The Viking Age: A Living History
The Viking Age can be considered as one of longest yet most interesting sagas in the history of the European nations. The occupations of the Viking warriors during the Viking Age lasted for three hundred longs years, spreading from across the nations of Europe, as well as various parts of Africa, America and even Asia.
The savage air portrayed by the Scandinavian warriors increased the level of interest in the Viking Age. The Vikings were known to have left their Scandinavian homes in hordes, planning to pillage and raid the villages, and later on explore and settle on new lands. The typical image of a Scandinavian warrior is one of huge stature with horned helmets encased in full battle gear, carrying weapons. The Viking ships were also instrumental in adding to the image of a Viking who raided and pillaged lands.
By the 1960's, there had been an increase in the number of people and groups who are aiming to portray an accurate picture of the Viking Age. Although there are a lot of documentations on the subject and narrations of the events during the period, the historical groups and enthusiasts are devising ways on how to portray an accurate re-enactment of this important period in European history.
Up until the early 90's, Viking festivals are held to show staged fights which more or less depict what really happened during the Viking era. Currently, there are living history societies and several groups and organisations in New England as well as in other parts of Europe. These groups were founded to take you back to the time of the Vikings from the 8th to the 11th century and portray an accurate picture of how it was back then.
The living history enthusiasts are constantly researching and updating their facts. This is done regularly so that the Viking history can be re-created accurately.
Another mission of these living history groups is to spread the word to the current generation about the Viking age history. They are constantly researching extensively about the articles written on the subject, to educate the people and share their knowledge about this period in the history of Europe.
In Baltic Sea and small European villages and farms, the Viking culture is re-enacted. Tourists and visitors on these villages and farms encounter living Viking warriors, in an environment that will surely take them back to the time of the Vikings.
It is not just the highlight of the past raids and warfare that is being depicted in the living history society, but they also show how the Norsemen survived in their everyday living environment.
The portrayal of a 'living history' therefore describes the attempt of re-living and bringing history back to the life. In the case of the living history of the Viking Age, the re-enactors strive hard to create an accurate portrayal as possible.
From the props, costumes to the acting, the living history actors try to create and authentic the environment to really get a feel of how it was to live during the Viking Age in Europe.
The costume and props add to the authentic feel of the living history of the Viking Age. Weapons such as shield, helmets, swords, spears, axe and bow are cleverly reproduced and used in re-enactment scenes. There are organisations which concentrate on the study of the architecture of the Norse ships which were considered to be designed way beyond their time in terms of its navigational features. All in all, constant research and a closely imitated environment are needed to make a living history of the Viking Age a compelling symbolism of the values of history.
Original Authors: Jennifer Tumanda
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 29/07/2008