A severe case of inattentional blindness: the Frisian tribe’s name

The name Frisii for the people living on the southern coast of the North Sea is old. Very old. It dates from the Late Antiquity. Today we call them Frisians. Roman and Greek historians and bureaucrats have written down the tribe’s name of this Germanic or Celtic people in many texts. Almost two millennia ago.Continue reading “A severe case of inattentional blindness: the Frisian tribe’s name”

To the end where it all began: ribbon Ribe

Let’s go to the omega, the end of the Frisia Coast Trail. To Ribe in southern Jutland, Denmark. The oldest town of Scandinavia. A town located on the banks of the river Ribe Å. A modest river that flows out into the Wadden Sea opposite the islands Fanø and Mandø. It started as a seasonalContinue reading “To the end where it all began: ribbon Ribe”

A Frontier known as Watery Mess: the Coast of Flanders

At the end of the eighth century, by decree of Charlemagne and under supervision of the wise men Wlemar and Saxmund, customary law of the Frisians was codified. It is the Lex Frisionum. Its jurisdiction was, among other, the land inter Flehum et Sincfalam fluvium ‘between Vlie and Sincfalam river’. The river Flehum flowed intoContinue reading “A Frontier known as Watery Mess: the Coast of Flanders”

Expelled from Regal Grounds

July 1987. The two bastards, both being sixteen years old at the time, went to the village of Wijnaldum, or Winaem in Mid-Frisian language. The reason for it was twofold. Firstly, the yearly street-kaatsen tournament was taking place. Secondly, one of their classmates Gerda lived closed to the village, and this was a good excuseContinue reading “Expelled from Regal Grounds”

The Killing Fields, of the Celts

About 2,000 years ago a tragedy unfolded. A sixteen-years-old girl, who suffered during her young life from scoliosis, was killed. Her red hair was shaved off on one side, she was stabbed at the base of her neck on the right shoulder, and strangled with a woolen rope. The rope was still around her neck.Continue reading “The Killing Fields, of the Celts”

Rowing souls of the dead to Britain: the ferryman of Solleveld

In 2004, a unique discovery was made at the early-medieval grave field of Solleveld, just south of the city of The Hague: a boat grave. Exactly two hundred kilometers, perfectly east, across the North Sea, of the legendary boat burial of Sutton Hoo. With this one-of-a-kind found, the Netherlands joined the ranks of ship-burial-countries. AContinue reading “Rowing souls of the dead to Britain: the ferryman of Solleveld”

Groove is in the Hearth

The hearth was in pre- and early-medieval times the holy of holies, the heart of the family. Where you would lay back and groove. Groove on the sound of the endless rains on the thatched roof, or on the sound of the sea water at your feet below. Sloshing against the grassy slopes of yourContinue reading “Groove is in the Hearth”

Ornament of the Gods found in a mound of clay

In the year 516, king Hygelac of the Geats, a tribe in the southeast of Sweden, raided Frisia. Back then, this part of the Netherlands was impenetrable land with big rivers, little streams, swamps, peat, bog and damping forests covered with moss. Hygelac’s expedition could have gone better, since he was killed and not oneContinue reading “Ornament of the Gods found in a mound of clay”

Have a Frisians Cocktail

With the coming seasonal festivities at the end of the year, it is appropriate to serve you a flavorful cocktail. It is a cocktail from the list ‘Myths of Nations’, namely the ‘Frisians Cocktail’. Its recipe is not as old as some people thought it was, or would like it to be, but it isContinue reading “Have a Frisians Cocktail”

Weladu the flying blacksmith

Master blacksmith Wayland is well-known from mythology. The blacksmith who was kept captive on a small island in the sea, and escaped from it with self-made wings. The Saxons, Anglo-Saxons, Norwegians, Icelanders, in fact, all the old Germanic peoples had their own medieval stories or artifacts relating to Wayland. Even the Franks did. All, exceptContinue reading “Weladu the flying blacksmith”