Snakes of Urnes - Pendant
These Viking snakes from a rune stone in Urnes symbolize skillfulness and ingenuity.
Avalon's Treasury - Jewelry, Gems & Minerals
Snakes of Urnes
The civilization of the Vikings reached its height in Northern Europe from 700 to 1000 A.D. where the rough Scandinavian homelands of the Vikings very often generated ferocious people, who wanted to discover and conquer the world. With their unique longboats and superior weapons the Vikings very quickly earned their fearless reputation for conquest and even today our weekdays are named after Nordic gods and goddesses.
Most of our knowledge about the Vikings comes from Icelandic poetry. These so-called Eddas were written by gifted and highly honored poets - the Skalds - and told mythic tales which contained words of advice, prophecies and detailed family trees. Many stories are about the mighty one-eyed god Odin, living in Asgard in his big Hall Vallhalla, where dead heroes received their rewards in form of endless feasts and banquets. Although courage and loyalty were the most respected character attributes of a Viking, our Nordic ancestors also worshiped humor and the romantic complications of a great love.
Viking artists and craftsmen worked with gold, copper, silver and brass and created a very special design were metal strands were intertwined and interweaved with animal-like figures. The males of the Vikings wore bangles and pendants and their wives - who had a high position in their society and could even get a divorce from their husbands, if they didn't satisfy them - favored brooches, pendants and decorative fibulas.
The Vikings buried vast amounts of jewelry and silver objects with their dead, because they believed that these things were very useful in the life after death in Valhalla. Because of the big amounts of archaeological findings in these treasure troves today we know a lot about the motifs of the Viking era, which have also inspired this pendant.
Snakes of Urnes: This snake motif originates from a large rune stone in the Norwegian site Urnes and symbolizes the Nordic god Loki, who was - being a cunning shapeshifter and cheater - just as movable as a snake when it was necessary to squirm free of difficulties. The Vikings strongly believed that snakes, if they shed their skin, emerged as wiser new beings. In Nordic belief these animals therefore stood for skillfulness and ingenuity.
This jewelry is also available in copper, silver and gold
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Jewelry, Gems & Minerals
Snakes of Urnes
This jewelry is part of the jewelry line up "Trove of Valhalla".
Trove of Valhalla
This jewelry is part of the jewelry line up "Trove of Valhalla" - you can also download this line up as a printable catalogue if you want to order by fax or mail:
We were always fascinated by pieces of jewelry designed according to historical artwork and magical and other old motifs are a main area of our jewelry collection until today. Nowadays we all are surrounded by designs and motifs from all over the world which we usually choose according to visual aspects without considering the original meaning and symbolism of the various depictions. For sure the beauty of the different designs and materials is a good reason for selecting them but the affinity to a special piece of jewelry or art craft can be enhanced if one knows its deeper meaning and its origin. For this reason we always placed value on the accurate representation and information explaining the various pieces of jewelry in our collection.
Jewelry always had various functions which changed during the course of time: Because of the precious materials that were often used for its design it often was a valuable asset and sometime was even used as a currency. But especially in ancient cultures the spiritual meaning of a piece of jewelry was always important and the different motifs were symbols for the affiliation of its wearer to and his status in a social group. Furthermore jewelry can also serve a practical purpose like this is the case with safety pins, belt buckles and brooches.
Since jewelry is such a diverse cultural asset the meaning of a given piece can depend on the point of view and beliefs of its creator. For example many cultures developed pieces of jewelry showing to others whether its wearer is married or single: In our Western world these are the wedding rings while in African countries e.g. special bracelets or necklaces are worn for this purpose. Whether we are talking about weddings jewelry or talismans and amulets that were used for protection - often the decorations and materials determine the symbolic meaning of a piece of jewelry.
Besides the various symbols and designs different cultures use for their pieces of jewelry also a variety of materials are deployed in jewelry production. At the beginning of mankind primarily pearls made of wood and bones and shells were crafted to pendants, since these rather soft materials could easily be processed and were readily available. Later on especially precious metals like gold and silver and various gems were used for valuable jewelry. Today the selection of materials available for the production of jewelry is especially large and various.
The item on this page http://www.aval
nt-LH-V10.html is a good example for jewelry showing a symbolism that was achieved in a very special way. If you want to point to this page you can use the following information about our website and the page itself:
- Website: Our short information is "Avalon's Treasury - Jewelry, Gems & Minerals"
- Page: According to old belief the Viking snakes of Urnes bestow skillfulness and ingenuity.
We always try hard to add new jewelry designs to our range of products that are skillfully made and have a special meaning, because we want to offer our customers pieces of jewelry which are something special due to their symbolism and their beauty. Furthermore we try to take into consideration all cultures and epochs, so that everybody can find his quite unique piece of jewelry at our shop.