The Female Viking

Without a Viking boat the Vikings would not get far. The women made the sail and the men the wooden boat. We are used to hear about famous Viking kings, Viking expeditions to Vinland and Viking raids, but it is more to the story. A man in this time period was normally a farmer and his wife worked with him on the farm. He did the hard physical work and she focused more on the home, food, children and textile.


Women are normally explained as a type of classical boring housewife, but the Viking women wasn’t only for cooking, housekeeping and fun. They had power! Researchers have found that the Viking women often were related to trade, production of textile, religion AND medicine. Most important for this era is the textile production for sails. Here we find women working hard in larger groups producing sails for the ships. Remember that to make a sail 10x10m you need 200 kg of wool or about 2000 sheep’s. This is not a low scale production and researchers are sure about that the women were in charge of this important job.


The time period of Vikings is limited and the name are given by the fact that the Vikings went on raids. At the same time we need to remember that very few men in this period actually went on raids. We also need to remember that the women helped to prepare the ships with more than food; the sail. The processes in the society included women and we need to give the women some credit. Not only was the man doing things in the official Viking life. It is recordings of Viking women guiding Vikings in battle and making laws to the Viking society. A Viking woman had power importance and influence in this society. Without her the Vikings would never become able to go into battle.

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