There aren’t many world in the world who wouldn’t identify a drinking horn. Lock have become a modern icon that a bygone era and no issue who you are or wherein you come from, the drinking horn is easily recognized together the symbol the Vikings and of their distinctive culture. It has actually been quite a couple of centuries due to the fact that the world was graced by the armor clad, axe-wielding, sea fairing raider tribes that we now nearly romantically speak to “the Vikings,” but that has not tarnished your reputation or the memory of your deeds.

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When food to be scarce and also game was tough to come by, every part of the animal had come be placed to great use for are afraid of not understanding when the following hunt would net a kill. Meat was for eating and was dried and preserved as finest it might be. Hides were used to make and also repair tents and also clothing and to make blankets, bags, and also water pouches and bones were used for whatever from do tools and also weapons come making combs, jewelry and fortifying walls. Yeah, that is a weird one, yet people really did develop walls v bones, and in the situation of some old Siberian tribes, mammoth bones and tusks were supplied to build entire houses. As you have the right to see, long before we as people had acquired the ability to work-related with metals and certainly before we can work glass right into a usable vessel, us were pretty adept at using the bones of animals to do our lives easier. This the course included the horns of animals as well.

Using an pet horn, particularly those that a bovid (a cud chewing animal with separation hooves - this is wherein our drinking horns come from) came to be one that the solitary greatest advancements in drinking society that had ever been, and also it continued to be that for thousands of years come come. Drink horns to be still popular even at the tables of kings all the way up through the center Ages. One scene portrayed in the Bayeux Tapestry, which to be crafted in the year 1070 shows the personalities from an epic story sitting and also drinking from horns. And also we yes, really can’t deny the they really room still quite famous today.

Who was The an initial to usage Drinking Horns?

Despite every this great history, in all honesty, no one is really certain who to be the first to take on drinking indigenous a horn as a component of their culture. But, us do know that around 2,500 come 2,600 years ago, people all end the people were drinking from horns. Even as early as 450 BCE, Greek pottery shows photos of the goddess Dionysus drinking from a horn. And as the goddess the a most things, including drunken revelry and also madness, you understand those parties obtained a tiny crazy!


The Scythians were another large user of drink horns. They were a nomadic people who lived and hunted in what is now Siberia in approximately 900 BCE and also the society that they created approximately their drink horns was a pretty wealthy one. While the Greeks would use drinking horns make from bone and also sometimes from wood (don’t ask me why anyone would certainly go come the trouble of carving a wood horn when they might just use a real one), the Scythians drink horns were offered by your elite classes and also were periodically fashioned entirely from precious metals, favor gold and also silver. These beautifully ornamented horns have been found buried with your warriors and also its thought that having been hidden with a drink horn reflected their posthumous standing (status ~ death).

The drinking Horn in vikings Culture

The relationship between the drinking horn and the immortality is a less recognize connection, but it brings us to what is likely the most popular version of the drinking horn together we understand it today. The drink horn that the Vikings! and somehow, regardless of not being made that gold, or garnished with jewels, or crafted v legs and caps prefer some the the adaptations make by the beforehand Christian church throughout that time (yes, also Christians delighted in drinking horns), the Viking drink horns room the ones we all imagine once the image is called to mind.


In Viking culture, drink horns were a renowned vessel because that beer, wine, and also of food mead, but unlike other cultures, prefer I pointed out before, lock were no the gilded trophies of kings and they weren’t supplied in the symbolic burial of an excellent warriors either. For the living, drink horns were simply cups, yet as the heritages of the Norse civilization grew more vivid, possibly because of their interactions v the Greeks and Iron Celts, or possibly due to their isolation, the mysticism about mead and also the horns that held it prospered stronger together well.

Along through their various other trade skills and traditions, families would certainly pass down drinking horns from one generation to the next. Each generation would certainly sometimes add their very own decorations and also carvings as the horns to be passed on, additional enriching the mystique and also value the the horn itself. Yet while this to be the heritage for the living, for the dead the drinking horn to be altogether different.

We said before that drink horns were not provided in the symbolic funeral of great warriors, and that is true. As a historic fact, most of the old drinking horns that have actually been uncovered from norse burials to be actually found in the clutches that women, no men. It’s believed that this is since the women were the bearers the mead, and also though it appears a little bit subservient indigenous our modern-day perspective, ladies were the persons who organized them mead horns, since they to be the people who offered the mead.

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Back come the subject though. Drinking horns are constantly associated with those tall, long haired, well-muscled Vikings we see in Hollywood, and possibly for an excellent reason, despite it had actually nothing to perform with lock being hidden with a horn, favor the warriors of the Scythians. Much more to the point, the was since they to be resurrected v one! it is right, drinking horns to be a token given by the Valkyrie to welcome fallen warriors into Valhalla. This way that just the greatest, the bravest, the truest warrior who had actually fallen in valiant combat received a drink horn to lug with them into Odin’s hall, where they would feast and also fight, and also die, and also be resurrected to feast again every night, for all eternity. As I’m sure you can guess, the is most likely this link in norse myth that ties the warrior to their drinking horns therefore strongly.

As time passed, together it does with all things, the link shared in between drinking horns and also the afterlife became stronger and also stronger, and also as legends were passed under from generation to generation and also as each warrior seek to knife their very own drinking horn together a reward indigenous the Valkyrie, drinking horns became just as renowned with the gods as they when were at the dinner table. Also Thor himself is fabled to have actually tried to drain the magic horn of the mountain gigantic Utgarda-Loki in one gulp, however of course that’s a story for one more time…