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Walking-stick (and ghost-deterrent)

The artifact of the week is a so-called „water-staff“, here being wielded by one of our museum guides, Loryne, for scale. It is a walking stick that was used, among other things, to break the ice on watering holes for sheep and cattle. It has an iron pick on the bottom end for that purpose. On the top end is a hook that could be used to pick up objects that fell into the water or to wrangle sheep. The metalwork on the stick is attributed to Sigurþór Ólafsson of Gaddstaðir, and the stick was used on the Ægissíða farm.
These kinds of walking sticks could also be used to cross rivers or other bodies of water. The stick would be used in a similar manner to pole vaulting. Those who were best at vaulting themselves across rivers or ravines could get as far as 6 meters/19.6 feet, if their pole was long enough.
As was common, this stick has a copper ring attached to it.
The practical purpose for these was to hang the stick on the back of a packhorse when not in use. Its other purpose is somewhat more curious. According to folklore, no evil could sneak up on a person walking in darkness if the stick carried a copper ring. Whether this was because of the mere presence of the ring or because of the rattling sound it makes as you walk with it is unclear.

Guided tours

Guided tours are available upon reservation in English, German and Icelandic. Sometimes there is the opportunity to have guided tours in French, Spanish, Norwegian and Danish.

Tour times are from opening time up to 1 hour before closing time.

For group reservations and guided tours please email or call +354 487 8845.