Hi, I’m Frøydis and I one of two viking age enthusiasts involved in the creation of Viking Footprints. Our activities are based in Hyllestad, where I grew up and here, we are surrounded by the traces of history from a 1000 years ago.
I’ve spent much of my career away from ‘home’ at sea and the importance of boats and ships to my own life, mirrors that of the past. But now I’ve settled back where I grew up and want to use what is around me to tell the story of this place and its people and the wider significance of viking age history.
Of course, with my background, I have a natural interest in boats and ships and here at Viking Footprints we have 2 traditional wooden boats – built in clinker style – and with a design easily traced back to the viking age and before.
But here on my family farm, my main focus is the creation of a historical garden filled with what you could expect to grow and use during the viking age. After all, most people in Norway in those times were farmers. So, a big part of what we will do with Viking Footprints relates to farming and the keeping of animals like sheep. So, using the garden we can explore how various plants and materials were used for food, for the production of textiles and even for use in the rituals of magic and communication with the gods.
I think it’s also very important to emphasise the role of women in the viking age. Their status, their ability to own property, and have power and influence, is only beginning to be fully understood. So a part of the Viking Footprints project will be to develop some interesting and fun ways to explore and learn about just how crucial women were to the whole development of viking history and how it was not all about the men with beards, long hair and their swords!
Hi, I’m Mal, and I am the other viking age enthusiast responsible for creating Viking Footprints. My background is in research, journalism and teaching and I am also a professional photographer.
I am originally from Scotland, but having been living and working in Norway for some years. During that time, I got involved in viking re-enactment through my local ‘vikinglag’ – finding out so much about how many people are keeping alive old ways of doing and making things, as well as finding out more about the real viking story.
What was essentially a hobby, then became my job! For two years I was Head of Guiding and Formidling (education, for want of a better word in English!) at Njardarheimr viking village – part of the Viking Valley development in Gudvangen, west Norway. Here I used all my experience in to create new ways of explaining the viking story in accessible, fun and informative ways to visitors from all around the world. I’ve subsequently done a bit of guiding work also for Kvernsteinsparken museum in my new home town on Hyllestad.
My interests in the viking age are wide – I am interested in understanding how people lived, worked and survived in those times, and what viking age society, politics and economics was like and how the vikings’ legacy is much more important than we often realise! Sounds like all the boring stuff, right? Not at all, and I am happy to tell you why!
Oh, and yes, I like to shoot bow and arrow and throw axes. For fun, you know. It’s not all about swords…