What did that garb say?
Birka attendees may have noticed the garb being worn by Their Majesties Thyra and Edward, which was made specifically for this event. The outfits were Viking, thematically taken from period sources for design and cut. The words spelled out by the Danish runes from 900 AD came from a different, more modern source.
The bottom band of Her Majesty’s dress spelled out the following. “In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!” Her top band translated as follows. “I will diminish and go into the West and Remain Thyra.” The translation into runes for her dress was done by Queen Thyra.
The runes on King Edward’s clothing were translated by Baroness Cassandra Grey of Lochleven and read as follows. “From the Ashes a Fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crown-less again shall be king.”
The clothing was made by Lady Constance, Baroness Cassandra, Lady Simona, Lady Caitriona, Lady Mahtilde, and Lady Dereca and Gwen. For Her Majesty’s dress, the lucet was done by Lady Edyth and the trim and top band tablet weaving by Lady Lianor.
Edit: The longer quote of Queen Thyra’s dress was translated into modern Danish and then into runes. The translation into Danish was done by Jarla Dagmar and Lady Vibeke Steensdatter.
All photos by Cateline la Broderesse
The garb was *magnificent*! Kudos to all involved in the project.
Their Majesties always look spiff, but these outfits were especially gorgeous and appropriate for Birka — and I like them even more now that I know what they say. 😎
the comment i got, as i was doing the embroidery strips at the Arisia Sci-Fi convention was “Oh, you are the sort of nerds who use time-appropriate Danish version of Younger Futhark to do your LotR quotes in…” and i said “why yes, yes we are!”
They were absolutely gorgeous. Major kudos to those who worked on them. Made me proud to see them looking so wonderfully regal. 🙂
These are lovely and such fun! Congratulations to the artisans. Are there higher resolution images of the embroidery bands anywhere? (costuming and embellishing geek here!)
Unfortunately we don’t have any higher resolution photos of the embroidery bands. The next time we get pictures of a project like this we will do our best to get some!