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AND AFTER ALL, WHO WERE HÚSKARL AND HÚSKONA DURING THE VIKING AGE?

In partnership with @caminhonordico, the @livrosvikings is honored to present contents from securie sources about the Ancestral Norse Faith — Forn Siðr/Heiðinn Siðr/Forn Sed.


And after all, who were Húskarl and Húskona during the viking age?
HANS DAHL (Norwegian, 1849-1937). Girl in a Fjord Landscape
Publique seu livros pela Livros Vikings Editora

With the theme “Vikings” on the rise in pop culture, we see the title "Húskarl" as a reference to what would be an elite of highly trained warriors, living solely as soldiers in the service of their feudal lord - such as the title "Knight" of the feudal medieval Europe —, but reality was a bit different.


Considering the remarkable difference between tribalist medieval Nordic society - which didn’t have a feudal system like in other European countries -, let’s think about the title “Húskarl” (masculine noun, meaning “man of the house”). That was the title given to a farmer with few possessions. His wife, on the other hand, was the "Húskona". Not to be confused with the title of “Húsfreyja”, which relates to the wife of a Jarl, Hersir or Konungr, and is therefore above a Húskona.


On “An Icelandic-English Dictionary” by Richard Cleasby and Gudbrand Vigfusson (Oxford, 1874), we find the following definition: hús-karl, m. a house-carle, man-servant, opp. to húsbóndi, a master; Halli var húskarl undir Felli, Sturl. i. 55; hanu kvaddi húskarla sína með sér, Nj. 18; var skipat verkum með húskörlum, Ld. 58, Grág. i. 435, 456, Gísl. 21, Eg. 4, 52, 565, Bs. i. 645, passim; but in mod. usage vinnumaðr.


"House-carle" is a term still present in English language, whose meaning is "cottier; housekeeper". The dictionary’s authors make it clear that it is a synonym of another masculine noun, “vinnumaðr”, whose definition from the same source is: vinnu-maðr, m. a labourer, man-servant on a farm, Fms. i. 33, Ld. 98, N.G.L. ii. 163, Stj. 562, MS. 134. 69, 70: in a town, N.G.L. iii. 15, 44. Both describe a farm worker, as opposed to “húsbondi”, which means "master of the house."


Another key point: húskona is the feminine of húskarl: hús-kona, u, f. a housewife, lady of the house, Rm. 25.

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Adapted text from the original publishing on @lobos_de_guerra_arte_marcial in https://www.instagram.com/p/CddWKAaroMd/, under the consulting by Projeto Cultural Caminho Nórdico.


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SOURCE: Caminho Nórdico (Instagram)

Souza, Carlos Augusto. Do you know what a Húskarl and a Húskona are?. Caminho Nórdico. Sao Paulo, 12 sep. 2022. 13 sep. 2022. <https://www.instagram.com/p/CibGekEp8bH/>.


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