Skál til Skjoldmø!
Archeologists are still debating to this day whether or not Shieldmaidens (Viking warrior women) existed. A Viking woman had more potential power and freedom than that of her European counterparts for centuries. She could own property, divorce her husband, conduct religious ceremonies, fight and rule. While the men were 'a viking' to find new land and riches, women were left to run the village, farm and home. Beyond mothering and training, they were farmers, craftsmen and shipbuilders.
Many interesting keys have been found in the graves of Viking women. Most fashioned with a handle to be worn on a chain around the waist amongst small daily hand tools. Beyond a key's use, they were also amulets of power, symbolizing the wearer as head of household and keeper of crop rationing.
Viking tribes were in conflict over land often and would sometimes try and take advantage of each other. Women had to know how to wield a weapon and shield to protect themselves and their land at times. Spears, arrows, axes and swords were the most common weapons of choice.
It is my belief that warrior women certainly existed in the Viking age, as the demands of Viking life required great strength and courage to survive. Perhaps the highly trained and most cunning were the Shieldmaidens: the Valkyries of men on earth.
Artist Statement from The Metals Collective show called 'Cocktail Accoutrements' at The Bearded Lady's Jewel Box