What Was Life Of Viking Children Like?
Different from children in this day and age, the Viking children did not have much time to live their childhood to the fullest. But that is just the viewpoint that we adopt from the modern age. In the past, such childhood was ordinary to the ancient Viking children and children in the ancient world. But what was the life of Viking children like?
Viking children learning to use bow and arrows
The transition phase from childhood to adulthood was marked when the Viking children turn 10 years old. Yes, when a Viking child stepped into their 10, they were considered to be an adult. They were supposed to follow the footsteps of their parents and learn the surviving skills that nowadays we might not see it appropriate for children at 10.
The role gender for boys and girls in Viking age was quite defined. While boys were responsible for the farming and fishing outside, girls were given the tasks that happened inside their houses.
Viking boys not only learned how to take care of themselves but also their family members in the future when their fathers were no longer. That meant they learned to be not only farmers but also hunters and warriors. In order to learn the farming, the Viking boys would help their fathers with tasks on the farm first. Or they might have been sent to their relatives or respected families to work. They would learn how to plow, plant, raise cattle, and harvest.
The Viking boys also learned how to use weapons like spear, axe, knife, and arrow. Swords were not popular among the majority of the Vikings because they were too expensive to create. Swords were only used by the Viking of wealth and nobility. Many rich families in the top of Viking Social Structure paid for their children to learn runes the Viking magical alphabet. Anyone in the Viking society that could read runes was respected and admired.
Fighting among boys was a part of life. It was not only a way to solve the problems among the Viking boys but it was also a chance to better one's fighting skills.
The environment of the Viking girls was a little bit restricted. Because their main duty just took place within the threshold of their houses. They had to learn many skills from their mothers: cooking, cleaning, alcohol brewing, preparing meals, weaving, and sewing, Sometimes Viking girls and women would help the Viking men on the farm during the harvest. But what the Viking girls must master was the household tasks. Because when they got married, they became the Viking women who were supposed to run a new family properly.
Viking girl warrior
Many accounts told that the Viking girls were also trained to be the Viking female warriors. We often call such warriors the Shieldmaidens; however, many people still claim that Shieldmaidens only appeared in legendary sagas. But good thing is that archaeologists discovered the ship burial with swords, shields, horses, and woman skeleton inside.
The Vikings prioritized their involvement with their society because it was the main way for them to have more knowledge. There was no formal school for typical Viking boys and girls. So they just gained their knowledge through the stories told by the elderly and through the lessons that life taught them elsewhere out of their house.