Micel Folcland Cýðing of Gerád
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Old English for "Statement of Accuracy," Nicky Hughes, an American Civil War Reenactor and editor of the Camp Chase Gazette, wrote the Campaigner's Manifesto several years ago, enunciating the principles and ethics of hardcore Civil war reenactors. It was revised for AWI, Victorian Age Civilians and War of 1812. A version for early Medieval reenactors was inspired by these earlier versions.
At its base, knowledge of history is fun. It is the intent of any serious historical reenactor to have fun while at the same time educating themselves, their fellow participants and spectators without compromising the accuracy of their impressions or presentations as is currently understood. I recognize that living history is a journey that will never be completed because of the discovery of new facts and interpretations and acknowledge that this is the source of a lot of my enjoyment in the pursuit.
1. I am a member of the folc of Micel Folcland and am committed to developing and practicing the most historically accurate portrayal of a citizen of the Danelaw of pre-Conquest (950–1066 ce) Britain now possible. The only limitations I place upon the accuracy of my impression are due to a prudent concern for maintaining modern standards of health and safety, and those limitations naturally enforced by lack of information resulting from the passage of time since the Viking Age.
2. I shall maintain historical accuracy behind the ropelines during public hours and shall then use only appropriate period technology but shall not be limited to such technology during the construction of historical items at other times and places. I recognize that many of the following provisions are pertinent only at specific times and places.
3. I obtain the most historically accurate clothing, equipment, and other relevant items available to me. I insist upon the use of proper materials and patterns in all reproduction items. I shall obey the decisions of my AO regarding all materials for which accurate reproductions are not available. I shall always explain any deviations because of availability to any spectators and explain to them what would have been available.
4. I recognize that all information is in a state of change and that I should always strive to improve my impression and to distribute all information that I have found. I recognize that our understanding of the details of history changes over time. I welcome constructive discussion of such matters, and I share information freely.
5. I recognize that many vital aspects of the era cannot be re-created effectively in a living history context. I do not see this failing as an excuse to be lax about other aspects of my impression, but as a challenge to insure that all I can portray is presented as accurately as possible.
6. My impression is based upon serious research into and careful analysis of reliable sources of information about the experiences of commonfolk during the era. It is dependent upon the legitimate interpretation of literary and archaeological evidence. I recognize the need to employ the historian's skills, including the ability to evaluate possible sources of information, and I do not base my impression upon the claims of those who manufacture goods for the reenacting market, reenacting traditions and customs, superficial or outdated publications, entertainment media or other suspect sources.
7. I portray the common person of the era as my knowledge of history leads me to believe him to have been. I limit the items I use to those items which were commonly available to the common person of the era. I use my research into period society to determine what equipment I should have, display and carry.
8. My impression shall reflect regional variations in clothing and equipment seen by the relevant culture I portray. Except in very special circumstances, however, I avoid presenting exotic impressions.
9. I recognize that persons of the time suffered from many of the same disabilities that people experience today but except for life-threatening conditions shall not use oop and inappropriate visual apparatus during public hours behind the ropeline.
10. Although I maintain a primary interest in a single culture, I am able to portray the common folk of other cultures appropriate to a particular event, scenario, or historic site. I am willing to change my personal impression to fit various situations and apply the same standards of historical accuracy to such portrayals that I apply to my primary impression.
11. Camp cooking should be representative of what was generally available and done in the period, even if it is just in a "best case" scenario. Foods should be limited to what has been found to exist and be used by people of the time, and no inappropriate cooking methods should be used during public hours behind the ropeline. Coolers, refrigeration and other modern conveniences needed for modern hygienic practice should be kept hidden from public view both within and outside the ropeline. No foodstuff should be distributed or given to members of the public.
12. I handle and maintain weapons in a manner intended to insure my safety and that of others around me, and which reflects period practice in a way consistent with modern safety requirements.
13. I stand shoulder to shoulder with all other serious historical reenactors and especially those of our chosen era. Living history is not a competition, and participants should seek to learn and perform historic arts and crafts because of the affection of the craft and satisfaction of the work, not because of any desire for recognition or awards.
14. I acknowledge that I am working to be a legitimate force in living history and seek to promote the enjoyment of all participants in the hobby and the education of both participants and spectators. I shall not unilaterally confront members of other groups when their standards differ from those of Micel Folcland except when the authenticity regulations of Micel Folcland are in effect. At all times, shall I seek to demonstrate by example.
15. Although I employ a third-person impression, I take great care to avoid behavior, language, and comments that might disrupt accurate living history activities except to put these activities into the proper perspective for spectators. I strive to attain a mental attitude appropriate to the person I portray when in character.
\16. I restrict my discussion of politics or religion at events to that appropriate to the era. Whenever I mention a political or religious perspective or action that is inappropriate for the era, it shall be to cast light upon a period perspective or action. Appropriate political or religious beliefs and actions shall in no way have any relationship to actual personal beliefs, and these personal beliefs shall never be discussed while in kit.
17. The greatest pleasure I derive from living history comes from the knowledge that I am re-creating the experiences of the persons of the era with the greatest fidelity to history I can manage. I realize the enormity of my task and seek to be part of only one force among many. I do aspire to stand out by virtue of the accuracy of my interpretation and practices and to present an ideal that may be seen and emulated by other reenactors.
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