Inspiration #6, a trader from Gotland

The sixth issue of our inspiration series introduces Radomír Jelínek, a well-known Slovak reenactor. Radomír aims to reconstruct a trader from Gotland in late 10th/early 11th century.

We can see from the photos that Radomír wears a brown tunic made from herringbone wool and hemmed with geometrically patterned silk. The tunic is belted with a girdle inspired by various Gotland finds. Its buckle, strap end and belt lamellae come from Rone and Hense graves, while hanging straps are derived from Ense. There is a bag on the belt decorated with sheet brass and silk, a purse based on a Birka find (Radomír currently works on a new one based on a find from Barshalder), a whetstone with a colourful mosaic, tinderbox based on a Birka find and a comb based on a find from Eskelhem. A small pattern-welded steel knife is hanging on his neck, adorned with silver and brass and based on a find from Rone. Then we can see a hammer pendant on a chain – Radomír intends to swap that one for a cross. He covers himself with a brooch-fastened, semi-circular brown cape from herringbone wool (Radomír wears three types of brooches based on Visby finds). There is a fur-hemmed woolen hat on his head, decorated with silk embroidery and a hat top replica based on Birka (the hat will be also decorated with ornamental posament). On his hands we can see some brass and silver bracelets with punched decoration. Finally his profession is symbolized by simple weighing scales which have been found in several locations (Visby, Akeback, Oja).

On his legs we can see wide breeches made according to Gotlandic pictures stones depictions and a find from Haithabu. Breeches are dyed with indigo and tansy. Shoes with two buttons are a replica of Dorestad shoes. There are white nålbinding socks covering his shins with a thin lace fastened with two small (2 cm) pins.

Weapons are also a part of this trader‘s costume. It is a sharp H type pattern-welded steel sword (unfinished) with Geibig type 3 blade (80 cm long and 6 cm wide), a sharp pattern-welded steel seax (Radomír owns two of these but plans to rebuild both, one of them is a Gotland find replica), a sharp pattern-welded steel spear of type I with brass crosspieces (according to a Gotland find) and a mace which is going to be replaced by a more authentic replica.

Aside from this Radomír plans to make a new silken printed caftan, maybe a new hat, satchel, purse, archer‘s equipment, strap divider for the sword with a belt according to Rone and Hense finds and crampons.


I would like to thank Radomír Jelínek for providing photos and a detailed description of his costume. Here we will finish this article. Thank you for your time and we look forward to any feedback. If you want to learn more and support my work, please, fund my project on Patreon or Paypal.

Inspiration #2, A Man From Birka

In the second episode of inspiromat we will stay in Birka, but this time we focus on male costume. For this reason I asked my Russian friend Konstantin Shiryaev who willingly provided me his photos with description.

The costume is based on finds from Birka, particularly grave Bj 644, but he also uses finds from surrounding regions. This is a costume of rich warrior in the mid-10th century. Konstantin says that his costume will never be done, and he intends to continue improving it.

FIG.1:
On the head, we can see a circular four-piece woolen cap (type B) dyed with oak bark. Silk on the hem is dyed with natural indigo. Konstantin also wears linen shirt dyed with natural indigo. The shirt is fringed with patterned silk. The shirt is girded with a replica of belt from Garrison in Birka. On his belt a knife hangs in a leather sheath and a replica of the bag from Eperjeske 3. A similar find of bag was found in grave Bj 644. The lid of the bag is decorated with gilded silver plate. On his legs, we can see wide linen trousers (påsbyxor), with shape based on finds from Haithabu, woolen leg wraps and leather boots of type 8 from Haithabu.

FIG.2:
On his head, we can see a conical felt cap (type A) with silk sewn onto it. Hat is decorated with silver terminal and a beaver pelt hem. Then, we can notice a red woolen tunic, based on the finds from Bernuthsfeld and Guddal. The tunic is decorated with patterned silk and silver embroidery and is girded with replica of belt from grave Bj 1074. Over the tunic. he wears rectangular blue woolen cloak which is lined and has a hem made of beaver pelt. The pin used to clasp the cloak is a replica from grave Bj 644. This somewhat unusual way of wearing the cloak is based on the positions of pins in Birka, Finland and Russia. Konstantin is holding a replica of battle axe from grave Bj 644. Over the previously described linen trousers, he wears red woolen leggings pinned with replicas of bronze hooks from grave Bj 905.

FIG.3:
Costume in this figure is the same as in Figure 1. The only difference is the woolen caftan, which is decorated with a patterned silk and 12 bronze buttons. Konstantin says that the silk part of his caftan is the only fabric on his costume, which is machine-dyed, and therefore intends to sew a new one. At the waist, we can notice replica of seax from grave Bj 644 (Konstantin adds that this is the old version of the seax and now works on a new one).

FIG.4:
Battle version of the costume. On his head there is a helmet, which is inspired by a fragment of Tjele helmet. At the waist, we can notice the sword type H in a wooden sheath. Type H swords are the dominant swords in Birka. On the back, there is a wooden shield, its front is covered in leather. Hands are protected by gloves, which are made of leather and felt (left mitten is only made of wool).

FIG.5:
Another picture of battle costume, this time with a single-piece helmet. In accordance with Ibn Fadlan’s report, he has an axe, sword and seax. We can notice that his shoes are lower and his leg wraps are fixed with decorative garters.

I would like to thank Konstantin Shiryaev for granting me permission to use his photographs and for detailed description of his costumeHere we will finish this article. Thank you for your time and we look forward to any feedback. If you want to learn more and support my work, please, fund my project on Patreon or Paypal.

Řemeslníci #4 – Craftsmen #4

Vítám Vás u čtvrtého dílu série o řemeslnících! Tentokrát si představíme medailonek vynikajícího slovenského řemeslníka a šermíře Petera Kocúra, který se k reenactmentu dostal poté, co se zúčastnil archeologických vykopávek jako brigádník. V minulých letech se věnoval rekonstrukci vrcholně středověkého šlechtice, ale v tuto chvíli se zaměřuje na velkomoravské období.


Welcome to the fourth part of the Craftsman series! This time we present a work of an outstanding Slovak craftsman and swordsman Peter Kocúr, who got engaged in reenactment since he participated in archaeological excavations as a temporary worker. In recent years he devoted himself to the reconstruction of the High Medieval nobleman, but at the moment he focuses on the Great Moravian period.

Peter zdůrazňuje, že měl vždy rád historii, a proto se začal zapojovat do archeologických vykopávek jako pomocník. Pak už byla cesta k reenactmentu velmi rychlá. Před deseti a více lety však vybavení nebylo běžně dostupné k prodeji, a tak si začal vyrábět věci sám a tato výroba je pro něj velkou vášní dodnes. Řemeslo ho neživí, ale pokud kdokoli projeví zájem o cokoli z kovu, kůže nebo dřeva, Peter rád nabídne své služby. Jeho výrobky jsou čistě provedené a především praktické. Nejlepším způsobem, jak Petera kontaktovat, je přes jeho Facebookový profil.


Peter emphasizes that he has always liked history, and therefore he began to engage in archaeological excavations as a helper. Then the path to reenactment was very quick. However, the equipment was usually not available for sale ten years or more ago, so he began to make things himself, and this craft is a great passion for him to this day. The craft is not his main income, but if anyone is interested in anything of metal, leather or wood, Peter will gladly offer his services. His products are cleanly finished and very practical. The best way to contact Peter is through his Facebook profile.

Peter je jedním ze dvou československých výrobců kroužkových zbrojí. Jeho poznatky jsou fantastické a oči otevírající. Například zbroj, kterou vyrobil pro sebe má 4,5 kg při tloušťce drátu 1 mm, vnějším průměru 10 mm a celkovém obvodu 130 cm a délce 96 cm. Zbroj je lemována mosaznými kroužky a konzervována včelím voskem.


Peter is one of two Czechoslovak chainmail producers. His results are fantastic and eye-opening. For example, the mail he made for himself weighs 4.5 kg (9.92 lbs) at a wire thickness of 1 mm, an outer ring diameter of 10 mm and a total circumference of 130 cm and a length of 96 cm. The mail has brass rings at the borders and is conserved with beeswax.

Přilba, která Peter vyrobil podle nálezu z Bojné, je jednou z nejvěrnějších replik této přilby. Nutno poznamenat, že Peter občas vyrábí repliky do muzeí.


The helmet, which Peter made according to the find from Bojná, is one of the most faithful replicas of this helmet. It should be noted that Peter sometimes produces replicas for museums.

Stejně unikátní je i způsob, jakým Peter vyrábí štíty a který je založený na dlouhodobém experimentování. Štíty vyrábí ze dvou vrstev prken, které k sobě lepí klihem. Korpus je postupně ztenčovaný a potažený třemi vrstvami ručně tkaného lnu. Takto vyrobený štít má při průměru 86 cm váhu velmi příjemných 3,156 kg a je prakticky nezničitelný tupými zbraněmi.


The way Peter makes shields is equally unique and is based on long-term experimentation. The shields are made of two layers of planks, which are glued together. The wooden corpus is gradually tapered and covered with three layers of hand-woven linen. The shield produced in this way has a very pleasant weight of 3.156 kg (6.957 lbs) at a diameter of 86 cm and it is practically indestructible by blunt weapons.

Meč inspirovaný nálezem z dánského hradu Søborg. Datace 1100-1175, délka 1090 mm, váha 1,24 kg. Peter k mečům vyrábí také prvotřídní pochvy.


Sword inspired by the find from Søborg castle, Denmark, dated to 1100-1175. Length 1090 mm, weight 1,24 kg. Peter also produces first class scabbards for his swords.

Boty z Peterovy dílny.


Shoes from Peter’s workshop.


Studie překládaného damaškového nože s vkládaným ostřím a měděnou dekorací podle slovanských nálezů.


Study of folded pattern-welded knife with inserted blade and copper decoration according to Slavic findings.

Peter je aktivním šermířem, který často a intenzivně trénuje. Pro sebe i své kolegy vyrábí dřevěné tréninkové zbraně.


Peter is an active swordsman who often and intensively trains. He produces wooden training weapons for himself and his colleagues.

Toto byl pouze stručný výčet. Petera můžete kontaktovat i ohledně opasků, brašen, spon, tkacích stavů, dětských hraček, štítových puklic, lampiček a podobně. Pokud Vás Peterovy výrobky zaujaly, jsem si jist, že velmi rád zodpoví Vaše dotazy. Lze jej zkontaktovat přes jeho osobní Facebook.


This was just a brief overview. You can also contact Peter about belts, pouches, buckles and pins, weaving looms, children’s toys, shield bosses, lamps and so on. If you are interested in Peter’s products, I am sure that he will be happy to answer your questions. He can be contacted via his personal Facebook account.


Pevně věřím, že jste si čtení tohoto článku užili. Pokud máte poznámku nebo dotaz, neváhejte mi napsat nebo se ozvat níže v komentářích. Pokud se Vám líbí obsah těchto stránek a chtěli byste podpořit jejich další fungování, podpořte, prosím, náš projekt na Patreonu nebo Paypalu.


I hope you liked reading this article. If you have any question or remark, please contact me or leave a comment below. If you want to learn more and support my work, please, fund my project on Patreon or Paypal.