Gullinbursti: Golden Boar of Fertility and Summer
Among the animal world in Norse mythology, Gullinbursti must be quite an obscure name. Many hear about Sleipnir Odin’s horse that no one could ever outrun him. But Gullinbursti was quite unpopular. This blog post is to tell some stories about Gullinbursti the Boar
Gullinbursti was the golden boar of Freyr the God of Summer and Storm. Freyr was the son of Njord Aesir Chief God coming to live in Asgard. Legend had it that the Vikings worshipped Njord for his power of fertility and summer. Because only in the summer could the Vikings grow their food for the years. When winter was coming, it was so harsh to live, not to mention going out and cultivating.
Gullinbursti was made from the most talented craftsmen in the Nine Cosmos – the dwarf. When Loki came to Svartalfheim to ask the dwarves to create some treasure for the gods, Gullinbursti was one of the treasure.
His name meant “the gold mane”. Some sources mentioned Gullinbursti to be the boar that could shine with his beautiful hair. But he could also run through the wind, into the sky, and across the ocean, yet not as fast as the Sleipnir horse of Odin the Allfather.
Freyr the god rode on the Gullinbursti the Boar to enter Ragnarok. Scholars believed that Gullinbursti also fell in this final battle with Freyr. In the last battle of Ragnarok, Freyr encountered Surtr the giant of fire. The two had an intensive combat which finally led to the death of Freyr.
Back to the Viking Age, animals like goat or boar were common for the Viking community. From these kinds of animals, the Vikings could have not just food but also skin, bones, and milk.