The Vikings, seafaring Norse people who lived during the Viking Age were known for their distinctive clothing and accessories that reflected their cultural identity, social status, and practical needs. Among the various elements of their attire, neckwear played a significant role in both fashion and functionality.
At the core of Viking neckwear was the ubiquitous brooch, a versatile and essential accessory for both men and women. These brooches, often made of materials like bronze, silver, or gold, served as decorative fasteners for the Viking attire, which typically consisted of a pair of rectangular or oval-shaped brooches connected by a chain or string. The brooches were positioned on the shoulders to secure a rectangular or oval-shaped piece of fabric known as a “serk” or “apron dress.” This garment was worn by Viking women and served as a symbol of their marital status and social standing.
For Viking men, the brooches were also instrumental in securing their capes or cloaks, protecting against the harsh Nordic weather. The capes were typically made of wool and could be fastened across the chest with the help of the brooches, ensuring warmth and comfort during their extensive travels across land and sea.
Beads And Amulets
The Vikings adorned their necks with various types of beads and amulets. These accessories were crafted from materials such as glass, amber, bone, and metals. Bead necklaces were not only decorative but also believed to possess protective qualities, warding off evil spirits and bringing good fortune. Amber, in particular, held special significance for the Vikings, as it was often associated with the sun and believed to have mystical properties.
Metal neck rings, known as torcs or necklaces, were another distinctive feature of men’s Viking necklaces. These rings were made of precious metals like silver and gold and were worn by both men and women. Torcs were often worn tightly around the neck, emphasizing the wearer’s strength and social status. They were not only fashionable but also served as a form of portable wealth, showcasing the individual’s prosperity and success.
The Vikings also utilized functional items around their necks. Leather straps and cords were commonly worn to secure tools, weapons, or personal items. Knives, keys, pouches, and small bags could be suspended from the neck, providing practical solutions for carrying everyday essentials.
Viking neckwear was a multifaceted aspect of their attire, blending both practicality and symbolism. The iconic brooches, beads, torcs, and leather cords not only serve functional purposes in securing garments and belongings but also expressed the Vikings’ cultural identity, social standing, and belief in the protective powers of certain materials. Men’s Viking earring is also a distinctive part of their culture and tradition. Through their distinctive neckwear, the Vikings left a lasting mark on the history of fashion, showcasing a unique blend of craftsmanship, symbolism, and utilitarian design.