What is living history?
It is a form of re-enactment which is research based, and tries to recreate as much as possible various aspects of life for a particular social/ethnic group in a fairly specific time period. For us it is about learning as much as we can about the period we re-enact and how people lived their lives through practical experimentation based on archaeological information, extant written and pictorial sources and academic historical research.
Hiwen-den is an Anglo Saxon name meaning “valley household”. We are portraying middle rank rural dwellers living in the Danelaw in 10th century Aengla-Land. We include both Vikings and Saxons in the group.
Our areas of activity include domestic arts and crafts appropriate to our rank and location. For example, some of the things we like to do are - weaving, sewing, dyeing, ‘greenwood’ wood crafts, blacksmithing, furniture making, embroidery and herbal lore. We also enjoy camping, cooking over a fire with period-appropriate equipment and eating foods known from the period. We make all our own replica costume using traditional materials – wool, linen and leather.
Not only do we learn about the past, we gain traditional skills and a better appreciation of living a life that is closer to the natural world from which many people have become removed.
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