I am reading a book recently published The Valkyries’s Loom: The Archaeology of Cloth Production and Female Power in the North Atlantic a fascinating history of women and weaving in the Viking world of Iceland mostly, Greenland, Faroe Islands and northern Europe. Michele Hayeur Smith’s research into the 1,000 years of Iceland weaving traces social, cultural and the economics of life in Iceland and the role women played.
Textiles are texts (literally, that is the origin of the word ‘text’ to weave), and in Iceland these textiles tell of the impact of Celtic woman immigrants on the spinning and weaving of cloth. The diameter of the weft tell of climate change and the standardization of the width tells of economic trade.
Fascinatingly, Smith starts with the Valkyries myth which reaches out to you and grabs you around the heart! Valkyries are mystical female spirits who flew above the battlefields choosing who was to fall. The poem written in the 13thC about events circa 1,000 is talking about weaving on the warp-weighted loom. This type of loom is vertical and stones , clay or bags of rocks or sand weigh the warp threads taunt and the weft is threaded between the warps. The Valkyries loom works the same but with battle scarred tools:
And that is just the first page. Here’s a video of an interview with her.
And if you want to order the book: https://upf.com/book.asp?id=9780813066622