Monday, 23 February 2009

Jorvik Viking Festival

We have been doing re-enactment with Regia Anglorum for a few years now. We are usually Anglo-Saxon, although our local group is mixed Viking and Anglo-Saxon. We all have names and personalities that we are supposed to act out, and we do shows where the public come to learn about history, while we are having fun playing dress up. :-)


The past week was the Jorvik Viking Festival at York, which is the major event for us for the year. We completely missed it last year. No time, no money, no motivation. :-( So made an effort this year. And it was nice to go, and to be reminded of why it is fun. It is shame that we just get out of the habit of doing things we like, and then forget about them!

This is one of the few family things that we do, although S doesn't anymore. Not since she pierced her nose and dyed her hair purple when she was about 13 or 14. R usually does it with us. She works on the embroidery stall, or looks after My Lady's children, or helps with feeding and watering the warriors. :-) She often fetches a good price at the slave market as well. But this past weekend, she was away with the Explorer Scouts, climbing Helm Crag and Saddle Seat in the Lake District. She was sad to miss Jorvik, but from the sound of it, she had fun as well. They were hiking and climbing and using ice hooks to get through the icy bits. So she does have quite a few bruises, and says her legs are so sore that she nearly didn't go to trampolining tonight! But she can't wait for the next one.

C and M were left to come to York with us. I had to spend most of last week making C a new kit because he has grown so much. Luckily, M gets her sister's hand-me-downs and they just all moved up a size in shoes. If we go back for Easter at York, Al will have to make R some new turn shoes, and she may need a new dress and wimple, and M will want a new dress and socks. She is getting C's old cloak, so C will need a new cloak, and so will R as she has outgrown her mantle. We have some lovely light turquoise linen to make Al a feasting tunic....and that is about it. So lots of sewing coming up.

In the mean time, we can talk about the fun we had at Jorvik 2009. The kids get so much from it. I spent most of the day with them in the Guild Hall doing the LHE (Living History Exhibit). By the way, our names are as follows;
Al is Algar, (Anglo Saxon)
C is Cynric ( Anglo Saxon and pronounced kunrik)
I am Yrsa (Viking, or Anglo Norse, and pronounced Ursa)
M is Magda (Viking)
R is Katla (Viking)
S used to be Gudrun.
We say that our family history is as follows. I was an Anglo Norse slave that was bought by Lord Aelfric and given to his loyal man Algar as a wife. That is how we explain the AS/Viking mixed family. Of course, inter marriage was very common as that is how new peoples have always been integrated into British History.

Some of the things we do.....

We work the quern stone, to make flour,
















Magda and Cynric learned to do Combat Braiding. Here they are with new friend Wolfwyn.

















We also do a lot of things like naalbinding or weaving (warp-weighted loom which you can see in the background in the photos above, or tablet) or finger-braiding.

There were also a couple of scenes re-enacted in the Guild Hall. There was a slave market, where Algar and Cynric were in charge of the slaves, one of which was Magda!
Here is Cynric with the slave merchant, a slave being sold, and a member of the public's back.


Here is Magda with her new owner, Hildegard the Leech (healer.)

and practising her new found skills,


And here is Cynric presenting a 'dowry' to the priests on behalf of a woman being presented for the nunnery. Yes, you needed more than mere vocation in those days.

Much of the day was spent fighting and battling too. Algar was a bit worn out at the end of the day.
And his throat was horse from all of the shouting.

VIVAT REX! VIVAT WILLIAM REX ANGLORUM! or DEATH TO THE FRANKEN. He killed as many Normans as he could, but they won in the end. Bloody Normans!

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