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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


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  • Object type

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  • Description

    Red jacket with embroidered figures and silverwork. Decorated in 'sungkit' (a technique using needles to work in supplementary weft threads between two regular wefts), and in 'songket' (supplementary weft-patterning. The 'sungkit' is used to depict figures of head-hunters and of women. Each male figure is shown with a sword or 'parang', probably signifying military powers or ambition; the elements shown suspended from one end of the sword represent black-and-white feathers of the rhinoceros hornbill.


  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 78 centimetres
    • Width: 36 centimetres
    • Width: 131 centimetres (across arms)
  • Curator's comments

    Possibly belonged to a shaman.

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Object reference number: EAS92950

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