Viking Armbands – Museum exhibits

From the Saga Museum in Reykjavik

At the Saga Museum in Reykjavik there were several figures wearing armbands/bracelets. Rather than do a post for each of the displays and all of their various elements, I thought I’d organize the photos by the items of interest.

First settlers of Iceland

Armband on one of the figures representing one of the first Icelandic settlers

Armband on one of the figures representing one of the first Icelandic settlers

The first example is one of the figures representing one of the first settlers to Iceland. He has a twisted arm band on what looks like just below his elbow. This band appears to have a large bulb in the middle – similar to another armband that I have a bit better of a photo below.

He also has a bracelet-height arm band worn over his sleeve just above the wrist. It looks like a flatter kind of bracelet – with a stamped or engraved pattern in it.

While the upper arm band looks like a pewter colour, the bracelet-height armband looks like bronze.

The female armband on the wax figures representing the earliest settlers of Iceland in the Saga Museum

The female armband on the wax figures representing the earliest settlers of Iceland in the Saga Museum

The female, above, has a similar kind of below-elbow arm band, which looks like a flat band (not twisted) also with a bit of a decorated bulge.

I wonder if the choice to put them on the arm below the elbow was a deliberate choice, or a matter of where the items they could get would fit on the already-existing wax model over the reproduction clothing? It seems like a good location if using the band to help hold up pushed-up sleeves, but not so much for general wear, where I would think something worn at the bicep would fall less frequently/easily.

(warning, this is an image-heavy post!)

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