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Guðrún Sveinsdóttir (Rosie of Mountain Freehold) and Thomas of Mountain Freehold at A Market Day at Birka, Jan. 2019
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In the Freehold, Guðrún (Lady Rosie of Mountain Freehold) enjoys a variety of pursuits. She is heavily into Arts and Sciences (sewing, naalbinding, card weaving, a little embroidery, singing, playing violin, and belly dancing), and is an Underforester in her local Forester's Guild (with interests in wilderness travel/hiking, wildcrafting, medicinal herbalism, and natural dyestuffs). Guðrún has recently started learning about wool processing and spinning, with a focus on historical Norse practices and available materials. She has previously done rapier fencing and German longsword, and would like to someday get back to both.
Guðrún Sveinsdóttir, more commonly called Rosie, was born in the early 10th century in Birka to a Norse pagan merchant father (Sveinn Barðison) and Celto-Germanic Christian mother (Geila Marie Widuapfel). Sveinn and Geila met in Hedeby, on one of Sveinn's early trading expeditions. She came back with him to Birka, where his family lived. Sveinn continued trading, but after a time moved his operations to the Volga trade routes. Sveinn and Geila had several children. Guðrún's older sister Brígiða (by 11 years) was their first child. When Brígiða was 15, she traveled with her father to Baghdad and married the Abbasid Persian trader Hakim ibn Zuhayr. Olafr was born 3 years after Brígiða, and is currently working the trade routes with his father. The next two brothers died young (one from illness, the other from accident -- Guðrún never met one, and barely remembers the other). Two years after Guðrún was born, her parents had another son, Bjorn, who was apprenticed to the local blacksmith as soon as he was old enough to swing a hammer. When Guðrún was 6, her mother died in childbirth, & her father took Guðrún to live with her sister in Baghdad. She spent the rest of her childhood there. Among the many other things she learned in Persia, Guðrún fell in love with the local dance forms and music. As a play on her name, some of her friends nicknamed her "Gulrun," which means "essence of rose" in Persian. (Later on in the Knowne Worlde, this was translated to "Rosie," which is her most commonly used name today.) When Guðrún was 16, her father brought her back to Birka to take care of her paternal grandmother, Amma Hildr (a healer and volva), who had retired from her traveling work. In their time together, Amma Hildr taught her granddaughter much of herbal and healing craft. While taking some food to her brother Bjorn one day, Guðrún met the local blacksmith, Thomas. They fell in love and were married. Eventually Bjorn married as well and took over the forge, and his wife Ásleif took over caring for Amma Hildr. Now free to travel, Guðrún and Thomas found the Knowne Worlde and settled in the Shire of Mountain Freehold.
- Award of Arms -- Panteria 2017
- Underforester -- Mimir's Well 2019
- Order of Terpsichore -- Mimir's Well 2020
Offices & Positions
- Minister of Arts and Sciences, Shire of Mountain Freehold, 01/01/2019 to 12/31/2020
- Minister of Arts and Sciences, Shire of Mountain Freehold, 01/01/2021 to 12/31/2022
- History of Middle Eastern Dance, Mimir's Well 2018
- Youth European Dance Class (co-taught with Mistress Albreda), Panteria 2019
- Middle Eastern Hafla (incl. basic dance instruction), Panteria 2019
- Intro to Middle Eastern Dance, Online EK A&S classes, April & June 2020 (recorded)
- Basic Sewing Techniques for Reenactors and Anachronists, Online EK A&S class, 12/16/20 (recorded []) (handout [])
Here are some classes I would be willing to teach if asked:
- Basic Sewing (hand & machine; useful tools, incl. ergonomic options; historical vs. modern pros/cons)
- Basic Early-period Garb & Accessories (T-tunic/dress, Birka tunic/dress/coat, Bishop Timotheos tunica, Roman tunica, peplos/chiton, Skjoldehamm hood, drawstring pants, over-the-shoulder bag)
- Intro to Embroidery (most common stitch types for decoration)
- Basic Fiber Arts (nålbinding, lucet-cord, crocheting, knitting)
- Basic Beaded Jewelry & Chainmaille (useful tools, wire-working techniques, beading choices/styles, etc.)
- Intro to Leatherworking (using basic techniques to make an Eide pouch)
- Intro to Medieval Middle Eastern Dance (historical context & timeline, extant depictions, cultural understanding/marginalized groups/avoiding appropriation, historical props & instruments, & basic movements)
- Name of Position, Name of Event, mm/dd/yyyy
- List in Chronological order, oldest to newest
Museum Research Visits
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nov. 2019: https://photos.app.goo.gl/PP2bFnK5CZa2c5g67
- Franklin Institute Viking Exhibit, Dec. 2018: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZHYGQXJaX78maM9M7
- Dumbarton Oaks Museum, Nov. 2018: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FyKhLfuPpGppUgZS6
- George Washington University Textile Museum, Nov. 2018: https://photos.app.goo.gl/pCvGqFCybc8PQS5KA
- Smithsonians -- Freer, Sackler, Asian Art, & African Art, Nov. 2018: https://photos.app.goo.gl/HaVfBtqxfhKRo6319
- First naalbound socks, striped, 2018. Based on extant Coptic Upper Egyptian find in Museum of Florence (ca. 4th cent.?). http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/record.aspx?id=9130
Naalbound hat, 2018. Second pair of naalbound socks, yellow & red, 2019. Naalbound mittens, 2019. All based on patterns and styles from extant early-period finds.
- Abbasid Tiraz Cap, Summer 2019. Cap shape based on painting from Jausaq alKhagani, Samarra, Iraq, ca. 836-839, and tiraz band with personalized inscription based on style of extant piece in Ashmolean Museum. http://jameelcentre.ashmolean.org/collection/7/10222/10229/15693
- Toddler Viking-era outfit (for a friend's daughter), Oct. 2019. Based on Birka tunic pattern, Hedeby smokkr, and Skjoldehamm hood.
- Walnut-Dyed Birka Tunic and Yarn, Oct. 2019. Based on extant textile dye analysis and availability in Viking-age Sweden.
- Green Linen Lucet Cord, March 2020. Based on extant Viking-era cording techniques and tools, and beeswaxed for strength.
- Eide leather pouches, March 2020. Based on extant pouch found at Eide, Gloppen, Norway, dated to ca. 475CE. http://valkyrja.com/190216.html
- Viking doll outfit, Spring 2020 (to match toddler outfit from Oct. 2019). Doll & original outfit made by The Practical Viking (awesome folks, with great products: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThePracticalViking); secondary outfit of linen (blue underdress, green smokkr, & orange Skjoldehamm hood) made by Rosie.
- Name of Project/Publication, Other info, mm/dd/yyyy
- List in Chronological order, oldest to newest
In Case of Court
Please contact Lord Thomas of Mountain Freehold. I am open to virtual/online awards. My pronouns are she/hers.