Black lake

Blacker lake

What is elaboraed on is instead the diverse cultural practises of Viking time. We hear of the mythic beliefs of the Saami, who with buckets that “of course are songs” draw memories of a distant, surreal past where “spring, snow, fire, bears, salmon, reindeer, women, men and drums were created” from the black and the blacker lake. It may seem hard to believe it, when the narrator tries to assure the listener that “The black lake is a real place”, but it of course can be if we understand it as a place in the shared cultural imagination of the Saami. Beliefs and mythology are then as real as geography. We also hear the villagers who impersonate the thoroughly undramatic everyday life of “bakers and tillers” who build houses, get married and grow crops. The most exciting aspect about the farmers is their domestic disputes when they drink: “When the husbands and wives get drunk, they throw sour apples at each other.”

Either these farmers are those who stay at home when the Vikings take off in their boats, or they are the inhabitants in the villages that the Vikings attack, or they are maybe both at once.


The battery as the core structure of the text introduces a flexible concept of time that flows throughout the text. The two main metaphors, the battery and the black lake with buckets in it, belong to two extremes; the battery is a modern, scientific invention, while the black lake is situated in a mythic reality and explains the origin of everything. It is natural science on one hand and a cultural practice of remembering and understanding the world through myth and songs on the other hand.

The text borrows models of explanation from both today’s rational approach to the world and ancient history’s mythic worldview. Viking time as concept is thus generated and negotiated somewhere in between the historic reality and practice and today’s assumptions about it.

As the intertwined points of view (the Vikings who observe the Saami and the farmers, the “we” who observe the Vikings, and the “I” who at the same time is situated in Viking time and today) in the text indicate, the concept and understanding of Viking time varies depending on who see and tell the story. And in this text, it is everyone concerned but the traditional warrior Viking.