Jack Rabbit

Jack Rabbit: Lepus timidus

Kingdom: Animalia; Phylum: Chordata; Class: Mammalia; Order: Lagomorpha; Family: Leporidae; Genus: Lepus
species: (various) common: timidus

Description: Jackrabbits are actually hares, and are mammals in the leporids belonging to the Genus Lepus. They are in the same family as rabbits. The term “jackrabbit” comes from the book by Mark Twain describing a jackass rabbit because the long ears looked like a jackass donkey’s ears and was shortened to “jackrabbit”. They are similar in size to rabbits eating the same kind of diet being herbivorous. They are long eared, fast runners, living solitary or in pairs. There are five main species in the leporid with hare in their common names but are not true hares – these are (1) the hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus), and four species as red rock haires (Pronolagus). Hares that are less than a year old are called leverets. They bear their babies in shallow depressions or flattened nests of grass rather than burrows like rabbits do. A group of hares is called a drove. Jackrabbits can run upwards of 64 kph or 40 mph able to leap up to 3 meters at a time. They are often shy and timid, but during the spring they chase one another competing for fertility even to where they seem to be “boxing” with one another striking one another with their paws. They don’t live in burrows or warrens like rabbits, but in simple nests above group and do not live in groups. Hares have long ears, black markings on their fur, jointed or kinetic skulls with 48 chromosomes while rabbits only have 44. The six species of jackrabbits are the (1) Antelope jackrabbit, (2) black tailed jackrabbit, (3) white-sided jackrabbit, (4) Tehuantepec jackrabit, (5) Black jackrabbit, (6) white-tailed jackrabbit.

Habitat: Native to Africa, Eurasia, North America and the Japanese archipelago.

Uses: Hunted or raised for food and meat. They have low fat content, but are a poor choice for survival food. They are commonly roasted or taken apart for breading and frying. A traditional German stew is made from marinated rabbit or hare meat called Hasenpfeffer. It’s blood is also used as a thickening agent for the sauce of the stew, mixed with wine and/or vinegar. The Lagos Stifado hare stew is made with pearl onions, vinegar, red wine, and cinnamon is a popular Greek dish. The French make jugged hare where they take the whole hare, dice and marinate it, cooked with red wine and juniper berries in a tall jug that stands in a pan of water and is traditionally served with the hare’s blood and port wine. Jewish culture does not consider the hare to be kosher and therefore not eaten by observant Jews.

Mythology: In African folk tales the hare is a trickster spirit. In English folklore “as mad as a March hare” and in the legend of the White hare that goes out looking for prey at night or the spirit of a broken-hearted maiden who cannot rest and haunts her unfaithful lover. The Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican cultures see the hare in the paattern of dark patches in the moon. The Hare is sacred to Aphrodite and Eros because of its high sexual and fertile nature. Hares were presented as gifts of love. The Anglo-Saxon mythology of the Goddess Eostre – from which the Easter Bunny came from, is also based in love and fertility. Hares symbolize swiftness and timidity. The jackrabbit combined with a antelope creates the mythological creature known as the Jackalope.

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Desert Arroyo

Desert Arroyo

An arroyo found in the desert is a dry creek or stream bed that seasonally fills and flows after various rain falls. An Arroyo is a wash, gulch, or dry creek that temporarily flows with water after rain fall or seasonal weather patterns. They provide water to the desert biosphere and has a specific biome with vegetation dependent on seasonal flow. They are often found in drainages or flat bottoms of canyons that don’t have water resources most of the year thereby hosting very arrid independent vegetation.

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Tamarisk

Tamarisk aka Tamarix

Folknames: Salt Cedar, Tamarisk

Description: There are over 50-60 species of flowering plants in the family of Tamaricaceae native to the dry regions of Eurasia and Africa. It was named after the Tamaris River in Hispania Tarraconensis of Spain. They are evergreen and/or deciduous trees or shrubs that can grow upwards of 1-18 eters in height, they are known to create dense thickets. The largest is the Tamarix aphylla growing to 18 meters tall. They have slender branches, grey-green foliage, the bark of the young shoots are smooth and reddish brown, which becomes bluish-purple ridged and furrowed with age. Leaves are scale-like similar to junipers, hosting 1-2 mm long leaves that overlap one another along the stem, often encrusted with salt secretions. They blossom pink to white flowers in dense masses along 5-10 cm long spikes at their branch tips from March to September. They are fire adapted with long tap roots allowing to intercept deep water tables and they take up salt from deep groundwater accumulating it on their foilage.

Cultivation: They spread vegetatively by adventitious roots or submerged stems, and sexually by seeds. Each flower produces thousands of 1 mm diameter seeds. They are propgated by cuttings.

Habitat: Saline soils with upwards of 15,000 ppm soluble salt and/or alkaline conditions. Originally from Eurasia and Africa, they are today found throughout the world including the American southwest and California as an invasive species. It was introduced to the U.S. as an ornamental shrub in the 1930s for controlling soil erosion.

Uses:
Used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species. Used as an ornamental shrub, wind breaks, and shade trees. Wood is used in carpentry and firewood. They are used in China as antidesertification programs. They are planted to mine salts then used in production of fuel and fertilizer. They

Mythology:
In the “Epic of Gilgamesh”, Tamarisk is used combined with soapwort as a bath that Gilgamesh’ mother, the Goddess Ninsun for ceremonial bathing. The Bible refers to Tamarisk in Genesis 21:33 as Abraham was recorded to have planted a tamarisk at Beer-sheba by a well he built. In 1 Samuel 22:6 Saul is mentioned sitting under a tamarisk tree on a hill at Gibeah where he learned that David returned to Judah. In Shahnameh, only a tamarisk arrow to the eye can wound the invincible Prine esfandiar. In the Old Testament, Saul’s bones were buried under a Tamarisk tree in Jabesh.

Cultural history
In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh’s mother, the goddess Ninsun, ceremoniously bathes in a bath of “tamarisk” and soapwort before allowing Gilgamesh and Enkidu to begin their conquest. The Tamarisk tree held the body of Osiris for a time in Byblos until retrieved by Isis in Egyptian mythology. The Tamarisk is a favorite tree of the Greek God Apollo.

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Pirates

When one thinks of “Pirates” they immediately conjure up the image portrayed by Disney and fabled adventure books of either Captain Hook and Tinker Bell, or Johnny Depp and the “Pirates of the Carribean”. Pirates of the Carribbean is by far the most popular portrayal, and there today is an over-glorification of these dastardly criminals. But they were not only criminals, but a anarchistic society and sub-culture. In basic definition, A pirate is a person who commits acts of piracy, usually at sea, without authorization of a country, King/Queen, or army to do so. Of course soldiers throughout history, Ancient mariners fighting for their countries would loot, raid, conquer, maim, and kill hundreds if not thousands in their wakes of invasion. But those actions were deemed “ok” by historians since it was under the authority of a “nation”. These seaward scumbags however were classified just as such because they did the acts independently for their own greed or want of treasure. Truth be told, it was survival and independence, the poor striking against the rich. They often started out as young sailors, struggling to survive, realizing “thievery” was a quick and easy route to making it. Others were captured crew who were pushed into the life of piracy, often as slaves or indentured servants at best. Others were recruited in harbors as crew for a ship sometimes with the art of piracy being known or often not revealed that was what one was getting into.

Some say that Pirates were documented as early as the 14th century BCE with “the Sea Peoples” who were thought to have come from the Aegean Sea as well as Ancient Greece. The Fomorians of Ireland were a legendary race of Giants who were portrayed as “pirates”. Pirates and Piracy has existed from the beginning of time. The earliest records were that of Dionysus the Phocaean in 494 BCE and lasting right up to the modern day with Abduwai Muse in 2009 CE. However, when we think of Pirates – it extends from either the Middle Ages (400 CE – 1585 CE), on into the Rise of the English Sea Dogs and Dutch Corsairs: (1560 CE – 1650 CE), the Age of the Buccaneers: (1650 CE – 1690 CE), Golden Age of Piracy: (1690 CE – 1730 CE), and After the Golden Age: Pirates, Privateers, Smugglers, and River Pirates: (1730 CE – 1885 CE). Of course the “Vikings” as well were “Pirates” of sorts, though they operated with authorization of their peoples in Norway, Denmark, etc. so it draws a gray line. Every coastal country had its own sea-faring raids, invasions, and activities that were controversially criminal.

The term “Pirate” denotes an individual who participates in “Piracy”. Piracy is a sea-born offence against the universal laws of society, equating to “theft”, “robbery”, “looting”, or “crime”. Pirates are seamen who have turned to crime – robbing, attacking, seizing, capturing, or destroying other ships and their crew at high seas or within the coastal harbors. They were also known for their acts of theft, smuggling, and slave trade all for their own personal interests rather than for a company or country. They were punished as criminals for their crimes against society. They were not without their popularity and many of these pirates were high-profile and influential which often led to the death penalty when caught and penalized. The legality of their actions however was the biggest distinguishing factor separating them from privateers, buccaneers, or servants of a royal fleet. The acts led to a sub-culture, a band of individuals that joined together creating crews and legions. The acts turned lifestyle and evolved into action not just for wealth, but for independence, anarchy, fighting the mainstream, and for the hunger of adventure, fame, and danger. It was a manifestation of freedom in their minds and souls, some would say was in their blood and spirit. They were portrayed as free spirits, united with others of like-minds, usually men who loved women, booty, liquor, songs, and sword fighting. Today they are romanticized and seen as a glamorous rebellious culture even though historically they were not. Their lives were historically cruel, short, violent, and abrupt. There were also numerous female pirates who made their mark in history.

Today, Children all over the world celebrate Pirates, pretending to be them, fight them, hunt for treasure, and it is fun and games to them. The dastardly history is white-washed and the sense of adventure glorified. In some ways Pirates are equated to Robin Hoods of the Sea. They are seen as icons of fighting against the dictators and oppressive governments.

Pirates ate what most seamen ate – and it was always dependent on food supplies or conditions of their stock. Sometimes it was dependent on what they raided from other ships or towns. Food often molded or rotted, and sometimes their foodstuffs were questionable. Often they had livestock on board, eating meat, bread, dairy, and produce. They often cured their meats (salt) and fermented their vegetables. Common were salted meats, sea biscuits, sauer kraut, and bone stock soup. Oddly they didn’t fish all that much and seafood was not as common in the diet as one would think. They drank a lot of alcohol, often from raids, and in the Carribean known for their love of rum. Beer, ale, brandy, mead, and wine were common drinks.

Pirates didn’t often bury treasure. While some did, overall the “treasure” was perishable and needed on a daily basis. Because they were hunted criminals, their careers didn’t last long, and neither did their lives. They actually lived to their own rules, morals, and standards. It was not uncommon for pirate crew members to agree to a code of conduct and often had to sign in agreement. They had their own rules and punishments for lying, stealing, fighting, or acting against one another while on board their ship. Sometimes these punishments were severe, but they rarely if ever “walked the plank”. The few case examples of that kind of punishment was after the Golden Age of Piracy. Punishments were often beatings, whippings, knee hauling, dragged by the ship, or marooned on an island. Their ships were well run with a clear division of labor and officers in charge who were respected and held in high regard. The captain decided where to go and when to attack, the Quartermaster would issue punishments and settle grievances, ran the ship’s operations, and divided the treasure. Other common roles were boatswain, carpenter, cooper, gunner, and navigator. While many Pirates started from a poor life of suffrage, some were social elites who came from wealthy families. Lastly not all Pirates were criminals – like the Vikings, they were serving their nations or people, and during wartime and battles of one country to another, Piracy was enacted and Pirates were often hired as mercenaries. Some nations issued letters of Marque and Reprisal allowing ships to attack enemy ports and vessels leading to plunder and captivity. These were somewhat differentiated though and called privateers.

Check back for this is a work in progress.

Pirates! Exhibit (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=36331); Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Denver, Colorado, USA. http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28273 | The Great Walkabout: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?page_id=114. From Colorado Springs to Australia, Europe, and back. Photos taken March 5, 2011. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2011 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. Pirates: http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=4261.

Article by Thomas Baurley on 2/27/18.

References/Recommended Reading:

  • Canfield, Nicole 2005 Owlcation: The Life of a Pirate. Website referenced 2/27/18 at https://owlcation.com/humanities/The-Life-of-a-Pirate-What-They-Ate-What-They-Did-For-Fun-and-More
  • Minister, Christopher 2017 ThoughtCo: 10 Facts about Pirates. Website referenced 2/27/18 at https://www.thoughtco.com/facts-about-pirates-2136238.
  • Way of the Pirates n.d. “Pirates”. Website referenced 2/27/18 at http://www.thewayofthepirates.com/types-of-pirates/pirates/
  • Wikipedia n.d. “List of Pirates:. Website referenced 2/27/18 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pirates.
  • Wikipedia n.d. “Piracy”. Website referenced 2/27/18 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy

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Cave of the Cats (Roscommon, Ireland)

Oweynagat Cave – Cave of the Cats – Gateway to the Underworld and the Morrigan’s Palace.

Oweynagat Cave – Cave of the Cats
– Gateway to the Underworld and the Morrigan’s Palace. Rathcrohan / Rosscommon, Ireland
GPS: 53.79677, -8.31038
Article/Research by Thomas Baurley/Leaf McGowan/Technogypsie Productions, 10 October 2017

One of my most favorite sites in Ireland is the “Cave of the Cats” underneath the realm of “Rathcrohan“. It is officially called “Oweynagat” and pronounced “Owen-ne-gatt”.
The Cave is also labelled “Uaimh na gCat”, Irish translating to “Cave of the Cats”. When I first visited this site we had a tremendously hard time finding it. We found where it was supposed to be, but it lay behind fencing on a farmer’s field. We knocked on the farmer’s door, and there was no answer. A neighbor saw us, asked what we were doing and who we were, and he showed us the entrance, giving us permission to enter. It was a small hole under some Fairy thorn trees. The Site is actually a natural narrow limestone cave that hosts a man-made souterrain at its entrance. This is seen by all as the official entrance to the Otherworld and home to the Morrigan or Medh. In the Medieval Period of Ireland, it was labeled “Ireland’s Gate to Hell”. It is a particular sacred site for the Pagan holiday and festival of “Samhain” or Halloween.

It is said that during the Feast of Samhain, the dead, their God/desses, and Spirits, would rise from their graves and walk the Earth. This cave is one of the main places where Spirits and the dead associated with the Fae and/or the Morrigan, would re-surface including creatures, monsters, and the un-dead. There exists an Irish legend based off the “Adventures of Nera” where a warrior is challenged to tie a twig around the ankle of a condemned man on Samhain eve, after agreeing to get him some water would discover strange houses and wouldn’t find water until the third house. Upon returning him back to captivity would witness Rathcroghan’s royal buildings destroyed by the spirits. After this he must follow the fairy host to the Sidhe where he meets a woman who tells him the vision he saw will happen a year from now unless his mortal comrades are warned. He leaves the Sidhe and informs Ailill of his vision who destroys the Sidhe in response.

Some believe the “síd” or the Sidhe of this tale is either the Mound of Rathcroghan or Oweynagat, the Cave of the Cats. It makes the most sense that the Cave of the Cats is where the destructive creatures and fae emerged. There was a triple-headed monster called the Ellen Trechen that went on a rampage across the country before being killed by Amergin, father of Conal Cernach. There have been tales of small red birds emerging from the cave withering every plant they breathed on before being hunted to their death by the Red Branch. There is also legends of herds of pigs with similar powers of decay emerging from the cave until hunted and killed by Ailill and Medb.

The name itself, “Oweynagat” is believed to refer to the Magical wild cats featured in the tale of “Bricriu’s Feast” that emerge from this cave to attack the three Ulster warriors before being tamed by Cúchulainn. Some also claim that the cave was named after Irusan, the King of the Cats, who is featured in Irish fairy tales and hailed from a cave near Clonmacnoise (her home). Another tale from the 18th century CE tells of a woman trying to catch a runaway cow that fell into this cave (nevermind the entrance being too small) and followed it into this cave. It is said the cow and woman emerged miles away in County Sligo, near Keshcorran. There is also a legend of a woman that was told to have killed a monster cat in this cave, turning the woman into a great warrior, and this is why its called “Oweynagat”, Cave of the Cats.

The Birthplace of Medb

It is also believed that this cave is the actual physical birthplace for Queen Medb. The legend states that the Fairy Queen/Goddess Étain who was fleeing her human husband with her fairy lover Midir came here. Midir wanted to visit a relative named Sinech (the large breasted one) who lived in the cave. Within the cave was said to be a great otherworldly palace where a maid servant named Crochan Crogderg (“Blood Red Cup”) lived, and she had granted Midir and Etain entrance. It was here that Crochan was believed to have given birth to a daughter named “Medb“.

The Entrance

Nestled under a fairy tree in a farmer’s field (private property) is a small opening that really only looks large enough for a house cat to fit through. But if a human gets down on their hands and knees, can shimmy into this small hole, they will be presented with a small chamber that connects to a passageway that continually increases to a massive tunnel wider and higher than one could fathom. At the inner lintel of this entrance is an Ogham inscription that bears the words “VRAICCI…MAQI MEDVVI” translating to “FRAECH” and “SON OF MEDB”. Some also translate this to mean “The Pillar of Fraech son of Madb”. This is also seen as the birthplace of Medb. A second ogham inscription, barely visible, reads “QR G SMU” but has not been translated. This beginning chamber is actually a man-made souterrain at the entrance to a natural narrow limestone cave. The souterrain was originally contained within an earthen mound that was later damaged by a road construction project in the 1930’s. The souterrain is made of drystone walling, orthostats, lintels, and stones that measure approximately 10.5 meters from the entrance to the natural cave’s opening.

The Tunnel

After crawling on one’s hands and feet, the passage increases in width and height, eventually one can stand up, and eventually the tunnel becomes wide and tall enough that a small Giant could move through it. This is the passage of the Fae, and leads to the Morrigan’s Lair. As one continues down, they’ll find a caved in shamble that is behind a muddy pool of water. If one successfully climbs up and over it, the passage continues to another area that is caved in. Apparently workers on the surface planted a utility pole that collapsed this section of the tunnel. Beyond this is believed to be the Entrance to the Otherworld, and the Morrigan’s Lair. This is actually a natural limestone cave that has been mapped approximately 37 meters deep.

The Morrigan

The Queen of the Dark Fae, the Goddess of the Underworld, of Darkness, and Battle, rules the world of the Fae from this place. It is believed that every Samhain, she is pulled on a chariot out of the Cave of the Cats by a one-legged chestnut horse alongside various creatures such as those mentioned above. Some also say on occasion she leaves the cave with a cow, guided by a giant with a forked staff, to give to the Bull of Cúailgne. She is also known to take the bull of a woman named Odras who follows her into the cave before falling under an enchanted sleep upon awakening to see the Morrigan who repeatedly whispers a spell over her, turning her into a river, the same river that feeds the muddy pool at the shamble. Apparently the cave is seen as a portal through which the Morrigan would pass in order to work with Medb as Goddess of Battle. She drove her otherworldly cattle into the cave every sunset. The Morrigan was blamed to have stolen a herd of cattle who belonged to a woman named Odras, and upon following to Morrigan to retrieve them, was turned into a lake by the Goddess. As is the story of Nera, a servant of Medb who met a Fairy woman here in this cave. He married her, and she warned him of Medb’s palace being burnt to the ground next Samhain by the creatures of the otherworld. Upon hearing this, Medb stationed her forces in the cave each Samhain to protect Cruachan from destruction.

Rathcrohan is the legendary burial grounds of the Kings of Coannaught. The region covers approximately 518 hectares hosting more than 20 ring forts, burial mounds, megalithic tombs such as the Relig na Ri (burial ground of the Kings), Rath na dTarbh (For the Bulls), and the Rathbeg. The archaeological site is massive, with earthworks spread over the region with the Grave of King Dathi (Last Pagan King of Ireland) as a 2 meter high standing stone being one of the few physical landmarks left that can be seen. This is also the site of the mythical battle of the “Tain Bo Cuailgne” that remains in the hearts, minds, and folklore of the people of Tulsk and Rathcroghan recorded in the Ancient Irish Epic of the Tain Bo Cuiailgne, the “Cattle Raid of Cooley”. The Tain Bo tells the story of Queen Maeve of Connaught and her armies that pursued the Grat Brown Bull of Cooley, the mighty warrior Cuchulain who does battle with the armies here, and his foster brother Erdia as he defends the Brown Bull, and the province of Ulster. There is a “Tain Trail Cycling and Touring Route” that re-traces the journey that Queen Maeve and her armies traveled from her Royal Palace at Rathcroghan across Ireland to the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth, the home of the Brown Bull. Rathcrohan hosts over 60 National Monuments here.

Bibliography/References:

  • Druid School: Oweynagat Cave of the Cats. Website referenced January 2012.
  • Fenwick, J. et al 1977 “Oweynagat”. Irish Speleology 16, 11-14.
  • Hannon, Ed 2012 “Visions of the Past: Oweynagat Cave”. Website referenced 10/10/17 at https://visionsofthepastblog.com/2012/10/01/oweynagat-cave-souterrain-co-roscommon/.
  • Mulranney, R. n.d “Caves of Ireland: Oweynagat Cave of the Cats”. Website referenced 10/10/17 at https://cavesofireland.wordpress.com/home/caves/oweynagat-cave-of-the-cats-co-roscommon/.
  • Waddell, J. 1983 “Rathcroghan – A Royal Site”. Journal of Irish Archaeology 1.
  • Wikipedia n.d. “Rathcroghan”. Website referenced 10/10/17 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rathcroghan.

Oweynagat Cave – Cave of the Cats – entrance chamber

Oweynagat Cave – Cave of the Cats – Passage downward.

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Amethyst

Amethyst
~

Article by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

Coming Soon …

Name:

Folk Name:

Taxonomy:

Locality:

Description: This stone comes in a crystalline or translucent purple stone.

Uses:

Folklore/Spirituality: Known to represent supreme spirituality, it is a magical stone of choice. It is known to bring peace, tranquility, peace, satisfaction, aid in meditation, developing intuition, creativity, and connection with the divine.

More information:



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Amazonite

Amazonite
~

Article by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

Coming Soon …

Name:

Folk Name: Amazonite

Taxonomy:

Locality:

Description: Pale, blue-green in color.

Uses:

Folklore/Spirituality:
This stone is believed to connect oneself to their inner powers, intuition, universal love, self-love, and awareness. It is also supposed to renew one’s faith in life. It is also known to boost metabolism and aid in pregnancy, delivery, and aids one’s pre-menstrual symptoms.

More information:



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Agate

Agate
~

Article by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

Name:

Folk Name: Agate

Taxonomy:

Locality:

Description: This mineralized stone comes in various colors and compositions.

Uses:

Folklore/Spirituality:

Believed to awaken inherent talents, transforms negativity, balancing the physical and emotional aspects of oneself.

More information:



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Viking Face and Body Painting

Ritual Painting of Face and Bodies in Viking Culture

by Thomas Baurley, 9/6/2017

It is a controversial and well debated subject whether or not the Vikings painted their faces and bodies. The Vikings were certainly exposed to the practice from their contact with the Britons, Celts, and Arabic Cultures. As early as 55 C.E. Julius Caesar wrote about the natives in Britannia about their usage during his conquest of the region, stating “All the Britons dye their bodies with woad, which produces a blue colour, and this gives them a more terrifying appearance in battle.” Perhaps it was adopted by the Vikings once battling the Brits. Hollywood definitely portrays this practice, but it could have no more validity as horned helmets being worn by Vikings.

There is evidence from the writings of “Ibrahim ibn Yaqub” who in 965 C.E. visited the Viking village of Hedeby reporting that many of the Vikings in the village, both male and female had enhanced their eyes with some sort of paint. This discovery leads many academics to believe it was strictly cosmetic in use. Some believe they painted themselves with complicated symbols, runes, and/or trees in symbology. Tools, materials, and dyes have been archaeologically excavated from sites in Northern Europe that even pre-dated the Vikings, so its not hard to believe they had the ability and knowledge to do so.

There were also found pieces of art depicting Vikings with painted faces discovered in archaeological excavations. The Fyrkat Denmark grave goods dating from 980 C.E. depicts a gilded box-brooch with a hinged lid, inside of which was contained very white lead carbonate often used in cosmetics and paints dating as far back as the Ancient Greeks. This had led scholars to conclude was used as white makeup (albeit lead being poisonous in such application over time).

Obviously Hollywood and the film industry have jumped to this conclusion and it has become commonplace in media, film, and photos with some very dynamic artwork produced called “Viking” influenced. Some of these can be seen here on pininterest: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/viking-makeup/?lp=true. My first and only time I went to a authentic Viking festival in Norway, I was allowed to be a Viking bodypainter, having had to create clay-based coloring, woad, and other herbal based paints, using horse-hair brushes I styled in ancient paintbrush style, and painted Runes on my customers, it went over well and was very popular.

References and extended research:


  • Ceasar, Julius n.d. “The Conquest of Gaul”
  • Fadlan, Ibn; Lunde, Paul; Stone, Caroline “Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North”. USBN: 9780140455076, Amazon books.
  • Handford, S.A. 1951 “Cesar: The Conquest of Gaul” translation, Penguin Classics.
  • Pentz, P 2009 “Mannering U: Kong Harolds volve”. Nationalmuseets Arbejdsmark, pages 215-232.
  • Perabo, Lyonel – Quroa 2016 “Why did the Vikings paint their faces”. Website referenced 9/6/17 at https://www.quora.com/Why-did-the-Vikings-paint-their-faces.
  • Petersen, Irene Berg 2012 “What Vikings Really Looked Like”. ScienceNordic. Website referenced 9/6/17 at http://sciencenordic.com/what-vikings-really-looked.

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Baleen

WHALING
Baleen art – Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803)

Baleen Arts and Crafts

Baleen: “A Whale of a Story: The Inupiaq of northern Alaska have hunted bowhead whates and collected baleen for hundrreds of years. Although called ‘whale bone’ by Westerners, baleen is a fibrous sieve-like material that grows on both sides of a plankton-eating whale’s tongue and is made of the same material as hair, horn, and figernails. Prior to contact with Westerners, baleen was used to make items such as buckets, ice scoops, sled runner, lashings, fishing line, and nets. By 1875 and until modern plastics became available, Westerners used baleen to make things such as buggy whips, umbrella ribs, and corset stays for women. Inupiaq mostly from the villages of Barrow, Point Hope, and Wainwright, began to use baleen to make items for trade and sale to non-natives. Baleen was primarily used by male artists because baleen is a hard material and historically in their culture, only men used hard materials. These artists made items such as models and baskets. The first known baleen basket was made by an artist named Kinguktuk from Barrow, Alaska between 1914 and 1918 for a local resident named Charles Brower. Brower had asked Kinguktuk to copy a willow-root basket in baleen. Hunting bowhead whales remains an important part of the lives of many Inupiaq and artists continue to use baleen in new and innovative ways.”~display at Denver Art Museum.
Displayed arts of Baleen in the Pacific Northwest Indians exhibit at the Denver Art Museum.

WHALING
Baleen: “A Whale of a Story: The Inupiaq of northern Alaska have hunted bowhead whates and collected baleen for hundrreds of years. Although called ‘whale bone’ by Westerners, baleen is a fibrous sieve-like material that grows on both sides of a plankton-eating whale’s tongue and is made of the same material as hair, horn, and figernails. Prior to contact with Westerners, baleen was used to make items such as buckets, ice scoops, sled runner, lashings, fishing line, and nets. By 1875 and until modern plastics became available, Westerners used baleen to make things such as buggy whips, umbrella ribs, and corset stays for women. Inupiaq mostly from the villages of Barrow, Point Hope, and Wainwright, began to use baleen to make items for trade and sale to non-natives. Baleen was primarily used by male artists because baleen is a hard material and historically in their culture, only men used hard materials. These artists made items such as models and baskets. The first known baleen basket was made by an artist named Kinguktuk from Barrow, Alaska between 1914 and 1918 for a local resident named Charles Brower. Brower had asked Kinguktuk to copy a willow-root basket in baleen. Hunting bowhead whales remains an important part of the lives of many Inupiaq and artists continue to use baleen in new and innovative ways.”~display at Denver Art Museum. Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowa

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