Art and Culture
At first thought of the Vikings, the comic strip “Hagar the Horrible” comes to mind. As this is probably not a good basis for reference, it still can give slight glimpse, if not a distorted one, of the Viking culture. As for Viking art, a more in depth search must be done, for “Hagar” was unfortunately not actually made by the Vikings. The Viking culture was a primitive one of agriculture, hunting, and fishing. Families lived on farms together and were a tight knit labor force. During sowing time, the men would all work together from before dawn until after dark to tend to the field, and the women would work on providing the daily necessities, such as food, clothes, and cleaning. The wife would also occasionally help in the fields, and the children would start helping out from a very young age doing their respective duties. There were less than five months of growing season in their northern climate, so the Viking husband of the farm would plant the crops and then look toward the sea. He would head out with his neighbors for a pleasant summer of pillaging in the south. Then, he would return in the fall in time for the harvest. His wife would control all affairs of the household until he returned. If he should not return due to an unfortunate accident, his wife would inherit the land, business, and any other wealth. The eldest son of the family would take over the family farm, and the younger sons would go out to find their own careers as they became of age, possibly Vikings. Family was very important to the Viking people; it was a powerful unit of protection. Much like today, families provided support and assistance, and it was to their family that a person owed their obligation. A close family bond is evident as husbands, wives, and children would erect runes in honor of each other; husbands to their wives, wives to their husbands, and children to their parents. Runes were decorated monuments with inscriptions and...
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