Re-Enactment and Me………….
So, you may have recently been to an event and seen some Vikings living in a camp settlement setting or watched a bunch of nutters putting a display and you are now thinking WOW all seems like fun and wondering how and why people get involved.
I wanted to share how it all started for me.
My initial perceptions of anyone who gets involved in re-enactment must be that they are a bit weird and why would anyone really want to do all that dressing up. You would never catch me doing anything like that.
My husband loves his history and after attending what he thought was a talk on 9th Century Viking life came home to tell me he had joined a Viking re-enactment group. My initial thought was great, something else he will be spending spare money on and giving up some of his precious home time.
Fast forward a season and he is loving playing his part. During the year he had attended lots of organised events he had learnt some key weapon combat skills. He loved telling me stories of what he had been doing and the conversations he was having with people from all walks of life. I remember attending an event with him as a spectator and watching from the side lines. He had a smile on his face that went from one ear to the other and I got to see first-hand his enjoyment. He had also forged some great new friendships.
As the months went by, I went to more events with him and spent time with his new friends. During the day it was a bit lonely. As I was in civilian clothing, I could not sit in the Viking living history camp and I started to feel like I was missing out. I had no knowledge of the period and felt like I would not be able to contribute to any group. In the evenings when the public had gone home the different groups would sit together around the campfire and share a horn or 5 of mead, tell stories from the day, share any good and build on friendships. I was often encouraged to just get a dress and join in.
Eventually, my attitude changed I absolutely felt like I was the one missing out. After some research I established a contact who made historical clothing and before I knew it, I had a kirtle and an apron dress. My husband had bought me a belt, I had ordered some shoes and I was good to go to my first event. The picture on this blog is my outfits first outing, standing next to my husband.
Fast forward to present day and I can now share I have been enjoying re-enactment for 2 ½ years. Odins Aett formed 18 months ago and I love our group. All the group’s member brings something unique and special to make it work. Whether it be fantastic historical knowledge, amazing crafting skills or simply a desire to learn something new and want to feel a sense of belonging. We share our knowledge with each other and my own skills and knowledge continues to grow. I now have made some amazing friends along the way who enhance my life and make me laugh and be proud of what we do. I love sharing what I have learned along the way with adult and children at any events. Our re-enactors community feels like an extended family where anyone will help if they can and each year it just gets better and better.
Yes it’s a commitment but one that’s so worth it. My only wish was that I had joined in earlier. So, if like me you are unsure don’t be you have nothing to lose but everything to gain. Give it a go!