Me and my costumes, part 4

DanishNationalMuseum3
 

If you’ve ever seen artwork from old Germanic/Nordic culture, you’ll notice their fondness of serpentine designs and cross shapes. They were also creative and adapt at incorporating images within images, so frequently seen in their early jewelry and art are hammers, faces, or eyes hidden within what at first seems like a larger hammer, a dragon, a tree, etc. A few of the most famous Norse gods/goddesses were Odin, Loki, Thor, Frigg, and Freyja (also commonly simplified to “Freya”).

In The Eye of Amun, one of my characters dresses as the Norse goddess Freyja. I used that as the inspiration for my latest costume.

EarlyArtFreyja

So, let’s get some background on this goddess! Along with her brother Freyr, Freyja was originally of the Vanir. (Odin and Thor were of the Æsir.) The story behind their move was that their father gave them to the Æsir to be fostered as an exchange to ensure peace between the two sects of gods. As a side note, that’s a normal indication that religions were combined and one group of people accepted another’s into their pantheon. But, anyway. Freyja was viewed as a goddess of great beauty who understood the art of magic. She’s sometimes seen in a role of the Valkyrie, a chooser of the slain warriors who should be escorted to Valhalla to feast with the gods.


The ancient Norse culture isn’t known for making art for the sake of art, so most of what we know of Freyja’s physical looks are from writings and jewelry rather than drawings.

Freyja was popularly known for her love of gold, particularly the incredible necklace, Brísingamen. The name of the necklace is sometimes said to have to do with fire or amber. That’s speculation, of course, but it does offer an interesting picture of the necklace. I used fiery red jewels to decorate the gold necklace I used for my costume, and also wore gold armlets.

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The outfit I chose has a gold colored skirt, which that gold-loving goddess would’ve liked, and a leathery top that indicates her association with warriors. The decoration of the dress was great, with its swirly, almost dragonish gold designs. I also had an awesome fur-trimmed cloak (not in the photo) because cold weather is quite a part of living in the northern lands.
 
 

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