About us

Today we are going to tell you about the ABC of historical reenactment.

First, I must note that official definition of historical reenactment might be somewhat of a boring subject. Basically, it is a reenactment of material and spiritual culture of a given region and time period…which sounds tedious and nerdy…. But as a matter of fact, historical reenactment might be a lot of fun as well.

To add up some scientific fleur we may just have an APOPHATIC analysis of historical reenactment, basically saying what reenactment is NOT:

  • It is not sitting on your ass all day at the library, because most of the necessary historical sources and documents may be found on the internet
  • It is not digging dirt in the middle of nowhere… because that would be archeology.
  • It is not some cramming of “which knyaz (Ruler / prince) was in charges of what and when and which king was the ruler at the year X” – all this information may be found on the internet anyway.
  • It is not only sports, because historical knowledge still matters a lot.
  • It is not only theoretical history, because there will still be crafting involved. Sew a shirt here, make a shield there – you will come around.
  • It is not only crafting as we surely want to go out at some point at put those things to good use at fighting and hiking
  • It is definitely not a role playing game… although it kind of a looks like it.

So what is the historical reenactment? What is it based on? Well… you could say it is “flat as the planet Earth” and sits atop of 3 elephants:

  • First elephant is the sports.
  • Second elephant is the knowledge of history
  • Third elephant is the crafting part

Which basically makes historical reenactment a sports hobby with history knowledge involved.

But what do we really do? We…fight. For most reenactors this is the favorite part of this hobby.
But in order to fight authentically we study history, craft clothes armor and weapons, as well as household goods of the given time period according to archeological findings and scientific data.

Who are we? We are the “Bear’s Stronghold” historical reenactment group and we do the time period which is more commonly known as “the viking age”. Specifically for is it is the 11th century ancient Rus, ruled by the Yaroslav the Wise.

It is not only hobby, but also a search for your own identity where the boundaries are not set and the peoples diversity becomes more of the same. To know who you are, who your ancestors were… to know one’s history is not the most popular topic for reflection, but our hobby aids with that.

Why is it specifically the time period of Yaroslav the Wise? Well… thing is that “trace of the Rus” is more or less evident in Estonia starting from 11th century. Yaroslav the Wise conquered the Estonian settlement Tarbatu and found a city in it’s place which was called Yuryev. Now this very place is well known as Tartu.

And no – you should not be confused by the fact that the settlement was taken by force, because back at the day that was the normal way of political interaction between the tribes. The same goes for local Estonian population which took the city of Pskov from the local Rus tribes and some time after both tribes were allied against a 3rd party on a joined military campaign. Harsh time, hard methods…. You have got to do what you have got to do.