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Technically there is no such thing as a female Viking as the name comes from a strictly male pursuit, Vikingar - the raiding and trading expeditions that the men  would embark upon in foreign lands.

 

There is some debate amongst historians over whether 'Shield-maidens' existed - Viking women who fought alongside men. They are present in Viking folklore but there is no absolute certainty that they were ever a real thing.

Of course, once a land had been conquered or discovered, they would need women to travel there to create a permanent home. On very long expeditions men would either pick up women along the way or marry a local woman!

Though a woman at this time in Scandinavia would have had no part in the raids that most people would associate with the Vikings they still had a very important part to play in the community.

 

Women were responsible for keeping the home in good order but this was far more than simply doing the dusting! Those who had livestock to manage, slaves to keep in order and goods and possessions to barter would find that they had plenty of work to keep themselves occupied.

Generally speaking the dividing line for male and female responsibilities was at the threshold of the house - men looked after things outside the house and women did the same inside.

 

What must be remembered is that even though theirs was a rough, violent society in which men played a huge part, women were well respected.

Women in Viking times had a mixture of rights and responsibilities - for example a woman could not hold a governmental post, speak at a Thing or join a raiding party but she was entrusted with the management of a household's finances when the man was away and, if widowed, could be an important and influential landowner in her own right.

 

Some things were absolutely forbidden, however, like wearing men's clothes, having short hair and carrying weapons!

What would the Vikings have thought of modern clothing styles that women wear..?

Viking woman Viking coin

Female warriors..?

Women would manage household finances