This week we will be exploring the meaning and the story behind the Berserker apparel range and artwork. This incredible design and range is inspired by the fierce Germanic warriors who worshipped Odin and were often reported in Norse writings. The violent and fierce Berserkers would walk into battle in a trancelike state and it was said that no steel or fire could harm them. The artwork featured on this range is incredibly intricate, detailed and filled with meaning. It gives me the greatest of pleasure to now tell the story behind this incredible work of wearable art.
The Berserkers were considered to be warrior-shamans during the Viking age. These warriors typically fell into two groups, Berserker and Ulfhednar, these groups were a late development in the early Germanic warband. These two groups shared similar practices with the main difference being their animal Totems. The Berserkers being associated with bears and the Ulfhednar with wolves. These warriors wore the hides of these beasts in battle as an outward reminder or warning that these warriors have crossed the edge of humanity and have become more of a celestial predator.
The candidates would undergo an initiation process that was a symbolic death and rebirth before they became a Berserker. They would be sent to spend time in the wild and would quite literally live like their totem animal, eating, sleeping and hunting like a wild bear. In this process the man would stop being an ordinary human and became a bear-man.
It is said that hereby the warriors were able to obtain the fierce fearlessness and seemed to be almost possessed by a bear in battle. Nobody knows for sure what the process was that they would undergo before entering battle but some speculate that it included ceremonial dances, exposure to extreme heat, fasting and some even say that they consumed hallucinogenic mushrooms to acquire the crazed, trance-like state. They would enter battle running, roaring, naked and wearing only the pelt of a wolf in a manner that was absolutely free of any fear, to the extent that seemed almost supernatural.
The range features bear claw scratch marks on the chest and back of the tops and hooded blanket depicting the brutal animalistic strength of the berserkers fighting like bears in battle. On the back of the tops and on the hooded blanket there is a depiction of a head of a bear representing the bear head and pelt they wore in battle. Finally on the blanket and bottoms there is a depiction of a full intricate bear representing and respecting the Berserkers totem animal. This range comes in a black and white color-way but also in a limited edition blood splatter variation. The Berserker Bloody-Limited range is back by popular demand for a short time only!
We hope you love this range just as much as we do!
-Lunafide Team <3