Viking Family Life
Posted on 28th December 2020
There were both upper class/wealthy Vikings (Jarls) and farmers/free Vikings (Karls).
Vikings lived in large family groups; often children, parents and grand-parents all lived together. When the eldest son took over the running of the farm, he would become responsible for the whole family.
Viking house were made of wood and clay with a turf, thatch or sometimes tiled roof. Unless the Viking was wealthy, these houses consisted of only one large room. The cooking cauldron took centre stage as it provided the warmth in the house. Above the cauldron, the steam from cooking escaped through holes in the roof.
Men – Often away fighting or trading, sometimes for many months at a time. When at home they managed the farm.
To be a successful Viking, you needed a trade. These included:
Men enjoyed activities such as swimming, wrestling and horse racing to keep themselves fit.
Women – Would manage the farm in their husband’s absence. This would be in addition to all their general activities:
Daily Food Preparation
Preserving and smoking of food for winter
Laundry and Housekeeping
Spinning, weaving and making clothes
The women were also responsible for making medicines, looking after the sick and wounded and keeping the family finances.
Viking women were well thought of, had rights in society (not in government) and held high status. Men treated their women fairly, if not it was easy for a Viking wife to divorce her husband.
Children – They did not receive any formal education but were taught at home learning about Viking history and religion.
Children had daily duties helping with:
Weaving and spinning
General household duties
Working in the fields
Viking children enjoyed playing. In the summer they went swimming and played ball games, in the winter they went skating and played in the snow.
They also had home-made toys:
Whistles, made from bones of pigs or geese
Tagged as: Junior The Vikings
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