A warrior has always needed to protect himself from injury in battle. If skill and speed were no longer sufficient, it was necessary to use other means.
The typical round shield from the Viking era was available in different sizes. Depending on the execution, the shield was used in battle o to repel a hail of arrows. First and foremost, it should protect the wearer from any damage caused by the attacker. Of course, the shield could also be used as a weapon.
The often made of lime wood, the blanks were covered with fabric to make the shield more stable. In the middle the shield hump has been placed to protect the inside hand. The shield boss was therefore made of metal. The edge of the shield has been reinforced with either rawhide, leather or metal. Depending on the design, the edges were sewn, nailed or riveted. The inside handle was also equipped with a leather strap for a more comfortable carrying of the shield.
The outside has been painted red with most of the bull's blood. Patterns were applied by the various families to indicate their affiliation. The inside was white or very light-coloured. When Vikings approached a village, they could hold the shield up at the hump. Thus the inside was shown, and the inhabitants recognized from afar that the strangers were coming in peace.
By the way: The saying "being up to something" also comes from time and means that some fighters put a hidden weapon in their shield to gain advantages in battle.