Below we have attempted to answer some of the questions we are commonly asked about re-enactment.
What is Re-enactment?
Historical re-enactment is a hobby which allows us to explore history in a hands-on manner by looking at the military, social, commercial and everyday lives of people from a particular period. For the Fingal Living History Society, it is a way in which we can educate the public about how our Viking and Medieval ancestors traded, lived and played as well as learning and teaching crafts and skills such as woodworking and period cookery.
What is Living History?
At the Fingal Living History Society, we use the term Living History to describe our period villages where you will see us displaying how our ancestors traded, lived and played including crafts, cookery and games. We aim to help change the public’s perception of history, moving away from traditional stereotypes to exciting interactive experiences that bring the past to life.
What is a Combat Display?
A combat display is a mock battle put on by the Fingal Living History Society to show the public what combat in that period might have been like. A combat demonstration may be loosely based on an actual battle, and may simply consist of a display of basic tactics and manoeuvring techniques most commonly seen at the time. However, some of our displays are based around scripted battles where the battles are planned out beforehand so that the opposing sides make the same actions that were taken in the original battle.
Who are re-enactors?
Most re-enactors pursue re-enactment purely as a hobby however participants can be extremely diverse. The Fingal Living History Society has members who range in age from small children involved in the society through their parents to retirees who enjoy re-enactment as a hobby. Among our adult participants, people come from all different walks of life - university students, scientists, health professionals and even historians.
Why do you do this?
Participant’s motivation for becoming involved in re-enactment varies as much as the participants themselves but generally our members have become involved for the following reasons;
- A keen interest in the history and the everyday life of a particular time-period is usually a key factor in participation. While the Fingal Living History Society’s main aim is usually to educate the public, re-enactment is a hobby with unrivalled opportunities to learn about our ancestors. The majority of re-enactors at any event will bring key knowledge and expertise in any given area and enjoy nothing better than interacting with the public to answer any questions they may have, as well as sharing this knowledge with other re-enactors.
- The social aspect of re-enactment is also a key factor. While numbers participating in this hobby in Ireland are growing, there are still only a certain number of groups or individuals with an interest in the same time period. Thus, at most re-enactment events portraying any given time period you will come across the same groups of people and many of these people become friends. At the Fingal Living History Society, many of the members were friends before they became involved in re-enactment and most have made many more friends since becoming involved. As a group, we enjoy the great camaraderie at events but we also socialise together outside of re-enactment.
Where can I find out more about Re-enactment?
Who can I talk to about organising an event?
If you are interested in organising a re-enactment event and would like the assistance of the Fingal Living History Society please contact the group’s chairperson. For more information contact us.
How can I join up?
Does it cost anything to join?
There are no membership fees for joining the Fingal Living History Society but there are associated costs such as purchasing period clothing and equipment. Please contact us for more information.