Thursday, 15 January 2015

Whilst reading Wulf's article on the Germanic tribes in Britain here, I was reminded of an article I had posted here on the titles of Hengest and Horsa and their relation to the horse headed gables we find on the Saxon peasant houses (Bauernhaus) across Saxony and parts of the Germanic Low Countries. In Wulf's article he tells of a legend referring to the sister of Hengest and Horsa - that of Svava, which means 'Swan'.

In my previous article I explored the idea that the names Hengest and Horsa were the 'titles' that the Germanic twins had given themselves - which seems to me to be more likely. Apart from the Horse headed gables we find another symbol sometimes used, though not seemingly as often - that of the Swan! Thus these gable ends certainly fit with the legends of this important family. 

In these pictures we can see an example of the Swan gable ends - these one from Jork in Niedersachsen

This example shows both the Hengest and Horsa gables, along with a white swan. The swan is a an important Wodenist symbol - a bird which symbolises the Sun and the Valkyries.