Who is Aldis?
Aldis is the daughter of a Viking trader. Originally from the North she has lately been on a journey looking for a place to settle and trade. Living in approximately A.D. 900 she tells the story of town life in Dane’s land, the Viking half of the country. Whilst she enjoys a wealthy lifestyle, Aldis is aware of life for poorer folk. The struggle for power between the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons is reflected in the changes in her home, lifestyle and outlook. Her story tells of home life and the occasional journey further afield.
Aldis is travelling between two of her family’s homes, stopping at your school for a rest. She has a range of packages and parcels containing various everyday items and gifts for family and friends. Travel worn and hungry, she may break her fast and unwrap parcels to check and discuss their content. Don’t be surprised if she starts training the audience in homely skills of fighting, defence and baking!
There is no set script for the presentation, it depends on what artefacts or subjects the audience become interested. However, the material can be steered in the direction desired by the class teacher. For example teachers can opt to focus on the early or later Viking period or take a broad sweep across the whole period. Aldis can talk about aspects of Viking life to do with medicine, health, food, leisure time, clothing, beliefs, family roles, houses, religion, occupations, towns, entertainments, and laws.
If desired, Aldis (or her historian alter-ego) can run workshops with the children in conjunction with the teachers. Or teachers can opt to run these themselves whilst the character works with another group/class. Workshop themes can include: Drop-Spinning, Food, Dance, Artefact Analysis, Clothes, Hygiene, Medicine, Shopping, Money, Tapestry weaving, Tisane making, Costume and Toys.
Examples of ‘Experience Workshop’ options:
- Textile felting or wool making – create a small felt ball or pocket
- Jewellery making (embossing style) – create a copy of a Viking brooch then show your status by wearing it.
- Looking over the Traders offerings – exploring the Trader’s goods and trying your hand at bartering for the goods.
- Games – try your hand at games that Vikings would recognise.
- Rune writing – create your own book mark. Decorate with your name in runic lettering or a translation of the runic alphabet.
- Tisane making – try your hand at creating Viking style drinks. Discover if Nettles sting when you drink them!
- Food tasting – try 1-3 foods any self respecting Viking could recognise (costs 15p extra per child).
More details about a character visit can be found here.