History and Terminology.
Despite of history can be something amazing, sometimes it is hidden in books and documents, and can bring us to the thought that there is not any link between what we read and our nowadays society.
Scientific spreading can help us to break this barrier, remember our past and learn from it.
There are three kinds of investigation outside of the academic field: historical reconstruction, expirimental archaeology and last but no least, historical reenactment.
Historical reconstruction and experimental archaeology reconstructs in a very concise way the same techniques that we can find in historical sources (archaeological findings, inventory, letters, chronicles, iconography...) from the past to help us to understand a specific context or period of time.
Historical reconstruction aims to reenact in a very efficient way how people elaborated certain materials and artifact considering a specific context.
Experimental archaeology focuses its activity in the creation of replicas of objects that were found in archaeological excavations to let us get to know them.
Historical reenactment considers historical reconstruction and experimental archaeology are crucial to reenact a period of time, society or historical fact for the mainstream .
Historical reenactment existed already during Roman age: they reenacted famous battles, conflicts between slaves and/or gladiators in the coliseum... But until 19th century the concept of "historical reenactment" did not appear with the reenactment of battles (specially napoleonic ones, which encouraged them to reenact other period of times of human mankind).
As time passed reenactment was more focused on famous battles and wars (American civil war, second world war, napoleonic war, ...) and in a progressive way, they started to reenact also the civil context of each age.
Nowadays historical reenactment pretends to reenact the history as a living museum, in which reenactors show techniques, material elaboration, traditions, battles and social life to the public, and share their knowledge with other reenactors.
Hávamál's Clan Reenactment.
Clan Hávamál reenacts the traditions and also the material elaboration of Scandinavian societies of 10th and 11th century.
We show how they were dressed, how they lived, what could/could not be found in their country, how did see the world through their pagan philosophy... we want to be an interactive documental to our public.
Historical reenactment is a branch of historical spreading which aims to show and spread the knowledge of a specific period of time or fact to the mainstream.
Just like historical reconstruction and experimental archaeology, it pretends to compare what documents say with what it was possible to do then or not.
Clan Hávamál's activities pretend to be ludic.
We believe that without fun and enthusiasm, it is not possible to make people be interested in what we are showing them.
Despite this our team reenacts viking ages in a very rigorous way and professional style in each of its performances.
To make our perfomances as rigorous and professional as possible, we base all our performances on reliable sources that we found either on internet or after a long and tenacious research process through books (university libraries or specialized bookstores in Barcelona and abroad) about 10th and 11th century.
Nowadays there are a lot of sources that have helped us to bring the precise rigourosity to our reenactment performances.
We use the same sources that investigators use for their scientific studies: references of 10th and 11th century (art and written documents) that are still available today or archaeological sources, which provide us a point of view more pure and direct.
Luckily there are a lot of remainings of Scandinavian world that lasted until today in perfect conditions.
The contact with other reenactment groups, either national (like Clan del Cuervo) or international (Jomsvikings), with whom we are communicating through the net, allowed us to share the information that we find with each other's and contrast it to improve our respective work.
Using all this information, we started to build our own material and make it as similar as possible to the archaelogical findings.
Whenever we cannot build our own material due we do not have the required infrastructure to make it (i.e. shields and swords), we buy it in specialized stores.
We consider that the fact of making your own equipment is one of the most attractive things of reenactment world.
Types of events, fighting and security.
Clan Hávamál makes its performances in two kinds of events:
- Public events: in this kind of events, we focus our performance in all those activities that help the visitors to learn more about Scandinavian culture: lectures, workshops and demonstrations.
Inside Clan Hávamál there are specialists (historians, archaeologist, linguists...) who guide all the team to make our performances (workshops, warfare demonstrations or day to day life in the camp) reliable.
- Private events: Despite we also do our performances in familiar and closer events, we make sure that the assistants learn about Scandinavian world in a more relaxed and funnier atmosphere.
Each member of Clan Hávamál will focus on its specialty (knitting, leather or wood carving, embrodering...) and teach other members and assistants how they do it.
Depending on the infrastructure that we have access to, we may fence our camp with a rope and hang several banners on it with information about our activities.
In this case we aim to show our assistants the social life of Scandinavian people during 10th and 11th century camp by settling a camp with furniture, tents, canopies, etc... and following the structure of the camps of that period of time.
We can also provide demonstrations of martial techniques and warfare.
After attending few events we realized that those are the most attractive activities to our public, specially children, who find it tremendously spectacular.
We understand that we must be careful when performing this kind of activities due the risk that they may supose, but our professional team knows how to keep security all time.
Girls of Clan Hávamál will make sure that no one gets closer to our warriors while they are fighting and despite there is no choreography in the fightings that our warriors do, they have trained hard to make their fights as secure as possible for the public and for themselves.
The movements and techniques that our warriors do during their fightings are based on Icelandic sagas (despite they were written on 13th century, they are a valuable information source when it comes to facts that took place during 10th and 11th century) and other texts and manuscripts of that period of time (like Anglosaxon chronicle) or later sources like old fencing treatise (we always contrast the information of each source that we use).
Depending on the rules of the organizators of each event that we attend, we decide which weapons we will use for our combats.
All of our weapons appear in archaelogical sources: swords, axes, spears and knives or Saxs (there are several types depending on the place that they were found and the period of time when they were found) and all of them are supervised to follow a security rules that regule the thick of blades and their baldness.
Protections like helmets (although according to historical sources only wealthy people would wear them), gloves (specially to protect the hand that holds the sword), leather bracelets, gambeson or aketó (a special protective padding coat) and shield (with a specific characteristics) are obligatory in our combats.
The members of Clan Hávamál that represent the higher status inside the clan wear chain mail or lamelars.
At the moment we are updating and working on the culinary and recipes section and also in the bow section to be incorporated into our activity list.