Dark Age Children's Toys

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Dark Age Children's Toys

Postby FionaDowson » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:54 pm

I gather there's evidence of small carved wooden horses which are more likely to be toys than votive offerings but does anyone have any opinions about rag type dolls?

In Woman of the Viking Age it was suggested that children may have had rag dolls so I made one for West Stow village. She has disappeared (despite being tied down).

With no evidence other than, well, they might have had dolls like this, should I make another one? how far down the road of creative thinking should we go or should we stick rigidly to what we have evidence for?

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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Dark Age Children's Toys

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:53 pm

The idea that such things did not exist is, frankly, absurd. The problem, however, is finding archaeological proof as, being textiles, they are most unlikely to survive in the ground. I am sure I have come across references to games like 'Kingy Bats' - two or more wooden paddles and a soft ball for playing a form of keepy-up with. So extrapolating extrapolating 'rag dolls' from the use of scraps of left over/recycled fabric is not unimaginable.

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Re: Dark Age Children's Toys

Postby Wayland » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:00 am

Kingy bats seems to be a bit of a re-enactorism which may have come from a public school game of the 70s or so.

There was a game called Knattleikr in the sagas but the rules are unclear.

Kubb is a traditional Scandinavian game which is good fun and could be old but it's age is uncertain.

Tafl type games were played and the modern rules for Hnafatafl are reconstructed, with some guesswork, from a Saami game described by Linnaeus in 1732.

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Re: Dark Age Children's Toys

Postby FionaDowson » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:07 am

Messing about on the net looking for stuff about rope making and something called schlenger (ow however it's spelt) I found a reference that viking cord making was still played as a children's game into the 1960s.

You have a bobbin/spindle in each hand, suspended from a horizontal beam or a tree branch. As I swing my right hand bobbin to you, you swing your right hand bobbin to me. They cross, the thread twists and, hey presto, rope is made. Repeat with left hand and so on and so on and so on.

The viking re-enactor who demonstrated this claimed that there were songs to go with it. She also said that it's possible to do this with 8 threads and bobbins.

Any ideas as to authenticity?

Looked like a great thing to get children doing and certainly, done with hemp would make strong rope.

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