For me, the Early Middle Ages is from the sixth to the eleventh centuries. I find it a vital and admirable era, full of drama and entertainment, and in some ways superior to the eras that surround it. Although the era has the popular name of “Dark Ages,” this term was coined by the Renaissance author, Petrarch, who neither saw nor understood the times, and many modern scholars think that the term should not be used. The era saw many discoveries and innovations as it emerged from a Europe dominated by Roman empire, and it cannot today even be claimed that facts concerning the era are either unknown and obscure. It is a misunderstood era that I greatly appreciate and feel comfortable with, and I sometimes feel my primary responsibility is to let people who put the era down see why it is that I bear so much affection for it!
Regia Anglorum is a society founded in the UK in 1986 to accurately re-create the life of the British people as it was in the one hundred years prior to the Norman Conquest. Saxons, Vikings, Normans and Cymry all equally fall within our area of expertise. Our work deliberately has a strong educational slant and we consider that authenticity is of the highest importance. Regia is known as one of the best groups recreating the Early Middles in the world and has been featured in many documentaries and films. You can find much more about Regia at http://regia.org/
Regia Anglorum started forming branches in North America early in the twenty-first century. Our local branch covers Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, and it is called Micel Folcland (Old English for “Land of the Great People,” a meaning of “Illinois”), We are incorporated as a not-for profit educational organization. Our main thrust is Anglo-Scandinavian in the early eleventh century, and we attempt to recreate the culture of the Danelaw by holding and arranging demonstrations of Early Medieval crafts, displays of artifacts, lectures on the era and full encampments. At these events, we wear historical clothing and use only accurate period tools and techniques, within the limits of safety. Our encampments generally portray the activities of an eleventh-century village from around York, although we are forced by necessity to conduct these activities in and around period-style tents instead of houses. We do demonstrations of many crafts and pastimes of the era, including textiles, cooking, gaming, archery and military drill. Our clothing are as close to the styles of the time as we can make them, from head to toe, using the fabrics, the colors and even the sewing techniques of the time.
Our primary objective is to educate the audience as thoroughly, as completely and as accurate as possible on the culture of a misunderstood but infinitely rich and varied era of time! We accept members of any race, creed, faith or political view as long as they agree to wear accurate reconstructed clothing and kit from a British culture from that era and not to proselytize on any inappropriate subject.
For more information on the local branch, go to http://www.micelfolcland.org/
Living History, in the words of Jay Anderson, “can be defined as an attempt by people to simulate life in another time.” It is more than a fancy-dress costume party, somewhat more than experimental archaeology, more than just battle recreation and more than camping in funny tents. All aspects, from battle to special festivities to the everyday homely details of life in that time, are re-created. Many reenactors, more used to celebrating American independence from European culture, cannot see how European culture has any real influence on American culture. That is changing. Many medieval reenactors are becoming more involved in serious living history. By recreating European medieval history, Americans are actually paying tribute to those forces which molded American culture.
Welcome to a site where I will be talking entirely about living history and predominantly Anglo-Scandinavian recreation of the world a thousand years ago! It’s gonna stay simple at least for now, but I have a tendecy to make things more difficult than they should be…so who knows the future might bring! For the present, for more information head to www.micelfolcland.org, www.micel-folcland.wikidot.com/or www.regia.org. And I’ll see you around!