Death of one enjoyment of another: A Nordic Ritual

Death is certainly a loss, of loved ones. The news of death brings fear into people’s minds and hearts. Death speaking philosophically is a transition to another life or world. The world has seen many funeral customs and traditions. The popular means have been cremation and burial. There have also been “luxurious burial” such as Egyptians, The Pharos used to be buried with their gold, pet, belongings, and many riches, So that they can have a luxurious afterlife. The Chinese burnet paper money so that the afterlife can be luxurious. But this was not the case with Vikings; the death of the king gave enjoyment to many and brutal pain to one. The token to the afterlife was a woman raped and then burnt alive. As mentioned in works of 13th century Baghdadi traveler Ahmad ibn Fadlan.

The king of the Vikings would sit on a huge throne studded with precious stones. The king would never leave the throne. He would always be accompanied by four hundred of the bravest soldiers and trusted companions. The companions would die with the King and offer their lives to protect the king. These brave warriors sit below the throne. Along with the warriors, the king would be accompanied by slave girls. The slave girls would do personal service, prepare food, and also serve him in bed. The king would have a total of forty beautiful slave girls at his service. Whenever the king had an urge to satisfy his desire he would satisfy with slave girls. If the king wanted to ride the companions would bring his mount to him. If there was a war the king would send his vicegerent to fight and stand for him. The king would never have a need to leave the throne.

When the king would die, the slave girls would then be asked “who would want to die for their master? The dead king was put in a temporary grave, which was covered for ten days until they had sewn new clothes for him and prepared the slave girl for sacrifice. One of the girls would then volunteer to be the sacrifice. There would be two other slave girls assigned to serve this volunteer. The slave girl would be guarded and served day and night. The slave girl would then be fed with plenty of alcohol every day and would sing merrily.

Meanwhile, a Long wooden ship would be bought to the shore. A bed with logs of wood would be made on the ship. An old woman who would lead the rituals called “Angel of death” would place cushions on the bed. The king would be offered with alcohol, fruits, and a Pandora in the grave.

By the time the preparations are made, the Slave girl would visit men from one tent to another and have sex with them. Men would rape the girl as a sign and symbol of love and loyalty to their masters. The number of men that would rape the slave girl would vary, but certainly, it would have been in double or triple digits.

The king’s body would then be dug out from the grave and along with all the offerings. He would be clothed in newly sewn trousers, leggings, boots, kurta and a silk caftan with golden buttons.  The body of the king would then be carried and placed on the bed. They would then bring two horses and sweat them before slaughtering them. Along with horses two cows, a cock and a hen would also be sacrificed and their meat is thrown in the ship.

One evening the slave girl would be brought at a constructed door frame, where she would place her feet on men and be lifted above the door frame.

The girl would be lifted three times, the first time the girl would see her parents, the second time her ancestors, the third time she would see her master and she would describe her master being in paradise and say that her master is calling her. Then she would be handed a hen, whose head she would cut off.

The slave girl would then be brought to the “Angel of death”. Where she would first remove her bracelets and hand over to the girls who have been taking care of her and guarding her. The men would then come with shields and swords. The slave girl would be given a cup of alcohol and be made to enter the pavilion. The angel of death would then drag the girl in the pavilion and summon six men. The men outside would make loud noise banging the shield and sword so that the girl’s screams are unheard. The six men in the pavilion would then rape the slave girl. Then two men would hold her hands, two her feet, while the girl lay beside her master. The “Angle of death” would place a rope around the girl’s neck and hand it to two men. The “angel of death” with a dagger would stab her chest brutally while she is been strangulated by two other men. This would happen until the girl dies.

The Kings Kin would come there naked, with a burning piece of wood. The kin of the king would then set fire to the ship and walk back towards the people with the burning piece of wood. After which all the people would throw burning pieces on the ship and then set the ship to sail.

Some Insight

The slaves have always been considered as an object or possession. The king has always had an upper hand at all times. The kings would enjoy all aspects of life. Slaves whether male or female was only meant to serve the king. In the Nordic faith, the king was given great importance. The liberation in the Nordic faith was to be brave and come to Valhalla to serve Odin. The Nordic believed that intoxicating the girl would put the girl in ecstatic trance and give her psychic abilities that will enable the girl to peak into the realms of the dead. The lifting of the girl through the door frame is symbolic of this peaking. The door frame represents the threshold between the mortal world and the world of the dead, when the girl is lifted above the frame that gives the girl the ability to see the world of the dead. According to the Eddic poetry, Odin established a certain law that the dead should be burned and along with their belongings and their ashes should be thrown into the sea or buried in the earth.  Thus the concept of human sacrifice of the slave girl is more ever clear. But the Raping and brutal murder of the slave girl is somewhat unclear. There seems no motif to rape the slave volunteer and brutally murder her. Since the Nordic have been barbaric and intoxicated most of the times it all seems an acceptable ritual. The raping of the girl only gives pain to the girl but sense gratification to the men. The brutal murder is also a kind of sense gratification as people love good violence. It all seems to be acceptable.

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