Early Medieval Reenactments
Early Medieval Reenactments overlap time periods with the Dark Ages reenactments and are often classified as the same. The period spans 600 years. Some groups encourage their members to research and develop their own ‘character' to portray in reenactments. For reenactors who portray villagers in living history reenactments, it is important for them to have a clear understanding of the life of a villager in order to educate the public. A bowl, spoon, cup, and knife are the essentials for a villager to have. The knowledge and demonstration of a particular craft is also helpful. These crafts include spinning, dying, weaving, embroidery, clothes construction, chain mailing, carving and acting to name a few.
Battle Early Medieval Reenactments
For battle reenactments only blunt edged weapons are allowed and are checked before a reenactment. For most reenactments a basic combat test is required. For basic to advanced combat swords, daggers, axes and shields are used. Other weapons include the Dane Axe, which is a two handed axe that is 5 feet or more in length. Archery is also another form of combat used. An archery test must be taken and is one of the more difficult weapon tests.
Some reenactment groups are part of the Early Medieval Alliance. The E.M.A. organizes events and also provides groups with information about legislation and liability. Events the E.M.A. organizes include the Tintagel, which is a living history event about the Legend of King Arthur, Medieval Murder Mystery at Castle Rising, and different medieval festivals.
One of the most popular Early Medieval Reenactments is the Battle of Hastings reenactment. The battle is reenacted at Battle Abbey in East Sussex, on the nearest weekend to October 14th. The government group English Heritage runs the event. In 2006 there were over 3600 reenactors at the event and they expect attendance to grow each year! If you are not from the U.K. but are willing to travel, this is a great reenactment!
Early Medieval Reenactments have a large following. Even non-reenactors enjoy a Medieval or Renaissance Fair. If you are interested in early medieval times then Renaissance Fairs are a great place to learn more about becoming a reenactor in your area. If there are no renaissance fairs in your area, check online or at local libraries for more information!