bragi: he is renowned for wisdom, and most of all for fluency of speech and skill with words. He knows most of skaldship, and after him skaldship is called bragr, and from his name that one is called bragr-man or -woman, who possesses eloquence surpassing others, of women or of men. His wife is Iðunn.

In Skáldskaparmál Snorri writes:

How should one periphrase Bragi? By calling him husband of Iðunnfirst maker of poetry, and the long-bearded god (after his name, a man who has a great beard is called Beard-Bragi), and son of Odin.

I hate how the word “viking” i still used as a name for an ethnicity. A bit like calling all 19th century Americans “Cowboys” regardless of proffesion, station socially or geographical situation.


Dundee academics reconstruct Viking woman’s face


“Academics at Dundee University have helped recreate the face of a Viking woman whose skeleton was unearthed in York more than 30 years ago.

The facial reconstruction was achieved by laser-scanning her skull to create a 3D digital model.

Eyes were then digitally created, along with hair and a bonnet, to complete the look.

The project was part of a £150,000 investment at York’s Jorvik Viking Centre.

The Dundee academics were brought in by the centre’s owners, the York Archaeological Trust, as part of a project to bring York’s Vikings to life.

The female skeleton used was one of four excavated at Coppergate in York.

The reconstruction process was carried out using specialist computer equipment which allowed the user to “feel” what they were modelling on screen. The anatomy of the face was modelled in “virtual clay” from the deep muscles to the surface.

Dundee University researcher Janice Aitken took the digital reconstruction and added the finishing touches.

‘Research capabilities’
She explained: “I use the same sort of software as is used to create 3D animations in the film industry. I digitally created realistic eyes, hair and bonnet and added lighting to create a natural look.

“It is very satisfying knowing that the work we create at Dundee University will be seen by thousands of visitors to Jorvik and being part of a process which can so vividly help people to identify with their ancestors.”

The reconstruction now features in York Archaeological Trust’s new Investigate Coppergate exhibition, which examines the Vikings’ diet and investigates the diseases from which the Vikings suffered.

The exhibition also looks at the final battles of the Viking age in York that heralded the end of the Viking era and the coming of the Normans.

It features skeletal remains showing battle wounds and a full skeleton with evidence of severe trauma, alongside discussion about how they died.

Sarah Maltby, York Archaeological Trust director of attractions, said: “Archaeological research capabilities have moved on considerably since the original Coppergate excavations which took place over 30 years ago.

“The new exhibition areas mark a shift in how archaeological finds are analysed and the techniques available to researchers.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-13064786

Halfdan’s Viking Mead Recipe


“Ale has too often been praised by poets.
The longer you drink, the less sense your mind makes of things.”

–Ancient Viking Hávamál Proverb

       Halfdan’s Viking Mead Recipe   

  Mead (Honey Wine) – 5 gallon recipe

 8-10 lbs pure raw honey (for light, delicate Mead) (or)
 12-13 " " " " (for medium sweet Mead) 
(or) 15-16 "" " " (for very sweet or alcoholic Mead)
 4-5 gallons purified spring water (not distilled)
 3 tsp. yeast nutrient (or 5 tablets)
 1 tsp. acid blend (combination malic/citric acid) 
5-7 oz. sliced fresh gingerroot (1 finger's length)
 1/4 tsp. fresh rosemary (optional, as desired) 
5-6 whole cloves (optional, asdesired) 
1-2 vanilla beans (optional, as desired)
 cinnamon/nutmeg (optional, as desired) 
lime/orange peels (optional, as desired) 
crushed fruit (peaches, strawberries, grapes, etc.) 
1 tsp. Irish Moss(to clarify Mead)
 1/2 tsp. clear gelatin (to clarify Mead) 
1 spotted newt's tail (optional, asdesired :) 
1 packet yeast (champagne or ale yeast) 

Heat spring water 10-15 minutes till boiling. Stir in honey, yeast nutrients, acid blend, and spices (rosemary, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon peel). Boil for another 10-15 minutes, (overcooking removes too much honey flavor), skimming off foam as needed (2 to 3 times during last 15 minutes). After 15 minutes, add Irish Moss or clear gelatin to clarify. After last skimming, turn off heat, add crushed fruit, and let steep 15-30 minutes while allowing mead to cool and clarify. After mead begins to clear, strain off fruit with hand skimmer and pour mead through strainer funnel into 5 gallon glass carboy jug.

Let cool to room temperature about 24 hours. After 24 hours, warm up 1 cup of mead in microwave, stir in 1 packet “Red Star” Champagne, Montrechet, or Epernet yeast (or Ale yeast in order to make mead ale), and let sit for 5-15 minutes to allow yeast to begin to work. Add this mead/yeast mixture to carboy jug and swirl around to aerate, thereby adding oxygen to mead/yeast mixture.

Place run-off tube in stopper of bottle, with other end of tube in large bowl or bottle to capture “blow-off” froth. Let mead sit undisturbed 7 days in cool, dark area. After initial violent fermenting slows down and mead begins to settle, rack off (siphon off) good mead into clean sterilized jug, leaving all sediment in bottom of first jug. Attach airlock to this secondary carboy. After 4-6 months, mead will clear. During this time, if more sediment forms on bottom, good mead can be racked off again to another clean sterilized jug.

When bottling, in order to add carbonation, add either 1/4 tsp. white table sugar per 12 oz bottle, or stir in 1/2 to 1 lb raw honey per 5 gallons mead (by first dissolving honey with a small amount of mead or pure water in microwave).

Enjoy! Skål!Source: http://www.blue-n-gold.com/halfdan/meadrecp.htm

Discussion on Loki Part 1 – 4


Loki is indeed not your “average” trickster. In many ways, Odin himself is more like the traditional trickster than Loki is. Odin changes shape, deceives, lies, and tricks people far more often than Loki. Loki is more the sneaky, clever god of randomness than a true trickster. Odin teaches with lessons and challenges. Loki teaches with a swift kick to the groin.

Småland [Province of Smolandia],Sweden


Map
The provinces of Sweden withSmåland highlighted
Coat of Arms
Land Götaland
Maincorresponding county Kronoberg County
Kalmar County
Jönköping County
Indigenous dialect(s) Småländska
Population 720,358[1]
Area 29,400 km²
Flower Twinflower
Animal Otter

 Småland  is a historical province (landskap) in southern Sweden. Småland borders BlekingeScania or Skåne,HallandVästergötlandÖstergötland and the island Öland in the Baltic Sea. The name Småland literally means Small Lands. The latinized form Smolandia has been used in other languages. The highest summit in Småland is Tomtabackenwith its 377 m.

Historical cities

Towns with former city status were: Eksjö (chartered around 1400), Gränna (1652), Huskvarna (1911), Jönköping (1284), Kalmar (approximately 1100), Ljungby (1936), Nybro (1932), Nässjö (1914), Oskarshamn (1856), Sävsjö (1947), Tranås (1919), Vetlanda (1920), Vimmerby(approximately 1400), Värnamo (1920), Västervik (approximately 1200), Växjö (1342)

History

The area was probably populated in the Stone Age from the south, by people moving along the coast up to Kalmar. Småland was populated by Stone Age peoples by at least 6000 BC, since the Alby People are known to have crossed the ice bridge across the Kalmar Strait at that time.

Migration period, Smolandian tumulus (grave mound)

The name Småland (“small lands”) comes from the fact that it was a combination of several independent lands, Kinda (today a part of Östergötland), Tveta, Vista, Vedbo, Tjust, Sevede, Aspeland, Handbörd, MöreVärendFinnveden and Njudung. Every small land had its own law in the Viking age and early middle age and could declare themselves neutral in wars Sweden was involved in, at least if the King had no army present at the parliamentary debate. Around 1350, under the king Magnus Eriksson a national law was introduced in Sweden, and the historic provinces lost much of their old independence.

The city of Kalmar is one of the oldest cities of Sweden, and was in the medieval age the southernmost and the third largest city in Sweden, when it was a center for export of iron, which, in many cases, was handled by German merchants.

Nils Dacke.18th century painting

Småland was the center of several peasant rebellions, the most successful of which was Dackefejden led by Nils Dacke in 1542–1543. When officials of king Gustav Vasa were assaulted and murdered, the king sent small expeditions to pacify the area, but all failed. Dacke was in reality the ruler of large parts of Småland during the winter, though heavily troubled by a blockade of supplies, before finally being defeated by larger forces attacking from both Västergötland and Östergötland. Dacke held a famous battle defence at the (now ruined)Kronoberg Castle, and was shot while trying to escape to then Danish-ruled Blekinge.

Traditional Windsor chairs perhaps made in Småland

In the 19th century, Småland was characterized by poverty, and had a substantial emigration to North America, which additionally hampered its development. The majority of emigrants ended up in Minnesota, with a geography resembling Sweden, combining arable land with forest and lakes.

Max Von Sydow and Liv Ullman from the film "The Emigrants" (novel by V.Moberg)

File:Skurugata.jpg
An image from a canyon in the forested Småland.

Religion

In comparison with much of Sweden, Småland has a higher level of religious intensity and church participation (Lutheran).

Smalandians

In the 20th century, Småland has been known for its high level of entrepreneurship and low unemployment, especially in the Gnosjöregion. Some suggest the harsh conditions have throughout history forced the inhabitants of the region to be cunning, inventive and cooperative.

This is how the old Swedish encyclopedia Nordisk familjebok described the people:

the Smalandian is by nature awake and smart, diligent and hard-working, yet compliant, cunning and crafty, which gives him the advantage of being able to move through life with little means. 
A running joke, or stereotype, in Sweden, is that of the Smalandian being very economical, or even cheap. Ingvar Kamprad said that the Smalandian are seen as the Scotsmen of Sweden.

Language

The local language is a Swedish dialect known as Småländska (Smalandian). This may in turn be separated in two main branches, with the northern related to the Götaland dialects and the southern to the Scanian dialects.

Heraldry

The first coat of arms for Småland, granted in 1560 pictured a red crossbow with roses on a golden shield but at the coronation ofJohan III in 1569 a new coat of arms was granted. A lion was wielding the crossbow and the roses had fallen off. There was also a revision in 1944, but no alterations were made. Småland is also considered a duchy and has the right to carry a ducal coronet with the arms.

Blazon: “Or a lion rampant Gules langued and armed Azure holding in front paws a Crossbow of the second bowed and stringed Sable with a bolt Argent.”


Värend,Småland,Sweden


The small lands of Småland. The black and red spots indicate runestones. The red spots indicate runestones telling of long voyages ( i live in “Finnveden”).
Småland = Små Land = Small Lands / Small Countries = Petty Kingdoms.

Värend was in the Middle Ages the most populous of the constituent small lands of the province Småland, in Sweden. Early on,Växjö became its center. Around 1170, Värend broke out of the diocese of Linköping, and formed its own diocese of Växjö. Judicially, Värend was a part of “Tiohärad”, which roughly corresponds to present-day Kronoberg County.
It consists of the hundreds, or härader, Allbo Hundred, Kinnevald Hundred, Konga Hundred, Norrvidinge Hundred and Uppvidinge Hundred.

The small lands of Småland. The black and red spots indicate runestones. The red spots indicate runestones telling of long voyages ( i live in “Finnveden”).

Småland = Små Land = Small Lands / Small Countries = Petty Kingdoms.

Värend was in the Middle Ages the most populous of the constituent small lands of the province Småland, in Sweden. Early on,Växjö became its center. Around 1170, Värend broke out of the diocese of Linköping, and formed its own diocese of Växjö. Judicially, Värend was a part of “Tiohärad”, which roughly corresponds to present-day Kronoberg County.

It consists of the hundreds, or häraderAllbo HundredKinnevald HundredKonga HundredNorrvidinge Hundred and Uppvidinge Hundred.