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walterSCAN
May 6th, 2014, 03:17 PM
Found this interesting article (http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/hairstyl.shtml) today and thought I'd share.

I'm fascinated by the "enigmatic knot" style she discusses and am wondering if it's not a simple knot tied in a braid/ ponytail as the article suggests, but rather some other type of bun with the tail pulled through the center? Maybe it's just my slippy-fine 1a hair talking, but the knotted braid/ ponytail concept does not sound very secure to me. :shrug: (Obviously, haircare wouldn't have been the same back then and that could affect whether or not a knot would be secure, but I'm still skeptical.) I do have a couple pinless/ stickless buns I've done that sort of work the way I'm suggesting for the "enigmatic knot" though...

Sharysa
May 6th, 2014, 03:40 PM
Ah, the Viking Answer Lady! I love all the info she has.

As for the style, my hair would probably hold the enigmatic-knot type of style if it only wasn't so thick and heavy. I can barely do a crown braid at past-waist, so I'd need tailbone or classic-length to even consider tying my braid into a secure knot.

meteor
May 6th, 2014, 04:03 PM
It looks like it could be either a cloth/scarf or maybe a "comet" bun (a knot bun with the ponytail left down). It's hard to tell from those pictures.
Here's a very easy to follow Torrin Paige's video on knot bun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiGTXkUhFKE

darklyndsea
May 6th, 2014, 04:11 PM
It might have been secured in some manner. Hair pins? Sewing?

It seems like a very specific knot; I wonder if that's the true shape or if it's some sort of artistic convention.

Rosa Harris
May 6th, 2014, 04:38 PM
I can't help thinking of the Elling woman's hair when looking at these Viking archeological finds. Not saying it is the same, but it seems to have a similar 'feel' to me.

Also, Vikings did use small bone hairpins that measure about 3.5 to 4 inches that would not have necessarily been depicted in art because of the small size. These types of pins were common throughout the ancient world going back at least 30,000 years. Tho, Elling woman had no hairpins in her hair and demonstrates that elaborate hairstyles were possible without anything external to support them.

Another possible ancient tech that may possibly be involved is hair sewing and Viking women definitely had the needles to do it - in fact I use Viking bone needle recreations with leather cord to sew my hair styles in place which is very gentle, extremely secure and non damaging just a pain to remove unless you want to clip the leather. Just a couple loops of leather thread through a junction and a knot can really secure something in a very invisible way.

Article on hair sewing
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324900204578286272195339456

meteor
May 6th, 2014, 04:55 PM
I can't help thinking of the Elling woman's hair when looking at these Viking archeological finds. Not saying it is the same, but it seems to have a similar 'feel' to me.

Yes, you can do a "variation" of the Ellingwoman braided bun if you just tie a knot with the bigger braid after it goes through the smaller (top) braid and leave the rest to hang down. I think it looks a bit like this Viking knot.
I'll try to find a video showing this.

meteor
May 6th, 2014, 05:04 PM
Yes, you can do a similar-looking variation of the Ellingwoman braided bun if you just tie a knot with the bigger braid after it goes through the smaller (top) braid and leave the rest to hang down. I think it looks a bit like this Viking knot.
I'll try to find a video showing this.
Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_biroGTJ7A (from 3:00 to 4:45 is the part where the knot is made, and you can choose to leave the braid hanging)

Nedertane
May 6th, 2014, 08:45 PM
It might have been secured in some manner. Hair pins? Sewing?

It seems like a very specific knot; I wonder if that's the true shape or if it's some sort of artistic convention.

(bolded mine)

I wonder this as well. Viking art is very abstract and stylized, using a lot of knots, curlicues, and so on, so the knot represented could be a whole bunch of things. The same knot motif may have even been used to portray different styles. My bet would be either some kind of a braided updo, or some kind of a cloth that held up the hair. I'm also vaguely reminded of Katara (http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2010/259/6/c/katara_wig_side_1_by_senshi09-d2yvo4p.jpg)'s hair, from Avatar: The Last Airbender, but she's from the water tribe, and their fashions are based more on Inuit and Siberian, not Viking, styles (nerding out). :P (the pic is a cosplay wig, but it showcases the style best)

Emichiee
May 6th, 2014, 09:22 PM
I am thinking it might be a celtic knot held with small pins? Pins were used and when my hair was classic length the tail was about this length.

I did a few similar styles in the past:

Regular Knot bun at classic length 2009.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/Yfkai1lRhe5-dzBD9umobV1fc6tK9LxpN5sn8XCIe70=w161-h228-p-no

Celtic knot bun at butt length 2011
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/Bxgnb-6ccWP4m_84mGtEPaCSo3kTt_MyRwksmQ0Kr5I=w187-h186-p-no
Uses up a lot of length as you see! Once my hair gets hip length I can't even do this bun anymore :( So these viking women must have had very long hair lol.

Or maybe they also wore something like this (at TBL 2013):
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/EMqgVbOcLDZD5KJl55rV-ElSBCQ33h8Q-SQPSCtS0wE=w211-h210-p-no
This is just a half twist and then pinned. That results into a more fluffy, long tail.

I am always interested in viking hair styles and fashions because I'm a Viking Reenactor (have been for 11 years) and also sew my own garb.

Night_Kitten
May 9th, 2014, 03:43 PM
I also think they either had it secured some way (pins, threads or some other way) or the style was more complicated than a simple knot... I doubt a regular knot not secured with anything would hold well during the day's tasks and works even on curly hair, not to mention wavy or straight...
A knot or a similar variation secured with pins is a very likely assumption I think :)

queenovnight
May 9th, 2014, 03:50 PM
Not sure about the knot style, but the article sure was interesting!

Rosa Harris
May 10th, 2014, 06:52 AM
This detailed more lifelike find gives much more a clue to at least one type of style - very pretty figurine too. I love Viking stuff. I want to find someone to re-create this artifact,too.

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2013/mar/04/viking-valkyrie-figurine-british-museum

another image

http://scienceblogs.com/aardvarchaeology/files/2013/01/1356732105mortens_valkyrieC.jpg

there are interpretations that this is a cloth over the hair tied in a knot but the long lines seem to scream 'hair' to me. The one we are looking at may well nbe a more stylized version of the same knot.

Its been mentioned that small hair pins sticks were used as well by the Vikings. It would make sense that since they had them - they are in the finds - that this would be the place to use them

oh fyi this guy does awsome Viking hair toys and other stuff based on actual finds from archeological sites. I love his work. Next best thing to having the real thing - and real things don't belong in personal collections anyway -

https://www.etsy.com/shop/HalldorMagnusson?page=1

walterSCAN
May 10th, 2014, 07:00 AM
This detailed more lifelike find gives much more a clue to at least one type of style - very pretty figurine too. I love Viking stuff. I want to find someone to re-create this artifact,too.

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2013/mar/04/viking-valkyrie-figurine-british-museum

another image

http://scienceblogs.com/aardvarchaeology/files/2013/01/1356732105mortens_valkyrieC.jpg

there are interpretations that this is a cloth over the hair tied in a knot but the long lines seem to scream 'hair' to me. The one we are looking at may well nbe a more stylized version of the same knot.

Its been mentioned that small hair pins sticks were used as well by the Vikings. It would make sense that since they had them - they are in the finds - that this would be the place to use them

Oh wow, Rosa Harris, that's awesome! I agree, I don't think it's a scarf (doesn't look like a scarf to me in any of the examples I've seen), and seeing the knot on this figurine definitely makes me think it's something like the first bun Emichee posted. I also agree that these knots were probably held with pins (or something not large) that the artist wouldn't or couldn't have depicted.

allycat
May 10th, 2014, 07:10 AM
Interesting Rosa! I love the figurine.

meteor
May 10th, 2014, 02:14 PM
Thank you, Rosa Harris, for posting those links.
Now, I'm almost sure that it's a simple "comet" bun (knot bun with ponytail left hanging):
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/3/4/1362399063350/Four-views-of-the-Valkyri-010.jpg
Since their grooming involved some relatively sophisticated tools, I wouldn't be surprised if they used pins to hold that hair.

Sharysa
May 10th, 2014, 06:46 PM
Please note that most hair ornaments like pins, small clips, or threads/ties would have deteriorated over the centuries due to their small size, so not finding hair ornaments is definitely not an indicator that the Norse used a self-secured hairstyle.

It's really interesting to see all the long-hair theories on personal experience, by the way. Love all the articles!

Ingrid
September 11th, 2014, 05:07 AM
I'm pretty sure that hairstyle is the knot bun (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiGTXkUhFKE), with the hair left hanging through. It holds up very well, even without any pins.

ghost
September 11th, 2014, 02:29 PM
This is so cool! I want to try doing a comet bun, now. I love stuff to do with the Viking Age.

CitrusGirrl
September 14th, 2014, 04:37 PM
This thread is most excellent. I am a re-enactor too and a big part of the reason I'm growing my hair is to do more Viking hairdos :D