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Re-enactment question

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  • Alastair Millar
    This excellent (and important) question came from a colleague in Poland - any ideas, anyone? [quote] Can you explain why there are so few Slav historical
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 2, 2000
      This excellent (and important) question came from a colleague in Poland -
      any ideas, anyone?

      [quote]
      Can you explain why there are so few Slav historical re-enactments in
      central Europe? I went to a West Stow (UK) open day two weeks ago with
      people dressed up as Anglo-Saxons living in the sunken-floored buildings
      (and very comfortable they looked too). Their role as the "first English"
      came over quite well. Why are there no settlements of the "first Poles" and
      "the first Czechs" reconstructed and displayed in the same way? It almost
      makes one want to get out the broad axes and adzes and build a few huts and
      stock them with a few appropriately-costumed winsome wenches and handsome
      youths and with suitable marketing see the zloties rolling in. Why has it
      not been done?
      [unquote]

      Alastair
    • Despina de la Brasov
      ... Poland - ... in ... Salut Alistar, It is, indeed and excellent question your colleague poses. My personal answer comes from my experiences in research.
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 2, 2000
        > This excellent (and important) question came from a colleague in
        Poland -
        > any ideas, anyone?
        >
        > [quote]
        > Can you explain why there are so few Slav historical re-enactments
        in
        > central Europe?

        Salut Alistar,

        It is, indeed and excellent question your colleague poses. My
        personal answer comes from my experiences in research. The English
        wrote a lot down, and they were never completely looted and taken
        over by a dictator or form of government that believed in complete
        supression and destruction of the past (Cromwell aside, as much
        survived him and he wasn't in power so long in the grand scheme of
        things).

        My area is Transylvania/Wallachia - modern day Romania. When the
        communists took it over, they took it over. My research into
        historical dress for the area turns up a lot of folk costume that can
        be positively dated to the 19th century, no farther. (If one more
        person sends me to a website that turns up a ton of folk costume and
        nothing documentable before 1600, I think I will cry with the
        frustration of it.)Only *very* recently have I been able to find
        manuscript type documents pre-19th century from this area on the web,
        as well as pics of frescos from 15th and 16th century monestaries to
        use as reference for cosumes and scribal work. And those are
        extremely few. All of the artwork that I can find on the web done by
        people from this area - 19th century and later, not a lot of it
        either.

        I would love to find portraits of the ruling princes and nobles of
        the area from pre-1600 (aside from Vlad the Impaler), but it is very
        difficult. Supression and destruction has eradicated and slowed down
        the availability of material on this area, and many other former
        communist state areas.

        So, I guess I'd say it's not for lack of love of history, but for
        lack of period sources, destruction of such sources and long time
        supression of such sources.

        Cu Drag,
        Despina de la Brasov
      • Lord Kainin Tepésa
        ... Would you please, please share those? Kainin
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 2, 2000
          >Only *very* recently have I been able to find
          >manuscript type documents pre-19th century from this area on the web,
          >as well as pics of frescos from 15th and 16th century monestaries to
          >use as reference for cosumes and scribal work.

          Would you please, please share those?

          Kainin
        • Despina de la Brasov
          ... web, ... to ... Salut! not to put you off, but if I can find them when I am near a computer or about to be on a computer before Pennsic, I would be happy
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 2, 2000
            --- In sig@egroups.com, Lord Kainin Tepésa <kainin@c...> wrote:
            > >Only *very* recently have I been able to find
            > >manuscript type documents pre-19th century from this area on the
            web,
            > >as well as pics of frescos from 15th and 16th century monestaries
            to
            > >use as reference for cosumes and scribal work.
            >
            > Would you please, please share those?
            >
            > Kainin

            Salut!

            not to put you off, but if I can find them when I am near a computer
            or about to be on a computer before Pennsic, I would be happy to post
            them for you. Otherwise, I am afraid it will have to wait until I
            return. The hard copies with webpages in the corners are at my home
            in a couple of piles, while I am at work. And my DH and I still have
            to finish making the walls for our ger.

            I will happily post them though, as soon as I am able.

            Cu drag,
            Despina de la Brasov
          • Lord Kainin Tepésa
            ... Then I shall wait patiently for your return. Many thanks, Kainin
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 2, 2000
              >Salut!
              >
              >not to put you off, but if I can find them when I am near a computer
              >or about to be on a computer before Pennsic, I would be happy to post
              >them for you. Otherwise, I am afraid it will have to wait until I
              >return. The hard copies with webpages in the corners are at my home
              >in a couple of piles, while I am at work. And my DH and I still have
              >to finish making the walls for our ger.
              >
              >I will happily post them though, as soon as I am able.
              >
              >Cu drag,
              >Despina de la Brasov

              Then I shall wait patiently for your return.

              Many thanks,
              Kainin
            • Alastair Millar
              Despina - The points you raise are all valid, but I think you may be slightly missing my point. (BTW, I might dispute the accuracy of the claim that the
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 4, 2000
                Despina -

                The points you raise are all valid, but I think you may be slightly missing
                my point.

                (BTW, I might dispute the accuracy of the claim that "the English... were
                never completely looted and taken over by a dictator or form of government
                that believed in complete supression and destruction of the past" - what
                about the Danelaw? Or, much more successfully, the Normans??)

                I am more than aware of the lack of sources for the early period - I am
                trained as an archaeologist, and now live in Bohemia and work in the
                heritage sector. However, the Czechs for example have an excellent,
                unquashed tradition stretching from the early chronicles to the romanticism
                of the C19th National Reawakening of a detailed pseudo-history of their
                arrival and settlement in the what is now Bohemia, and of the foundation of
                the great Premyslid ruling dynasty... so why no re-enactors for this period?

                There is certainly enough published archaeological evidence of the
                enclosures used by the first Slavic settlers to make a fair stab at
                reconstruction, if one really wants to... but no-one wants to. The question
                is, why not??

                Note that there ARE re-enactment groups in Central Europe - and, as list
                members have noted, even SCA-affiliated groups in Russia, which suffered all
                the problems you mention. In Bohemia we have re-created Iron age
                settlements, Medieval burghs, Thirty Years' War engagements, C19th
                fortresses and even WWII bunkers... but why nothing about origins?

                Any ideas, anyone????

                Alastair

                ---------------------------
                Alastair Millar, BSc(Hons)
                Consultancy and translation for the heritage industry
                e-mail: alastair@..., http://www.skriptorium.cz
                P.O.Box 685, CZ 111 21 Prague 1, Czech Republic
                CzechEd@egroups.com - Cz/En/Cz translation list
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