Event Title

Rediscovering the Ancestry of Skiing in Scandinavia: A Hands-On Approach-From Tree to Ski

Location

CSU 203

Start Date

16-4-2013 11:10 AM

End Date

16-4-2013 12:10 PM

Student's Major

World Languages and Cultures

Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Mentor's Name

Rennesa Jessup

Mentor's Department

World Languages and Cultures

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities

Description

Though skiing is now an extremely popular winter pastime, there are very few who actually know how far skis go back in human history—to say nothing of how the design, techniques and use has evolved over the ages. The purpose of this research project was to gain a more intimate knowledge of the technological innovations associated with skiing in the Scandinavian lands from the Stone Age up through the Mediaeval Period. Predominantly, this included the use of a single long ski-pole instead of two, and the sewing of animal furs on the bottoms of the skis. The use of furs gave a smooth surface when moving forward, yet simultaneously gave traction when going up-hill—thus enabling the skier to access rough and wild terrain. In order to gain information on this topic, books and articles especially written concerning archaeological finds of skis in Scandinavia were consulted, as well as some ethnographic comparison with traditional skis in other parts of the world. Finally, the purpose of this project was to construct a pair of skis of the ancient design with hand tools. This was to give the opportunity to try out such innovations as animal furs and the single-pole, in order to be able test out their effectiveness first-hand. The end product was extremely successful in displaying the ingenuity and practicality of such technology that supplied ancient Scandinavians with an effective means of winter transport.

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Apr 16th, 11:10 AM Apr 16th, 12:10 PM

Rediscovering the Ancestry of Skiing in Scandinavia: A Hands-On Approach-From Tree to Ski

CSU 203

Though skiing is now an extremely popular winter pastime, there are very few who actually know how far skis go back in human history—to say nothing of how the design, techniques and use has evolved over the ages. The purpose of this research project was to gain a more intimate knowledge of the technological innovations associated with skiing in the Scandinavian lands from the Stone Age up through the Mediaeval Period. Predominantly, this included the use of a single long ski-pole instead of two, and the sewing of animal furs on the bottoms of the skis. The use of furs gave a smooth surface when moving forward, yet simultaneously gave traction when going up-hill—thus enabling the skier to access rough and wild terrain. In order to gain information on this topic, books and articles especially written concerning archaeological finds of skis in Scandinavia were consulted, as well as some ethnographic comparison with traditional skis in other parts of the world. Finally, the purpose of this project was to construct a pair of skis of the ancient design with hand tools. This was to give the opportunity to try out such innovations as animal furs and the single-pole, in order to be able test out their effectiveness first-hand. The end product was extremely successful in displaying the ingenuity and practicality of such technology that supplied ancient Scandinavians with an effective means of winter transport.

Recommended Citation

Rhody, Nathanael. "Rediscovering the Ancestry of Skiing in Scandinavia: A Hands-On Approach-From Tree to Ski." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 16, 2013.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2013/oral-session-07/4