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PCRN

Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

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A detailed description of Þorbjörg lítilvölva’s (‘little prophetess’) costume, including a staff and charm belt with charms.

text

[excerpt from] Eir ch. 4b

4b. [kafli 4(b)]

En er hún kom um kveldið og sá maður er í móti henni var sendur þá var hún svo búin að hún hafði yfir sér tuglamöttul blán og var settur steinum allt í skaut ofan. Hún hafði á hálsi sér glertölur. Hún hafði á höfði lambskinnskofra svartan og við innan kattarskinn hvítt. Staf hafði hún í hendi og var á hnappur. Hann var búinn messingu og settur steinum ofan um hnappinn. Hún hafði um sig hnjóskulinda og var þar á skjóðupungur mikill. Varðveitti hún þar í töfur þau er hún þurfti til fróðleiks að hafa. Hún hafði kálfskinnsskó loðna á fótum og í þvengi langa og sterklega, látúnshnappar miklir á endunum. Hún hafði á höndum sér kattskinnsglófa og voru hvítir innan og loðnir.

When she arrived one evening, along with the man who had been sent to fetch her, she was wearing a black mantle with a strap, which was adorned with precious stones right down to the hem. About her neck she wore a string of glass beads and on her head a hood of black lambskin lined with white catskin. She bore a staff with a knob at the top, adorned with brass set with stones on top. About her waist she had a linked charm belt with a large purse. In it she kept the charms which she needed for her predictions. She wore calfskin boots lined with fur, with long, sturdy laces and large pewter knobs on the ends. On her hands she wore gloves of catskin, white and lined with fur.

[status: in progress]

commentary

context

This description occurs as part of a narrative episode in which the itinerant prophetess, Þorbjörg lítilvölva, travels to a farm in order to prophesy. She conducts a ritual in which she sits on a high-seat, chants and makes predictions. This episode occurs in the wider narrative of Eiríks saga rauða.

commentary

(Contributed by Anna Millward.)

tags

Main text: Eiríks saga rauða

Attributes: Woman Ritual Prophecy Chant Staff Evening

Named things: Þorbjörg lítilvölva

Text sections: Anon Eir 4bV

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