Trade Not Raid!
March 11, 1544
What a weekend at the Festival in Fittleworth. This past weekend was a Barbarian celebration. Though there were many experiences to be had, I spent most of my time taking in a much knowledge on Viking Culture that I could. Within the Village I found the Wyrdwood Viking Encampment. The Vikings presented information and hands-on learning to all who visited. I got to sit down with with the Jarl, or as we may call him the Leader, Erik Harldsson, and ask him a few questions on why his group had traveled to the quaint Village.
Erik is a traveling diplomat working to solidify trade opportunities with Countries outside his own. He has initiated trade between Norway, Europe and even the ‘New World’. He told me that his group is much more than Barbarians, they are a Nordic Trade Group that have come to the Village awaiting the arrival of the King to present gifts of their County. Trade Not Raid!
And trade they shall. The Tribe brought much to share at their encampment. Their goods include cloths, clothing, trim and oils. They also have a Metal Smith that makes Jewelry and Fetishes.
The number one goal of the group, while staying in Fittleworth, is to share their knowledge with people for a better understanding of the true nature of Vikings. During the day, one can experience shield fighting demos, with viking age shields. Their battles are both intense and meticulous. A great site to witness, but there is also a great wealth of knowledge can be learned of the Viking age shields, as they share not only how to use them, but how they are made as well.
Their armoury includes Shields, Swords, Axes ans Spears.
At other times, one can join into Viking Games inside the Encampment. I was fortunate enough to play a few myself. The first game was Hnefatafl, a thinking man’s game. This was a strategic board game meant to test the mind. In the center of the board there is a king and his guards the goal is to successfully move the king to one of the four corners of the board while your opponent tries to trap you. I enjoyed this game very much.
Next we played a game of Kubb. Not my best I must admit. Another Strategic game, but you must have good aim, which with I am not as keen on as I am with using my mind. The goal is to knock down all the Kubbs and be the first to knock over the King’s Piece.
The final game was Jomswikinger. Again, I am not one for participation in sport, but this was easy enough, even with being blindfolded. It was also very fun. Jomswikinger is a game meant to test your senses. Two players are blindfolded and have to keep one hand on location. The players then take turns asking one another questions trying to discover the location of the other by the sound of their voice. Upon each turn a player gets to take a swing at the other, the first to land a accurate blow is deemed the winner.
I also had a chance to speak with the Alfgaerdh Verdandibjorn. Alfgaerdh is the Norn of the Tribe. She was exactly what one would expect of a norn, mystical and motherly. Found wandering the woods, she was adopted by the Spirit Guide of the Tribe and now can be found at Erik’s left hand. As she spends most of her time growing plants for dyes and food for the Tribe, she very much loves her time in Fittleworth, where she can teach others about how she uses natural plants to dye the yarn that adorns their garb.
I could go on an on with information that they shared with me. Make sure that as you come to visit the Village you make time to spend in the Wrydwood Viking Encampment. You won’t be disappointed.
Until next time,