:: The Vikings of Bjornstad ::
The Viking Art of War
At the Dunsmuir House Highland Games in Oakland
The Vikings of Bjornstad presents a demonstration of Vikings weapons and tactics at most of our events.   The 15 minute show is called "The Viking Art of War", taking its name from the book of the same name by Paddy Griffith. The show is a hit with the audience; it generates a great deal of interest in the group and the Vikings in general.  Other reenactment groups have picked up on its success and begun to provide their own versions, creating a lot more for the public to enjoy during their visits with the Living History events. Photos by Ed Berland, AnnMarie Vainstein and Jack Garrett.


Our encampment provides the backdrop for the show.

We talk about the full array of weapons the Vikings used.
   

Helmets warming in the summer sun.

Ed, Rick, Brian, Steve and Henrik gear up for war.
   

Henrik moves out for battle while Tory and Kay take position for the show.

Ed and Henrik face off. A demonstration of Viking warfare wouldn't be complete without a little combat.
   

The Hólmgang begins. Nothing draws a crowd like steel on ... practically anything.

Honor must be satisfied.
   

The Viking Hólmgang - Henrik and Ed do battle
Move your mouse cursor over the video screen below to see the controls

   

Kay describes the evolution of Viking warfare.

The shield wall forms up.
   

The shield wall proves a good defense against Tory's sword.

A Dane axe can hook the shields and break the shield wall. Rick later covers the role archery played in Viking warfare.
   

Jack covers the evolution of the sword before and after the Viking Age. Here he talks about a hand-and-a-half sword from the 14th century.

At the climax to the show, Henrik destroys the "Viking Art of War" banner (and the supporting pole). A real crowd pleaser.
   

Jack equips the next generation of Vikings.

Kay, Brian and Rick are ready for the public. It's a soon-to-be-warm day in the Oakland hills.
   

Kay brings wool to demonstrate spinning with a drop spindle. Tory looks on.

Henrik and Steve in mail - versus a California summer.
   

Steve benefits from the shade.

Brian demonstrates another approach to hydrating while wearing a coif.
  ©   For information contact Jack Garrett at info@vikingsofbjornstad.com