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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.

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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Length of silk ribbon (hashiya). Gold-coloured silk warp and weft. Central supplementary pattern band worked in red, green and blue silk flanked by narrow white and red silk stripes. Blue silk border with red stitching along one side, traces of blue stitching and red silk strip along other side. Both ends of ribbon are rolled and have hand-stitched hems.


  • Date

    • 20thC(early)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 220 centimetres
    • Width: 10.5 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Such ribbons are woven by two men using a draw loom; one weaver operates the supplementary heddles to form the central pattern band while the other weaver makes the base cloth.

  • Condition

    Fair. Some holes and staining, one side strip missing.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    This collection of hashiya (silk ribbons) was purchased by the donor's parents while they were living in Tunsia between 1921-1926.

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: EAF81238

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