Skiing and skating were two early solutions to the problem of getting around in winter. The Norse deities Skadi and Ullr were famed for their skiing, and Ullr may have been an early snowboarder.
Tag Archives: Ullr
Bow-Gods: Ullr, Skadi, and the Sami
The bow and arrow were so useful that the Norse had two different deities associated with them: Ullr and Skadi. Ullr skiied, travelled across the ice, and shot game with his bow. The giantess Skadi also skiied and lived in the mountains, like the indigeneous Sami, whose lifestyle was so different from that of the sea-faring and farming Norse.
Hunting with a bow was a Sami trait, along with the use of magic. Norse sagas don’t come right out and condemn archery, but in Norse myth Tyr and Thor use close-combat weapons, although Odin uses the arrow’s near relative, the spear.
Will the real sun-god (dess?) please stand up?
It seems almost ridiculous to be writing a post proving that Norse had a sun-goddess. After all, it’s right there in the sources that the sun is a goddess, either a human plucked from the earth to drive the sun’s chariot, or else a being who goes back to the time of creation.
So, who is Ullr?
The god Ullr is another of Norse myth’s enigmatic gods, along with Heimdall. Both seem to have faded in importance by the time that the myths were being written down, although people in Sweden and Norway worshipped Ullr, and we know that invoked him when they swore oaths. He is clearly a god of winter and winter pursuits, which has led to a rebirth of sorts in the Ullr Fest held in Colorado each winter.