Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier
Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier

Tidsskriftet

Gennem brug af ældre og nyere kilder søger denne artikel at belyse nordboernes våbendanse i en europæisk kontekst. På sigt skulle dette styrke grundlaget for yderligere udforskning af den nordiske dansetradition. Indtil nu har manglen på kildemateriale gjort det svært for forskere at sætte nordiske våbendanse ind i en samtidig europæisk kontekst. Den foreliggende artikel forsøger at råde bod på dette. Man kan dog stadig håbe, at nye kilder kan opspores, der yderligere kan klargøre en eventuel sammenhæng. I artiklen bliver der gjort rede for billedkilder af ældre dato, der peger på våbendansene som en del af en nordeuropæisk danse- eller legetradition. Desuden inddrages islandske kilder, der kan kaste et nyt lys over våbendansenes brug i middelalderen. Der lægges særlig vægt på at redegøre for det islandske kildemateriale. På basis af kilderne forekommer det sandsynligt, at islændingene har haft kendskab til våbendanse. Ved at sætte det islandske materiale ind i dels en nordisk dels en bredere europæisk kontekst, kan artiklen bidrage til en bedre forståelse af sammenhængen og udviklingen af våbendanse.

English summary

By using those sources traditionally referred to, as well as introducing a number of new ones, the article seeks to shed light on weapon dances within the Nordic countries, placing them in a European context, the intention being to strengthen the basis for further research into this area within the field of Nordic dance studies and history. Until now, the shortage of material has made it difficult for scholars to place potential Nordic weapon dances within the context of comparable traditions known elsewhere in Europe. The purpose of this article is to attempt to fill this gap to some degree by presenting relevant material of a different kind.
In order to demonstrate that weapon dances belong to a deep-rooted tradition of dances and games in Northern Europe, some ancient pictorial sources are exhibited and explained. Furthermore, Icelandic sources that shed new light on the coherence of medieval weapon dances are revealed. The Icelandic material, in other words sources which indicate that people in Iceland knew or knew of weapon dances, are of two different kinds: they indicate first of all that Icelanders used to take part in a dance called hringbrot, a dance which appears to be very similar to descriptions of weapon dances of other nations. Secondly, it seems that they created and preserved in their manuscripts drawings that indicate that they knew about weapon dances as early as in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
The additional material presented here, which is substantial, is now being analyzed and has a valuable contribution to make to the debate concerning Nordic weapon dances. By putting the Icelandic material in connection with more traditional sources from Northern Europe, and in the broader context of Mid and Western Europe, we should be able to increase our understanding of the context and development of weapon dances.