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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site



Fish traps on the Uaupés river

Fish traps on the Uaupés river

Hooks like these were used to catch fish, an important part of the Amazonian food supply.

The rivers flowing through the forest into the great Amazon river still provide fish for local people today. Fishing is a community activity and large groups of men and boys will go together to catch fish. They have many methods, including basketry traps, spears, knives, arrows, poisoned darts and poisoning the water, but most commonly they use hook and line.

Most Amazonians can now buy steel fish-hooks, but in the past they made their own from plant spines, wood or bone. These hooks date from the eighteenth century and are made from the bones of a manatee or 'sea cow', a large freshwater mammal which lives in the sea and can grow up to twelve feet. There may have been magical reasons for making fish-hooks from the bones of such a creature.

Other Views: Fish traps on the Uaupés river.