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Viking Enthusiast

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Viking enthusiasts are people interested in Viking history, culture, artifacts, legends and anything else Viking.

The word Viking refers to people who lived in Denmark, Norway and Sweden from 800 to 1100 AD and who left their homes to trade and raid along the shores of other countries.

Some Viking enthusiasts simply read about Vikings. Others travel to Scandinavia to learn more about them. Some form clubs with other enthusiasts, where they plan various activities, like sailing a replica Viking ship. Or, they may re-enact Viking times, complete with replicas of clothing, food and weapons.

While some people are interested in Vikings because they have Scandinavian heritage, Viking enthusiasts say you don't have to be a descendant of Vikings to enjoy them.

"A good love for Vikings is all that's needed," says Peter Sjolander, a Viking buff. He started the Viking Navy in hopes of recreating and sailing a Viking ship.

Here is Christie Ward dressed as her alter-ego, Herskerinde (mistress) Gunnora Hallakarva, an eighth-century Finn. Ward has been a viking enthusiast since she was a child.
Courtesy of: The Viking Answer Lady

For Viking enthusiasts, interest in this can be triggered by something as simple as an old movie.

"I've always been interested in the sea, the history, the lore, from the time I was little. I remember seeing old black and white movies about Vikings when I was young. That was great," says Larry Hamilton, a Viking enthusiast.

Experts say you'll find Viking history buffs all over the world. They say regardless of a person's heritage, Vikings have a universal appeal.

"I've got people I write to in lots of different countries, like Canada, England and even South Africa. We may not have anything else in common, but we can talk Vikings," says Hamilton.

"I've got people I write to in lots of different countries, like Canada, England and even South Africa. We may not have anything else in common, but we can talk Vikings," says Hamilton.

One of the best things about being a Viking buff is you can spend as much or as little money as you want and still enjoy it. There are also no physical limitations, as long as you're willing to travel to ancient Scandinavia in your mind.

Some Viking enthusiasts invest in personal computers to keep in touch with other enthusiasts. Some buy supplies to recreate Viking ships, costumes and weapons. Some even travel to Norway. Others visit libraries, get together with other enthusiasts and spend very little money.

"It's really up to you how involved you want to get. I know people who spend thousands a year, but aside from my computer expenses, costs are next to nothing," says Hamilton.

"The Viking area of the Web is really growing and I think people are seeing this as a great way to meet up with other Viking enthusiasts," says Erik Wheelok, a Viking buff.

Getting Started

You might already have what it takes to become a Viking enthusiast -- a keen interest.

"You don't need any special skills or Viking heritage, you just have to be interested," says Kerry Beamish. "That's what I tell people."

Experts recommend you start by reading a couple of books to understand the basic history of the Vikings. Go to your local library to find lots of information.

Once you know you're interested, experts recommend joining an association, or better yet, getting involved with a newsgroup to meet other Viking buffs on the Internet.

The Internet is a great tool for getting in touch with Viking buffs all over the world.

"Internet access is the best. At first, I tried to get a network going with snail mail, but it never took off. E-mail and the World Wide Web seem to be just the right mix," says Sjolander.


The Society for Creative Anachronism
P.O. Box 360789
Milpitas , CA   95036-0789
Toll-free :  800-789-7486

People and Groups in the SCA


Vikings in the New World
Find out more at this Minnesota State University site

Jorvik Viking Center
Millions of visitors have traveled back in time with this center

Viking Ships
Learn more about the ships that propelled Vikings across the sea

Bronze Casting in the Viking Age and Early Middle Ages
Learn how the Vikings made fabulous metal objects

The Leif Ericson Vikingship
Photos of the ship and information on the society that promotes Viking information

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