Music – Heilung . . . a Funky, Bronze Age Scandinavian Band
In the British Isles, Scandinavia and northern Slavic countries, there has been a resurgence of interest in their ancient Pre-Roman Empire, Pre-Viking Period heritage. In many ways, it is similar to what occurred in the late 20th century, when Americans of indigenous descent began dressing up like their ancestors, reconstituting federally-recognized tribes or forming state-recognized tribes. Northern Europeans are even staging numerous pow-wows . . . well, there equivalent of a pow-pow. The Sami Cultural Resurgence is part of this movement, but the Sami have associated themselves with Native American tribes and organizations. The sponsor of their delegation to the Standing Rock Camp was none other than the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.
Several bands have formed to play music rooted into Bronze Age or Iron Age traditions. The best known of these is Heilung, which in Old English and modern Swedish would be written “Heiling” or “Helsing” and means “Saying Hello” in modern English. The band is composed of Norwegian, Danish and Saxon members. It bills itself as continuing Gamla Norsk or Old Norse music, but in fact, uses the musical instruments, costumes and symbolism of the Nordic Bronze Age . . . peoples, who looked like contemporary mixed-blood Native Americans. The Germanic Scandinavians did not migrate northward until the Iron Age.
A shared Pan-North Atlantic Tradition 3,000 years ago?
Now, the symbols and costumes of that ancient time are what really puzzled me when I was working in the heartland of the Scandinavian Bronze Age. One of my architectural history classes, two years earlier, had thoroughly studied Etowah Mounds with the assistance of professors Arthur Kelly, Lewis Larsen and Julian Harris. I saw the same symbols and costumes in Swedish and Danish Bronze Age museums that I had seen at the Etowah Mounds museum. It didn’t make any sense.
Let’s look at the logo of the People of One Fire. It is a colorization of a style of shell gorget frequently found in the Lower Southeast. Some forms have a butterfly or vulture feathers in the background rather than a chopped up snake. The deer antler headdress is standard Scandinavian Bronze Age apparel. The man’s gorget was and is standard apparel for the Sami. The flint blade knife appeared in Scandinavia, Scotland and Ireland a little earlier than in Georgia. It is hard to say where the sun symbol appeared first. The copper crown is identical to that worn by the Itza sun god and has no equivalent in European Bronze Age traditions. His belt is also identical to the belts worn by the elite of all branches of the Mayas.
As you saw in Part Five of our YouTube Channel series on petroglyphs, birdmen are portrayed, swinging around a timber pole at the Østfeld, Norway petroglyphs. However, it is not known at this time if the scene occurred in Scandinavia or describes the experience of Bronze Age Nordic explorers in Mexico.
You can’t see it clearly on this image, but on the pubic guard of the Yupa Ahau, there is an abstract symbol, formed by intersecting horizontal and vertical lines. This symbol has puzzled me for years. It is the Itsate Creek and Itza Maya glyph for mako (mekko in Muskogee) which means “great,” but evolved to mean “king.” The symbol appears on many Proto-Creek gorgets and North Georgia petroglyphic boulders. It also appears on Scandinavian petroglyphic boulders, but not in the British Isles.
Bronze Age navigation expert, Don McMahan, explained to me earlier this week that the symbol was a navigation device, which calculated the positions of stars at a specific location. So the figure pictured above, has earned his Pre-Columbian PhD in astronomy with a minor in navigation.
The Truth Is Out There Somewhere!
Latest posts by Richard Thornton (see all)
- What you are never told at New Echota National Historic Landmark - September 23, 2018
- Fall 2018-Spring 2019 POOF Research Project . . . Pre-1700 AD Mound & Stone Architecture Survey of the Nacoochee and Soque Valleys - September 21, 2018
- Once upon a time at a Chevy Chase Christmas Party - September 20, 2018
- News Update: Quapaw and Mandan were at Ocmulgee! - September 18, 2018
- Example of why doing Native American history research is so difficult - September 16, 2018