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Monday, July 30, 2012

CBC reviews DARC!

Hey all, We got a great review by the CBC visiting L'Anse aux Meadows while we were there. Check it out! We are featured just after the 1:15 mark. Karen

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My favourite things

I'm hoping this theme will be picked up by some of the others in DARC and over the next few days you'll see more of this sort of thing.

Like I think many others will say - there is clearly more than one favorite moment for me, and I'm sure I'll think of more of them as I see others posting.

Good Newfoundland food at Northern Delight - cod tongues, scallops, those amazing mussels, wonderful fish and chips, friendly waitresses - and especially the last night dinner with all of us still in costume.

Good times with good friends - both on site playing games with new friends like Luta my tafl partner for the week, or in the evenings unwinding with Zombie dice.  Beer and chats about this or that viking topic or even more fun - viking idea.

Talking to tourists - trying to sell gently used necklaces, arrange marriages, and whatnot in first person. Getting into heavier conversation on the deep background of artefacts, or cultural elements in third person.  Swapping tales of visits to Iceland or Sweden (usually in third person).  That special moment of having fun with someone in first person when they just "get it" and spend a few minutes working with you in first person to tease their daughter about getting married, or their husband for not carrying enough silver - then having a question from them and dropping to third person to get into more background.  So much fun.

"Swimming" in the north atlantic at the end of a hot day (ok so the water is only knee deep).  Then wading over to the river outflow to rinse your feet in the fresh water before putting the viking shoes back on to go back to the houses.

Single most chuckle worthy moment?  Meeting a fellow who bought a Tafl game in England and got home to find the instructions missing.  He did a lot of web work and playing with his kids to try and figure it out.  We were getting pretty deep into some of the rule sets and variations when his eyes opened and he said "You're that guy! Can we play a game?"  Turns out most of what he read came back to my original article from the 90s on reconstructing the rules.

Sitting up in the visitor's center - making beads and talking about the history of the beads. 


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

LAM is alive (with a lot more Vikings)

As the following images make obvious the site at L'Anse aux Meadows has been positively teeming with Vikings for the past week. As an outside observer (I'm the one taking the pictures) it is just great to see the expressions on the faces of visitors as they walk through the entrance in the fence and see Viking *life* every which way they turn.

Of course it is also the kind of thing that makes someone who is an enthusiast (of history and the values of live interpretation) wish that they could have these special events every other week (of course this world exists in the same one where all the interpreters get to quit their jobs and do this stuff full time).

Three more days before the LAM experience comes to an end. Book your charter flight now!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Life signs

DARC's experience at LAM continues. Due to a level of intense exhaustion on the part of many members (and more importantly this Blog poster) we simply present a couple of pictures of vikings 'in situ'.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I suggested the title 'The Three Wise Men' and then they said 'That is not the adjective I would use'.

DARC on the ground

Just a quick update for the moment to point out that DARC is currently in the midst of their nine days of interpretive activities at the L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC. They were greeted by true Viking weather with blustery winds and blattery rain and then a mix of sun (little) and cloud (lots). Yesterday saw waves of visitors and pretty much non-stop activity.

Snorri opted to stay warm by the fire.

Kettil held forth by the forge hut.
 Thorgeir talked woodworking
with curious visitors.

More to come...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Return To Vinland!

D. I. the Viking Age comes to LIFE
July 19 - 25, L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC


The Dark Ages Re-creation Company has been asked by Parks Canada to mount a major presentation at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC again this year. The 10 days of living history is to help mark the 'Presenting Norway' special event this summer.

Major physical demonstrations in the Norse Encampment area will include:

Rig on Music - Thorgeir  on the Spring Pole Lathe

Ka∂lin (or more likely Gudrin) on the Warp Weighted Loom

Ragnarr attempting to make a deal..

Kettil attempting to appear wise
 Living History - What does it look like?

DARC focuses on daily life in the Viking Age. The presentation will centre on a 'camp', with costumed interpreters surrounded by a collection of replica objects consisting of domestic goods, tools, and storage. At the rehearsal, simple overhead covers and tents will mimic the buildings which we will use at L'Anse aux Meadows. Individuals will be outfitted with the tools of their various trades and arts, all representing our real interests and skills. (We really are weavers and cooks, blacksmiths and carvers.) All of the objects seen, from clothing to tents, are based on specific artifact prototypes.
To the public, the members of DARC present themselves as actual voices from the past, with shared experiences as a group and direct personal histories. Individual members of DARC have prepared detailed characterizations based on their personal research into the Viking Age, developing considerable expertise in specialized areas. These characters are the 'common man': artisans, merchants or farmers typical of the Norse of the North Atlantic circa 1000 AD. Any conversation is likely to begin at this 'role playing' level of historic interpretation. The interpretive level used is then shifted to suit the needs of individual visitors. Some people delight in talking to a character from 1000 years ago, others are more comfortable with more of a modern commentary. These experienced interpreters are able to handle a wide range of topics and level of detail.

An interpretive team with proven experience!

Members of DARC are drawn from throughout Central Ontario, and are serious amateur living history enthusiasts, most with decades of experience. DARC has provided skilled and well equipped interpreters for special programs for all of the major events and exhibitions that marked the 'Viking Millennium' in Canada. No other group of Canadian re-enactors has as much accumulated museum experience. As a group and as individuals, members have worked both throughout Canada and the USA. Personal research has taken members to museums and archaeological sites across Iceland, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. This will be the third major group presentation mounted at 'Vinland'. Individual members have been cornerstone to the 'Norse Encampment at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC since its first inception in 1996.

On the Web :

Images by Paul Halasz , used with permission