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Viking Age Hair

Journal article
Authors Elisabeth Arwill-Nordbladh
Published in Internet Archaeology
Volume 42
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Historical Studies
Language en
Keywords Viking Age, Hair style, body, gender, figurines, images
Subject categories History and Archaeology, Archaeology, North European


Based on images, figurines, and Medieval Icelandic texts, changes and continuities of Viking Age hair style is discussed. It can be demonstrated that women's hair style - with a few exceptions - was more traditional and conservative than men's. Men's beard styling and head hair show a wider range of corporal differentiation. For both women and men, hair and its articulations seem to have been an important feature, expressing social norms and roles, but also exceptional status. With its specific material character, hair was an indispensable and creative part in social dynamics.

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