6. Viking Cascade Necklace

Viking Cascade Necklaces  are strings of beads and ornaments worn suspended from the apron broaches of Viking women.  The necklaces contained glass, bone, stone or amber beads, charms and coins of precious metals or could be constructed entirely of metal chains.  The wealth and status of the woman wearing the necklace determined the size and style of necklaces and material used in constructing them.  As status symbols of wearable wealth they have been found in Norse graves and hordes throughout the Viking lands.

My Cascade Necklace has three strands of mixed glass and beads strung on waxed linen thread (the type for sewing leather).  There are no precious metals used in this necklace, with the possible exception of the Arab coin on the first tier which may have a high silver content.

Cascade Necklace

The pendant beads were wrapped in wire by me, as was the spiral pendant.  The black and white bead on the right is actually a spindle bead from west Africa.  The two yggdrasil pendants (Tree of Life) were site tokens for Tourney of Ymir, and the small shield pendant was a site token for another SCA event and were not made by me.

After stringing I found further information about Viking symmetry in necklaces and I’m not sure my necklace is what they would consider ‘aesthetically pleasing’.  If I do end up restringing the strands I’ll string them separately and not join them together.  That way I can wear them separately if wanted, or even wear one as a necklace.  I also need to work on official ‘documentation’ for this piece.