The Vikings were a seafaring nation that resided in Scandanavia. They often traveled to distant lands, invading and plundering towns. These people lived between 800 and 1050 AD, often referred to as the Viking age.
If your search for Viking-inspired merchandise has you feeling overwhelmed or confused, you are not alone. Many people search for Viking gifts without understanding Norse culture. If this is you and you need some help, here is what you need to know before choosing a gift for your loved one.
Understanding Viking Culture
A few images likely come to mind when most folks think of the Vikings. A band of tall, mighty warriors that looted and plundered wherever they went may be one of them. Helmets with horns and fur coats slathered in muck and grit may also come to mind.
Because they were so feared, there is much information about the weapons and battle armor that they wore, so you may envision burly men wielding axes and swords, traveling on ships.
However, you may be wondering if the stereotypical view of the Norse is, in fact, accurate. This is important if you want to choose the right gift for a Viking enthusiast. Before you begin your search for a Viking gift, here are a few things you need to know about gifting in the Viking age.
What Did the Norse Give as Gifts in the Viking Era?
Contrary to popular belief, Vikings weren’t just a boorish group of people that went around causing chaos.
They were an intelligent civilization that learned to adapt to their environment using whatever materials they had on hand. A classic example of this is the Viking horn that served as a storage vessel for beer, mead, or wine.
Treating Each Other with Respect
They also believed in treating each other with respect because they believed that the gods could disguise themselves as people and walk among them.
A famous example of this is Odin. Odin was a god that the Vikings associated with wisdom, death, and poetry and was often depicted as a wanderer who frequently visited the Vikings. Vikings often gifted functional objects such as a blanket that the receiver could put to good use.
A Variety of Gifting Options
The Norse did not spend time browsing online stores or on-site stores for gifts. Instead, their search would often include a collection of whatever they could find at the site they were to plunder or a handcrafted item made especially for the receiver.
Because they tended to travel great distances, they often had to carry many items and returned with goods ranging from a handmade jewelry collection to a warm blanket.
The Norse gave anything they could get their hands on as gifts, and there are records that brides were often given kittens as part of their wedding gifts, so how do you narrow down your options in your search for the perfect Viking-inspired gift?
How to Choose the Right Viking Gift
The truth is that because Viking culture has been so well documented, we now have enough information to give us a good idea of how the Norse lived. Here are a few considerations that may help you narrow down your options.
What Are the Gift Receiver’s Preferences?
Before you make a choice, it is essential that you first determine the preferences of the person you are buying the gift for. This includes determining whether the person wears jewelry or could do with a handmade ax or a novelty sword.
What Is the Occasion?
Next, consider the occasion. If you are buying a gift for the holidays, you could opt for a Viking-inspired ornament or a hooded sweatshirt featuring Viking designs. You could also choose to have your gift engraved with the date and a congratulatory message.
Another important consideration is how much you are willing to spend. The price is often a determining factor when it comes to gifting, so be sure to set a budget before you begin your search.
You can expect to pay more for collector’s items such as hand-engraved swords or a Viking necklace made from expensive materials. Whatever your budget is, you are sure to find what you are looking for, as there is a wide range of Viking merchandise available online, with options to suit any budget.
Viking Gifts for the Viking Fan in Your Life
Here are some of our recommendations for Viking gifts to present to your friend on a birthday, a lover on a date, or a family member on a special occasion.
Vikings were known for their love of jewels. Rings, pendants, and other Viking relics have been found in Viking burial sites. Both men and women wore various jewelry pieces with designs ranging from knotwork to animal themes. Viking jewelry was either hefty, designed to endure the hardships of war, or exceedingly intricate, to be used as a symbol of their status and wealth.
The Viking Bracelet
The Viking bracelet was often referred to as arm rings or bands and was more popular among males than among females. They had two functions, primarily serving as a decorative piece with intricate designs, but they also had a commercial purpose, which the Norse could easily pull off to pay for goods if the need arose.
Another great gift idea is a Viking necklace. The sole goal of wearing a necklace was to convey social status and spiritual standing. Viking necklaces were made from various materials, including gold, silver, glass beads, and animal bones.
Modern, Viking-inspired Jewelry
Today, manufacturers have offered a more modern way to wear Norse jewelry. You can find several items that have taken their inspiration from the Norse. An example is a watch that has the image of a wolf or Viking ship on its face.
Other Great Viking Gift Ideas
If jewelry isn’t what you are looking for, here are a few other ideas:
- Drinking horn
- Handmade ax
- Collector’s sword
- Norse beard kit
- Pocket knife
- Branded clothing
- Knife set
- Engraved leather wallet
- Norse-inspired wall clock
- Home decor pieces
- Tourmaline Rune Stones
- Ship bookends
- Norse ship pop-up greeting cards
- Wooden ceremonial pipes
With this information, you can buy the perfect gift for the Norse fan in your life. You can order these gifts and more from an online site that delivers to your area. There are several options on Amazon, too. We hope you found this article helpful and can find the ideal Viking gift for your loved one!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Did Vikings Wear Helmets with Horns?
Contrary to popular belief, Viking helmets did not have horns on them, so if you are hoping to purchase a traditional Norse-inspired gift, we recommend giving these helmets a miss.
2. Is Norse Jewelry Just for Women?
In the Viking age, jewelry was just as popular among males as they were among females because it served as a symbol of wealth and status.
3. Did Vikings Wear Fur?
Yes, Vikings did wear fur clothing to keep them warm in the harsh Scandinavian climate. If you are looking for an extravagant gift to present to your girlfriend on a date, a Viking-inspired fur coat may be just the thing.