Gudrid the Wanderer: First Viking Woman in the New World


“A spellbinding performance.” — Canadian Museum of Civilization

The year is 1008. Stand on the deck of the Viking knarr with Gudrid and her son Snorri as she looks back at her turf-roofed house. Feel the wind whip her cloak where she has lost its pin in the meadows of Newfoundland. Seek through her eyes through the tall grass where, in her haste to catch the tide, she has dropped her spindle whorl. On that stone spindle she spun three wedding dresses, square woolen sails to cross the icy sea, shrouds for her three sailor husbands, and the swaddlings for the first European child in the New World. But Gudrid's colony has failed, and its thread lies broken in the grass. Her ring-headed pin and spindle whorl are lost to her, and to history. It will be ten centuries before they are found. 

"Then after Yule [Thorfinn] Karsefni put to Eirik a proposal for Gudrid’s hand, for as he saw it this lay in Eirik’s competence, and he thought her a beautiful and accomplished lady. … This same winter long discussions took place at Brattahlid. Karlsefni and Snorri resolved to go and find Vinland, and men debated this a good deal. The upshot was that Karlsefni and Snorri fitted out their ship, meaning to go and find Vinland in the summer." (Eirik the Red's Saga V) 

Where was Leif Ericsson's fabled Vinland? What did the New World look like to the explorers of a thousand years ago? Relive the saga of Gudrid Thorbjørnsdottír, wife of Icelandic merchant Thorfinn Karlsefni and colonist of Vinland the Good. This first-person retelling in the oral tradition skilfully interweaves Icelandic sagas with Scandinavian music and medieval poetry. Celebrate the first millennium of adventurous women with a uniquely North American perspective on Norse exploration of the New World.