Herjolfsnes 43

Man's gown from 2/2 twill, rather thin and woven with a darker dark brown warp and a paler reddish brown weft. It's not very full, but it has not been taken in to be very close-fitting. It's the least full of the garments. It is a very unusual and puzzling garment for several reasons.It has a very deep slit in the neckline. There are no button holes or eyelets, so it must have been kept closed some other way, probably a clasp or brooch. It has fitchets, but they're placed higher and further back than normal, making them quite inconvenient. The garment was also quite clearly worn with a belt, which covered the fitchets (as shown by the wear marks). In other words, it's an undergarment with fitchets that could not be used. When I looked at the garment at a visit, it was quite strange. Else Ostergaard indicated she believes the seams had simply split, and that the slits aren't actually fitchets.

The hem is not turned under, and the edges of the sleeves and neck are turned under but without stitching or overcasting. Similarly, the fitchets have not been hemmed. This may indicate that the garment was lined, probably with fur. It was very worn, and was not very well made in the first place. It had also been much patched, one big patch on the lower edge suggests a sword had been worn with it.

Bibliography: Chapter IV, The Costumes in Buried Norsemen at Herjolfsnes, by Poul Nörlund. Bind LXVII - Meddelelser om Grønland. Kommissionen for ledelsen af de Geologiske og geografiske undersøgelser i Grønland, Copenhagen 1924.

Bockstensmannen och hans dräkt, Margareta Nockert m.fl. Hallands länsmuseer, Halmstad och Varberg, 1997.

Personal communication, Else Ostergaard, at a visit at Brede in September 2002.