There were trade routes between Northern Europe and Africa, India and China, so it is very likely that people from all over the world would have visited Scotland.
It is also likely that some Northern Europeans would have settled in other parts of the world and some people from Africa, India and other areas would have settled in Northern Europe. Direct evidence of this is rather hard to find, however.
There's a complication in translations of medieval records because a description of someone as "a black man" was used to mean someone with black hair, not black skin.
Norse sagas describe Africans as "Blaumenn" (blue men). There are stories of Blaumenn in Dublin and of someone called Kenneth of Niger in Scotland in the 10th Century.
In the middle ages Muslims were considered as bad or even worse than heathens, because they worshipped Muhammad, who was an Antichrist to Christians. There are not many episodes in Heimskringla that concern Muslims, or ‘blámenn’ as they are called in the sagas. King Sigurd Jorsalafar is said to have fought heathens in Spain on his way to Jerusalem. He plundered with his crew on the island of Formentera, where there was a ‘herr mikill heiðinna blámanna’. Sigurd’s men win the battle of course (Msona chs. V-VI). Heimskringla does not mention anything about Muslim beliefs, but obviously there was no need to clarify the evilness of the blámenn to the audience since the word ‘blár’ reveals that these men were very different from the heroic King Sigurd and his men. Even though blár means ‘blue,’ in this case it signifies ‘black.’ These ‘blue men’ lived in Spain or the south Mediterranean. ‘Blámenn’ refers not only to literally black men, but also to Arabs and Moors. The use of the term ‘blámenn’ indicates that the writer wanted to stress that they were of different ethnic origin than the Norse people. We should also remember, too, that in the fornaldarsögur the term ‘blámenn’ refers to earthly creatures of evil (e.g. ‘blámenn ok berserkir’ Lindow, 1995, 13-14). This ethnic implication was probably more important to the intended audience of the saga than any, rightly omitted, information about the religious beliefs of the blámenn.
Frances 488. Tue Oct 21, 2003 10:26 pm
I'm sure I read that black men were called 'blue men' by the Vikings. Also that some African tribes have no separate words for blue and green, as the differentiation is of no importance in their necessary world-view. However, they can readily recognise the difference when it's pointed out to them. The same as we don't have four hundred words for different aspects of camels, as I'm told Arabs do, only in reverse. If you see what I mean.
In Magnúss sona saga (ch. 6) King Sigurd makes a journey to the Holy Land. On his way he fights with
the “heathen blámenn” on the Spanish Isles of Menorca and Ibiza. These socalled
“blue men” in the
saga are Moors. The word blár means here ‘black’ and blámenn referred to the inhabitants of Blálönd –
Black Lands, which was an undefined, faraway
geographical area in the minds of the learned medieval
Scandinavians. As the word itself reveals, it was the black skin that mattered. In the fornaldarsögur
blámenn were associated with forces of evil. Nevertheless, blámenn referred later not only to black men
but also to Moors and Saracens. So, here we have the thin line between the supernatural and ethnically
different enemies, which is by no means a deviating feature in the Heimskringla (or in other Old Norse
sources).22 As the giants of the Old Norse mythology became the Finnar in historical writings, so did
the blámenn of the fornaldarsögur become the enemies of Christianity: black men, Saracens, Moors. As
John Lindow has pointed out, it must have been difficult to draw a line between the supernatural and
the natural in these contexts. Lindow has also observed that what is striking about the description of
strangers and other groups in Nordic tradition are “how closely they resemble attributes of supernatural
Ennen ja nyt 4/2004 >>> http://www.ennenjanyt.net/404/
beings”.23 In fact, in the Middle Ages there hardly existed a division between the supernatural and the
natural. In people’s minds angels were as real as demons.
It is obvious that in the Middle Ages Icelanders and Norwegians must have had a faint understanding
places that they knew only by name: Spain, Sicily, Jerusalem, Byzantium. But it seems that the
geographical distance had less importance than religion when regarding the “otherness” of people.
Namely, the Christian concept of the world was that it consisted of Christian peoples. Heathens and
heretics did not belong to their world: they were outside of Christendom. It seems that this Christian
is perceptible also in the Heimskringla, as strangers are those who stand outside the
Christian community. These outsiders are described as extremely different. “Otherness” based on
ethnic difference does not seem to play a major part in the Heimskringla. In the case of blámenn it is
obvious that skin colour that differed from the standard is one factor that makes them different, but I
would see the skin colour only as a feature that emphasises that blámenn were evil and enemies of
Christianity as were also the Wends. All in all, heathens in the Heimskringla seem to be strangers
without any category, which would mean that their degree of difference is digital.
The True root of Hoy
by Blue Man on 27.2.2004
Those mired in the constraints of the modern world, would be hard pressed to allow themselves to believe the truth of the origins of this sacred word- Hoi Hoy, which is most generally spelled Hoi, has a root far earlier than most understand. It has become a greeting associated with those who know the TRUTH of the origins of Man. Ahhh, he must be crazy you say?!. The Hoi greeting is most often traced to seafaring civilizations, who had significant contact with the mammals of the sea. The Hoi Hoi sound is that made by porpoises to communiate (greet) each other. Over time this sound was adopted by Vikings, Scotsman, Polynesians, Islanders, etc. as a Universal Greeting. When the legendary Blue Men (Hoi Gollokai) (Mermaid like creatures- with wizardlike powers of song, luck, art, and creativity)) due to their higher consciousness (like dolphins) left the oceans to return to land, thus beginning their interaction and intermingling with early humans (Cro Magnon). This eventual interbreeding led to lineages far more intelligent with a higher consciousness than existed before. These lineages can be traced to several ancient civilizations, most notably in Scotland and Ireland, where the Galukai came out of the brakish waters of the Lochs. Ancient Scottish castles on the Lochs (, bear some as yet unknown signifiance in this history. Mummified remains of these ancient sea creatures can be found in some museums. I have seen them. "The Luck O the Irish", has a basis in fact, for the redheaded descendants of the Golokai, who came from the sea, eventually mating with humans. If you analyze photography of bluemen, colors, similar to dolphins, and convert them to negatives you get bluegreen. Irish/Scottish redheads, seen in the negative (as in the sea), appear this exact color- bluemen. There also exists other strains of these breedings who came from the polynesian and island peoples. These peoples, some alive today, possibly with the surname Hoy or Hoi, possess qualities of lucidity, creativity, higher consciousness, sensitivity to sound, generally very musical, or artisitic, have a special affinity for the water, and seem to age slowly. Even the Hopi Indians of the SouthWest, who arose from remnants of the Mayans, who knew these secrets, have as one of their deities- The Red Beard LongHair. Shown as a Kachina- he is the spirit who brings the water and rain to the land. Sound farfetched ? I have done my research. New clues from the underwater lost city off the coast of Cuba that has been found, as well as pyramid anomolies in the OceanPacific due West of Oregon/California coast should prove interesting.... Stay tuned. Hoi Hoi has become the international greeting for those with the higher consciousness, yet who stay in the shadows. There may also be a link with sacred Orders such as the FreeMasons... who came from this Old World- New Order.... There are other very interesting parallels, that I don't have time to discuss, relating to a self-perpetuating semantic phenomenon. The The. strange and interesting comparisons to the mathematics of Fractal Chaos theory, and the iterations of equations that create a "Mandelbrot Set" formation... Truth is Stranger than Fiction !! Hoi Hoi !! Long live the Porpoise People ! P.S. The word porpoise comes from Porcus (Pig) + Piscis (Fish)= PigFish... mammal interbred with fish.... sounded with the oi sound that the dolphin makes. Ignorant humanoids descended from simians... enlightened Man descended from sea creatures that returned to the sea after having lived on land, and then rebred with existing mammalian humanoids... BELIEVE... Hoi Hoi !! Some believe in aliens from outer space.... but here on earth is the evidence of the truth from our own oceans !!!
Their little lecture concerning the relationship between grapheme and phoneme in the
Greek and Russian alphabets is hardly more trustworthy. Per says: “We must remember that
in both the Greek and Russian alphabets the letters “b” and “v” are identical, and so are “o”
and “u”…” (p. 137 our translation). Obviously, they have not understood that one letter can
symbolize different sounds in the same or related alphabets. The Russians and the modern
Greeks distinguish between b and v and between o and u in both speech and spelling; a fact
which the first lesson in any textbook on these languages would have revealed. Even when it
comes to Snorri’s own language, the two authors are surprisingly ignorant. When discussing
the meaning and location of Bláland (The Blue Land, i.e. the Land of the Blue Men) (pp. 29),
they fail to acknowledge that the adjective blár in Old Norse may also mean dark. Their
discussions around the meaning of the place-name Svitjod (Old Norse Svífljó›) also end in a
total shambles when they introduce a pseudo-Norse explanation which is grammatically
impossible (p. 30).
Three key questions arise at this point: What did the very first Norse travelers to North America in fact call the people they met there, well over a century before Ari the Learned penned his history? Did the reference to "Skrælings" occur in the first version of Ari's work, the original of which no longer exists? And what was the word Skræling(j)ar intended to signify?18 18
As handed down through the pertinent medieval literature, the word Skræling(j)ar deliberately conveys small size as the chief characteristic of the native people the Norse met on their voyages farthest west. (From innumerable examples, we know that the names the medieval Norse gave to new people and places were based on what they considered a main characteristic.19) There is also fairly good scholarly agreement that in a literary context, Skræling(j)ar was used pejoratively to indicate puny physical stature—a quality disdained by the medieval Norse. While the word therefore suggests a possible etymological link to the modern Norwegian word skral, used about people or objects in poor condition,20 that linkage is not readily acceptable to linguistic scholars. However, the philologist Kari Ellen Gade proposes that if the word skræling(j)ar was coined orally shortly before its first-time written use in Ari's book, the commonly accepted rules for vowel changes and consonant doubling in Old Norse might not apply.21
19 Examples are the names Leif Eiriksson gave to the three main North American regions he found, and the term blámenn ("blue men") applied to the black people the Norse encountered in North Africa.
JSTOR: Royal Purple of Tyre- [ Vertaal deze pagina ]Negroids and some "Moors" were called "blue-men" in early Irish-Norse Chronicles.36 ..... Purple in the Middle Ages was used for sacred and royal purposes ...
links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-2968(196304)22%3A2%3C104%3ARPOT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-U - Gelijkwaardige pagina's
Etymology and definitions
BlueberriesThe modern English word blue comes from the Middle English, bleu or blwe, which came from an Old French word bleu of Germanic origin (Frankish or possibly Old High German blao, "shining"). Bleu replaced Old English blaw. The root of these variations was the Proto-Germanic blæwaz, which was also the root of the Old Norse word bla and the modern Icelandic blár, and the Scandinavian word blå, but it can refer to other colours. A Scots and Scottish English word for "blue-grey" is blae, from the Middle English bla ("dark blue," from the Old English blæd). Ancient Greek lacked a word for colour blue and Homer called the colour of the sea "wine dark", except that the word kyanos (cyan) was used for dark blue enamel.
As a curiosity, blue is thought to be cognate with blond, blank and black through the Germanic word. Through a Proto-Indo-European root, it is also linked with Latin flavus ("yellow"; see flavescent and flavine), with Greek phalos (white), French blanc (white, blank) (loaned from Old Frankish), and with Russian белый, belyi ("white," see beluga), and Welsh blawr (grey) all of which derive (according to the American Heritage Dictionary) from the Proto-Indo-European root *bhel- meaning "to shine, flash or burn", (more specifically the word bhle-was, which meant light coloured, blue, blond, or yellow), whence came the names of various bright colours, and that of colour black from a derivation meaning "burnt" (other words derived from the root *bhel- include bleach, bleak, blind, blink, blank, blush, blaze, flame, fulminate, flagrant and phlegm).
In the English language, blue may refer to the feeling of sadness. "He was feeling blue". This is because blue was related to rain, or storms, and in Greek mythology, the god Zeus would make rain when he was sad (crying), and a storm when he was angry. Kyanos was a name used in Ancient Greek to refer to dark blue tile (in English it means blue-green or cyan). The phrase "feeling blue" is linked also to a custom among many old deepwater sailing ships. If the ship lost the captain or any of the officers during its voyage, she would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her entire hull when returning to home port. 
Many languages do not have separate terms for blue and or green, instead using a cover term for both (when the issue is discussed in linguistics, this cover term is sometimes called grue in English). Blue is commonly used on internet browsers to colour a link that has not been clicked; when a link has been clicked it changes yellow or orange or purple.