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Captain Risky

Native American legends about the Vikings

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Captain Risky

Ancient America: The Vikings

Shortly after the Norse colonization of Greenland under Erik the Red in 986, there were reports by the Viking sea kings of three new lands to the west of Greenland: Helluland (Baffin Island and the northern part of Labrador); Markland (central and southern Labrador); and Vinland (Newfoundland and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Over the past fifty years or so, archaeology has revealed over 300 years of sporadic contact between the Greenlandic Norse and various Indian, Inuit, and other Native American peoples, concentrated primarily in the Canadian Arctic.

https://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/1161

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Kenemet

I don't actually recall any Native American legends about Vikings.  I'm not the most knowledgeable here, but I don't recall any.

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Piney

The Labrador Eskimos had a account about wiping out a settlement, but I can't find it online.

@Swede  Do you remember the story display at NMAI? or have pics? 

 

2 minutes ago, Kenemet said:

I don't actually recall any Native American legends about Vikings.  I'm not the most knowledgeable here, but I don't recall any.

One story. It was on display at NMAI. 

Micheal and Kathy Gear was going to tie them in, in one of their historical fiction novels but I haven't been in contact with them for 10 years. 

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Captain Risky
26 minutes ago, Kenemet said:

I don't actually recall any Native American legends about Vikings.  I'm not the most knowledgeable here, but I don't recall any.

well it doesn't have to be just about legends. there was contact between the groups and settlements in North America.  

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Captain Risky

American Indian Sailed to Europe With Vikings?

Five hundred years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a Native American woman may have voyaged to Europe with Vikings, according to a provocative new DNA study.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/11/101123-native-american-indian-vikings-iceland-genetic-dna-science-europe/

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Lord Harry
49 minutes ago, Captain Risky said:

Ancient America: The Vikings

Shortly after the Norse colonization of Greenland under Erik the Red in 986, there were reports by the Viking sea kings of three new lands to the west of Greenland: Helluland (Baffin Island and the northern part of Labrador); Markland (central and southern Labrador); and Vinland (Newfoundland and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Over the past fifty years or so, archaeology has revealed over 300 years of sporadic contact between the Greenlandic Norse and various Indian, Inuit, and other Native American peoples, concentrated primarily in the Canadian Arctic.

https://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/1161

Excellent topic.  Glad this forum can finally move past the year long Atlantis fiasco.

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Lord Harry

The legend of the stone giants seem to have been based upon Native American memories of the Vikings.  I recall this somewhat vaguely, but will attempt to track down a source.

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Captain Risky
3 minutes ago, Lord Harry said:

Excellent topic.  Glad this forum can finally move past the year long Atlantis fiasco.

Thank you. i always do my best to make this knowledgeable, fun and entertaining place. i just wanna say that it was my Atlantis topic that was the original and that a plethora of copy cats followed.  

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Piney
54 minutes ago, Lord Harry said:

The legend of the stone giants seem to have been based upon Native American memories of the Vikings.  I recall this somewhat vaguely, but will attempt to track down a source.

I was thinking that might of been the case but I'm not so sure.

The Stone Giants had to do with the quartz deposits that the Mohawks possessed and were named for. 

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Lord Harry
7 minutes ago, Piney said:

I was thinking that might of been the case but I'm not so sure.

The Stone Giants had to do with the quartz deposits that the Mohawks possessed and were named for. 

There is also alleged evidence of Viking burials in Minnesota.  I seem to recall seeing this on an episode of Scott Wolter's America Unearthed. Though he isn't exactly the most reliable source.

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Piney
4 minutes ago, Lord Harry said:

There is also alleged evidence of Viking burials in Minnesota.  I seem to recall seeing this on an episode of Scott Wolter's America Unearthed. Though he isn't exactly the most reliable source.

The Kensington Runestone is a long proven fraud. Anything attached to it was "salt". 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kensington_Runestone

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Tatetopa

Collapse Jared Diamond.

Book Overview

In his million-copy bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel , Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? As in Guns, Germs, and Steel , Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe. Environmental damage, climate change, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of these societies, but other societies found solutions and persisted. 

I highly recommend this book.  It surprised me that the Icelanders had a 400 cow dairy in Greenland during the height of their settlement.  Pretty big operation by any standards.  Climate changed, grazing failed, the neighbors became hostile, problems beset the Greenlanders.  Greenland was just too far away from the Viking world.  The Icelandic knarrs and some of the Norwegian ones had higher freeboards for coping with Northern seas.  Even so, crossing could only be done in calmer seasons.  A loss of 20% of the vessels seems to be  acceptable losses.  Not enough good timber in Iceland, none in Greenland suitable for ship building.  In the end, the Greenland vikings were very set in their ways and conservative, times changed, but they did not, and they are gone.

Sea king sounds way too grand for these folks. Many were outlawed in Iceland, no blood price on their heads, free to be killed without family repercussions for any and all.    They had to go somewhere for the term of their outlaw status before they could show their faces again and expect to survive. 

Read The Sagas of the Icelanders   Erik the Red's saga and Leif's Saga are in there.  Not all of them, written in the 13th and 14th century are strictly historical, but Erik's Saga is pretty unflowered.   By the way there is a short but entertaining saga about an Icelandic Viking who wants to present a bear (polar?) to the king of Denmark.  There were even codes in  Icelandic Law  providing for acceptable price if a pet bear attacked someone. But I digress.

We are talking about small ships with a complement of 30-40.  They are not the snekke (snake) and drakkar (dragon) used to invade England. Those had 25-50 pairs of oars and could be near 100 feet long with a commensurate crew and cargo. But those were made for speed with shallow draft and low freeboard, not suitable for a trans-Atlantic journey.

An old Irish poem, 9th century maybe:

Bitter is the wind tonight

It tosses the ocean’s white hair

Tonight I fear not the fierce warriors of Norway 

Coursing on the Irish sea

(A translation by Kuno Meyer)

 

So a couple of dozen warriors and a handful of women made the crossing, bringing with them some family feuds and  death.  It has been long since I read it but as I recall, Erik's wife killed another woman with an ax during a quarrel. That makes for a small tenuous settlement.  They left evidence but could not maintain it. They explored a little bit down the coast on their expeditions  but only a few days journey southward. There is no indication they build ships there and probably didn't want to risk their ride home on chancy exploration.

The Northwest passage was navigable in the summer, if they had ever come in force, they might have made it as far as the West Coast.  The river systems and Great Lakes would have been very inviting further down the East Coast. 

At least one person thinks there was contact between the Norse and Dorset people, i  don't know if that is acceptable to scholars or too unsubstantiated.

.The Dorset was a Paleo-Eskimo culture, lasting from 500 BC to between 1000 and 1500 AD, that followed the Pre-Dorset and preceded the Inuit in the Arctic of North America. 

Inuit legends recount them encountering people they called the Tuniit (singular Tuniq) or Sivullirmiut "First Inhabitants". According to legend, the first Inhabitants were giants, taller and stronger than the Inuit but afraid to interact and "easily put to flight."[2] There is also a controversial theory of contact and trade between the Dorset and the Norse promoted by Patricia Sutherland

I just shot my best shot, probable some of it inaccurate, but it is a Great topic thanks.

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jmccr8
33 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

Collapse Jared Diamond.

Book Overview

In his million-copy bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel , Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? As in Guns, Germs, and Steel , Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe. Environmental damage, climate change, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of these societies, but other societies found solutions and persisted. 

I highly recommend this book.  It surprised me that the Icelanders had a 400 cow dairy in Greenland during the height of their settlement.  Pretty big operation by any standards.  Climate changed, grazing failed, the neighbors became hostile, problems beset the Greenlanders.  Greenland was just too far away from the Viking world.  The Icelandic knarrs and some of the Norwegian ones had higher freeboards for coping with Northern seas.  Even so, crossing could only be done in calmer seasons.  A loss of 20% of the vessels seems to be  acceptable losses.  Not enough good timber in Iceland, none in Greenland suitable for ship building.  In the end, the Greenland vikings were very set in their ways and conservative, times changed, but they did not, and they are gone.

Sea king sounds way too grand for these folks. Many were outlawed in Iceland, no blood price on their heads, free to be killed without family repercussions for any and all.    They had to go somewhere for the term of their outlaw status before they could show their faces again and expect to survive. 

Read The Sagas of the Icelanders   Erik the Red's saga and Leif's Saga are in there.  Not all of them, written in the 13th and 14th century are strictly historical, but Erik's Saga is pretty unflowered.   By the way there is a short but entertaining saga about an Icelandic Viking who wants to present a bear (polar?) to the king of Denmark.  There were even codes in  Icelandic Law  providing for acceptable price if a pet bear attacked someone. But I digress.

We are talking about small ships with a complement of 30-40.  They are not the snekke (snake) and drakkar (dragon) used to invade England. Those had 25-50 pairs of oars and could be near 100 feet long with a commensurate crew and cargo. But those were made for speed with shallow draft and low freeboard, not suitable for a trans-Atlantic journey.

An old Irish poem, 9th century maybe:

Bitter is the wind tonight

It tosses the ocean’s white hair

Tonight I fear not the fierce warriors of Norway 

Coursing on the Irish sea

(A translation by Kuno Meyer)

 

So a couple of dozen warriors and a handful of women made the crossing, bringing with them some family feuds and  death.  It has been long since I read it but as I recall, Erik's wife killed another woman with an ax during a quarrel. That makes for a small tenuous settlement.  They left evidence but could not maintain it. They explored a little bit down the coast on their expeditions  but only a few days journey southward. There is no indication they build ships there and probably didn't want to risk their ride home on chancy exploration.

The Northwest passage was navigable in the summer, if they had ever come in force, they might have made it as far as the West Coast.  The river systems and Great Lakes would have been very inviting further down the East Coast. 

At least one person thinks there was contact between the Norse and Dorset people, i  don't know if that is acceptable to scholars or too unsubstantiated.

.The Dorset was a Paleo-Eskimo culture, lasting from 500 BC to between 1000 and 1500 AD, that followed the Pre-Dorset and preceded the Inuit in the Arctic of North America. 

Inuit legends recount them encountering people they called the Tuniit (singular Tuniq) or Sivullirmiut "First Inhabitants". According to legend, the first Inhabitants were giants, taller and stronger than the Inuit but afraid to interact and "easily put to flight."[2] There is also a controversial theory of contact and trade between the Dorset and the Norse promoted by Patricia Sutherland

I just shot my best shot, probable some of it inaccurate, but it is a Great topic thanks.

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jmccr8

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Kenemet
2 hours ago, Lord Harry said:

There is also alleged evidence of Viking burials in Minnesota.  I seem to recall seeing this on an episode of Scott Wolter's America Unearthed. Though he isn't exactly the most reliable source.

That would be an UNreliable source.  Trust me on this one.

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Captain Risky
2 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

Collapse Jared Diamond.

Book Overview

In his million-copy bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel , Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? As in Guns, Germs, and Steel , Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe. Environmental damage, climate change, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of these societies, but other societies found solutions and persisted. 

I highly recommend this book.  It surprised me that the Icelanders had a 400 cow dairy in Greenland during the height of their settlement.  Pretty big operation by any standards.  Climate changed, grazing failed, the neighbors became hostile, problems beset the Greenlanders.  Greenland was just too far away from the Viking world.  The Icelandic knarrs and some of the Norwegian ones had higher freeboards for coping with Northern seas.  Even so, crossing could only be done in calmer seasons.  A loss of 20% of the vessels seems to be  acceptable losses.  Not enough good timber in Iceland, none in Greenland suitable for ship building.  In the end, the Greenland vikings were very set in their ways and conservative, times changed, but they did not, and they are gone.

Sea king sounds way too grand for these folks. Many were outlawed in Iceland, no blood price on their heads, free to be killed without family repercussions for any and all.    They had to go somewhere for the term of their outlaw status before they could show their faces again and expect to survive. 

Read The Sagas of the Icelanders   Erik the Red's saga and Leif's Saga are in there.  Not all of them, written in the 13th and 14th century are strictly historical, but Erik's Saga is pretty unflowered.   By the way there is a short but entertaining saga about an Icelandic Viking who wants to present a bear (polar?) to the king of Denmark.  There were even codes in  Icelandic Law  providing for acceptable price if a pet bear attacked someone. But I digress.

We are talking about small ships with a complement of 30-40.  They are not the snekke (snake) and drakkar (dragon) used to invade England. Those had 25-50 pairs of oars and could be near 100 feet long with a commensurate crew and cargo. But those were made for speed with shallow draft and low freeboard, not suitable for a trans-Atlantic journey.

An old Irish poem, 9th century maybe:

Bitter is the wind tonight

It tosses the ocean’s white hair

Tonight I fear not the fierce warriors of Norway 

Coursing on the Irish sea

(A translation by Kuno Meyer)

 

So a couple of dozen warriors and a handful of women made the crossing, bringing with them some family feuds and  death.  It has been long since I read it but as I recall, Erik's wife killed another woman with an ax during a quarrel. That makes for a small tenuous settlement.  They left evidence but could not maintain it. They explored a little bit down the coast on their expeditions  but only a few days journey southward. There is no indication they build ships there and probably didn't want to risk their ride home on chancy exploration.

The Northwest passage was navigable in the summer, if they had ever come in force, they might have made it as far as the West Coast.  The river systems and Great Lakes would have been very inviting further down the East Coast. 

At least one person thinks there was contact between the Norse and Dorset people, i  don't know if that is acceptable to scholars or too unsubstantiated.

.The Dorset was a Paleo-Eskimo culture, lasting from 500 BC to between 1000 and 1500 AD, that followed the Pre-Dorset and preceded the Inuit in the Arctic of North America. 

Inuit legends recount them encountering people they called the Tuniit (singular Tuniq) or Sivullirmiut "First Inhabitants". According to legend, the first Inhabitants were giants, taller and stronger than the Inuit but afraid to interact and "easily put to flight."[2] There is also a controversial theory of contact and trade between the Dorset and the Norse promoted by Patricia Sutherland

I just shot my best shot, probable some of it inaccurate, but it is a Great topic thanks.

so why didn't the early Norse settlers infect the natives with diseases, conquer them with steel and take advantage of all the raw materials and resources of the new world? 

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Impedancer
Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Captain Risky said:

so why didn't the early Norse settlers infect the natives with diseases, conquer them with steel and take advantage of all the raw materials and resources of the new world? 

The Vikings was also merchants and did not always try to conquer everyone they met, or they had sporadic contact with the natives and could have also been made to leave.

Edited by Impedancer
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Sir Wearer of Hats
3 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

so why didn't the early Norse settlers infect the natives with diseases, conquer them with steel and take advantage of all the raw materials and resources of the new world? 

Well, most versions of the tale have it that it's only a small band/settlement of storm lost Norsemen and not a flotilla so the whole rape and pillage agenda would be shelved until reinforcements could Vike (what IS the present tense of "Viking"? Seeing as it's apparently a verb, not a noun) their way to the Americas.

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Piney
4 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

so why didn't the early Norse settlers infect the natives with diseases

They were very healthy, and they didn't come en masse. 

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Piney
6 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

Inuit legends recount them encountering people they called the Tuniit (singular Tuniq) or Sivullirmiut "First Inhabitants". According to legend, the first Inhabitants were giants, taller and stronger than the Inuit but afraid to interact and "easily put to flight."[2] There is also a controversial theory of contact and trade between the Dorset and the Norse promoted by Patricia Sutherland

Northern Agonquians were much taller than Inuits and not prone to violence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naskapi

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Lord Harry
7 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

so why didn't the early Norse settlers infect the natives with diseases, conquer them with steel and take advantage of all the raw materials and resources of the new world? 

Probably because the location was too remote for that to have been practical.  In an open fight, the Vikings with their steel weapons and armor likely would have made quick work of most of the local tribes, but the trouble would have been bringing in enough man power to conquer and hold onto large amounts of territory.  Viking New World settlements were more suitable for trade than for military conquest.

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Piney
1 minute ago, Lord Harry said:

Probably because the location was too remote for that to have been practical.  In an open fight, the Vikings with their steel weapons and armor likely would have made quick work of most of the local tribes, but the trouble would have been bringing in enough man power to conquer and hold onto large amounts of territory.  Viking New World settlements were more suitable for trade than for military conquest.

They didn't wear much amour and most Coastal Algonquians poisoned their war arrows. 

Prior to contact we had wooden slat armour. It was made moot by firearms. The Iroquois tribes did keep it for ceremonial occasions up until the early 1700s though.

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Lord Harry
Just now, Piney said:

They didn't wear much amour and most Coastal Algonquians poisoned their war arrows. 

Prior to contact we had wooden slat armour. It was made moot by firearms. The Iroquois tribes did keep it for ceremonial occasions up until the early 1700s though.

Thanks for the information.  It would have been a fierce battle though.  But it would seem the Norse settlers in the New World were more interested in mercantile activities than in military conquest.

Though the legend of the stone giants is something that may be worth looking into.  It could reflect a cultural memory of warfare between the Native peoples and the Vikings.

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Piney
2 minutes ago, Lord Harry said:

Though the legend of the stone giants is something that may be worth looking into.  It could reflect a cultural memory of warfare between the Native peoples and the Vikings.

They are described more like a bigfoot like creature and since the Iroquois were a Central Appalachian tribe that did not live on the coast and stayed in the mountains until we were knocked down by disease, I doubt they interacted with them. They would of not been in the St. Lawrence area at the time of Viking contact.  

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Lord Harry
6 minutes ago, Piney said:

They are described more like a bigfoot like creature and since the Iroquois were a Central Appalachian tribe that did not live on the coast and stayed in the mountains until we were knocked down by disease, I doubt they interacted with them. They would of not been in the St. Lawrence area at the time of Viking contact.  

A war between the Iroquois and Bigfoots? Sounds like a bad science fiction movie! LOL!

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Hanslune

Yeah they were probably after wood and perhaps trade.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/11/101123-native-american-indian-vikings-iceland-genetic-dna-science-europe/

That a native American woman came to Iceland nearly a 1,000 years ago.

Quote

Despite the evidence, for now it's nearly impossible to prove a direct, thousand-year-old genetic link between Native Americans and Icelanders.

For starters, no living Native American group carries the exact genetic variation found in the Icelandic families.

But of the many known scattered versions that are related to the Icelandic variant, 95 percent are found in Native Americans. Some East Asians, whose ancestors are thought to have been the first Americans, carry a similar genetic pattern, though.

The Inuit, often called Eskimos, carry no version of the variant—a crucial detail, given that Greenland has a native Inuit population.

 

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