2010 SMUHA Guizer Jarl - David Smith
Aleksandur Leifsson of Vinland
This years Jarl's story is fictional.
David portrayed Aleksandur Leifsson of Vinland (born 1002,
died unknown), who was the little known younger son of Icelandic
explorer Leif Eriksson. Leif is renowned as being the first European
to set foot in North America five hundred years before Christopher
Columbus. Leif had exploring in his blood from his father – Erik the
Red – a revered Norse explorer from Western Norway.
In the autumn of 1002 Leif Eriksson arrived in the east of what is
now Canada from Greenland in a party including his wife and
young son, Thorkell. His wife Thorgunna was carrying their
youngest son, Aleksandur who thus became the first European
child born in North America – a true new world man.
In the spring of 1012 Leif, his eldest son Thorkell and the young
boy Aleksandur set about building a temple at a place they called
Aker med Innsje (roughly translates as the park beside the lake),
believed to be modern day L’Anse Aux Meadows on the Northern
tip of Newfoundland, Canada.
As work progressed Leif returned to Greenland and travelled back
to Iceland and on to Norway where he was granted an audience
with the King, Olaf Tryggvason.
“I swear by Tor and the snow dog that my sons’ temple of Syrinx
will stand for One thousand one hundred years from whence we
laid the mighty foundation stones that day in Aker med Innsjo!”
This did not impress the King who in the interim had been converted to Christianity.
“Twenty-one twelve? That must surely be some temple,” said the king.
“Tell me more of this Vinland” demanded King Olaf
“The Trees!”, replied Leif, “The Trees! Pine, fir, maple, oak – greater than any in all Norway!”
“If this place is so great I command you to return to your Father in Brattahlid in Greenland” cried the King and sent Leif on his
As the temple was completed and a great feasting hall prepared so Thorkell and Aleksandur made contact with the indigenous
people, learning their ways and customs, catching fish, wrestling bear and learning the best use of the bountiful grapes.
Thorkell later related that through dream line and the roll of
the bones he had a distant early warning of his father’s
demise and in 1018 returned to Greenland to take on the role
of Paramount Chieftain of Greenland. It was with heavy heart
that Thorkell left his brother and their merry making cohorts
but his premonitions were to come true and Leif Eriksson
died in Greenland in 1020.
Aleksandur was in no rush to leave the land of his birth; he
took a wife and remained behind in Canada sampling the
juice of the grape, making music, perfecting fishing and bear
wrestling at Rivendell where his descendants lived
undisturbed for the next five hundred years. Keen on learning,
Aleksandur took great interest in his fellow man and would
travel far and wide in order to broaden his knowledge. He was
interested in many different aspects of life and would be keen
to try new things often learning from those he met passing on
his knowledge to younger members of his community.
As he grew older Aleksandur began to take greater interest in
his heritage and spent much of his time travelling in northern
Europe where he eventually settled with his family in the
small village of Tannlegen.
The Guizer Jarl would like to thank everyone who has helped
in any way towards the first ever SMUHA and wishes
everyone a safe, successful and happy festival.
The 2010 and first ever South Mainland Up Helly Aa Guizer Jarl was David Smith from Maywick, Bigton.