Monday, July 8, 2013

Viking excursion in La Cañada

Scop.  Love the word.  First heard it when I was in an English class and we were reading an English translation of Beowolf.  The idea that a scop (storyteller) would have a special place in Viking society was an appealing thought.  In communities the storyteller is also a main culture bearer.  

When I stopped by Vikings Day at Lutheran Church in the Foothills in June, the first person I saw was the scop.  He was in command of his audience's attention.  This despite the heat being great and the traffic on Foothill Blvd. being pretty busy.  

There was much more to explore on this day that had a lot of the positive side of Viking Culture and lifestyle.  

It was hard to stop watching these two as put together a whipcord.  They found a rhythm and passed the spindles back and forth with apparent ease and great precision.  

Being SoCal Vikings they made the whipcord while wearing flip flops.  
It was encouraging to see these young folks, and the other folks that were there, re-connecting or reinforcing their historical roots.  

 While there weren't a lot of crafts set up outside, what they had seemed wonderfully Nordic.  Mind you, I don't really know a thing about symbolism in Norwegian or Nordic cultures, but the woodburned design on the angular chest seemed elegant in its simplicity.  There was a manliness about it.

By contrast the Rosemaling was all contrasting colors, graceful lines, and elegant form.

Very much like the artisan who shared her art and her heritage that day.

Looking forward to spending more time at the event next year.

More details and pictures found at: 


  1. That woman in the last photo -- how beautiful she is. I don't know that much about Norwegian country-folk culture, as my folks (and pre-folks, and pre pre pre, etc.) were from Oslo, but rosemaling! Yes! I have several bowls and plates, and am particularly fond of the style on the plate at the far left in the last photo. I've tried my hand at it, with varying degrees (and we won't go into detail regarding these degrees) of success.

  2. She is lovely and had a quietness about her. The variety of her wares was almost overwhelming and her prices were most reasonable. I have her card and I'll be contacting her sometime in the future, I'm sure. I love the flow of the colors.

  3. It's this kind of re-enactment (Viking and otherwise) that makes me like Renaissance faires. You have to wade through some pirate outfits and non-historic cleavage, but when you find the real thing it's an immersive experience.

  4. So true. I was most pleasantly surprised by the two young folks who were seriously into making the whipcord. They had a rhythm going that was really great. If they don't play or sing, they should. They didn't miss a beat.