Staraya Ladoga or The Stray Dogs are a Viking re-enactment group portraying the Rus Vikings of Staraya Ladoga, Russia in the late 900s. Through living history all aspects of life of a bygone era come to the forefront in the discovery of the past, allowing a greater understanding of how things really were first hand compared to a text book. The Rus Vikings from Staraya Ladoga offer the opportunity to observe the aspects of life of a bygone era and demonstrate influences gained through trade and the exploration of their surroundings.
Their campsite displays traditional Rus Viking style tents, cooking hearth with period equipment, woodworked items including seating and chests made from patterns in archaeological Viking finds. Activity at the campsite includes traditional Viking activities- tanning of hides using traditional natural tanning methods, longbow archery, cooking and craft activities. Evenings are spent feasting, carousing with copious quantities of ale and mead, music and Skaldic verse.
In between performances, the Stray Dogs work on clothing research and construction by hand, shoe-making, armour and weapon production by hand and social get togethers.
New England Medieval Arts Society
“The New England Medieval Arts Society inc. (NEMAS) is a historical re-enactment group, who brings to a larger community an understanding of European culture through living history shows.
For the past nineteen years NEMAS has hosted several events, the most prominent of which is the biennial Armidale Easter Gathering, bringing together around 450 of Australia’s and New Zealand’s leading Dark Age and Medieval re-enactors.
Individual members recreate arts and craft such as woodworking, blacksmithing, tanning, spinning and weaving, as well as arms and armour construction.”
The New Varangian Guard – Rusland Garrison
The New Varangian Guard Rusland Garrison recreates the original bodyguard of the Byzantine Emperors and the cultural and military lifestyle of the powerful Byzantine Empire during 950 to 1204 AD.
Recruited from fierce Viking/Saxon warriors the Guard was an elite and feared fighting force.
The Guard recreate this through the study and application of period fighting, craft and field skills both in public and private events. The New Varangian Guard can practice, display and teach the skills, arts and crafts that they pursue without compromising safety, the law, or personal enjoyment.
The New Varangian Guard – Jorth Gar Branch
The Jorth Gar branch of the New Varangian Guard concentrates its living history re-enactment primarily on the earlier Varangian Guardsmen of Viking origin, and their many exploits and accomplishments. Those that were given to Emperor Basil II in recognition of his military treaty with the Rus, by Prince Vladimir of Kiev.
They also reenact warriors that returned back to their homelands after active service in the Guard, and the camp followers and craftsmen that accompanied them. They have a strong civilian and family base within the group as a result and are renowned craftsmen. They are currently the largest NVG Branch in Australia.
Reafan’s aim is to capture the life style and culture of the 10-11 C using authentic methods and techniques.
We are a family-oriented group with a wide range of skills including spinning, hand sewing, tablet weaving, embroidery, nalebinding, leather work, jewellery, open fire and clay oven cooking, pottery and metal casting.
Traders of Frojel
Vikings from the Island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Traders of the Sword are superb negotiators with the peoples of conquered lands. Trade with us or be killed.
Skilled in all the trades that are needed to exist in the period of 950 to 1050 AD.
We write in runes, make textiles, enjoy mead and games, blacksmithing and woodwork, pillaging and plundering.
Traders of the Lost Art
We are a family based group of Viking Traders from the period 1050-1150Ad. We travel the eastern trading routes from Denmark through Russia to Constantinople buying, selling and making medieval household items.
We have the best furs, hides, goblets, bowls, baskets, leather goods and pots that you will find at the Festival. We are happy to trade goods so if you have something to barter then bring it with you.
Within our group we have a band of archers who protect the camp against robbers and other mischievous types.
Our camp is open to all and we are happy to show you our living history.
Saga Vikings is a re-enactment group that researches, re-enacts and tries to re-create the day to day life of the Vikings. We are a family-oriented group and welcome everyone who has an interest in the Vikings.
During our gatherings we play Viking games, participate in social archery, and encourage and support members in making authentic costumes, Viking-related items and food. Although we are a non-combat group we also encourage interested members to make their own chainmaille armour.
Besides learning new skills we also look after our land at Joyner (near Petrie), including construction of our village and longhouse.
Rafnheim is a Dark Age Living History group, based in Brisbane. Centered on the late Migration Age to early Viking Age European peoples, we portray a diverse talent and trading group who travel across the land sharing skills and stories. Each person came to the group from their own background, but all have the common goal of co-operating in the harsh northern climate. Not just for survival, but also for the shared human experience of friendship.
The group regularly participates in re-enacting and living history exhibitions such as The Abbey Tournament, History Alive, and Esk Multicultural, and has traveled interstate for events in NSW as well.
For further information, please contact the group’s leader Shane Ravenn.
Nordic Viking Society
The Nordic Viking Society (Norviks) is a re-enactment group representing the Vikings from the northern countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland.
Pre 793 AD, the rest of the medieval world knew little about the Vikings but that all changed when the Vikings started exploring Europe by its oceans and rivers, through trade and warfare, using their graceful, long, narrow, light, wooden Viking longships, designed for speed.
As a true Viking re-enactment group, the Norviks have their own replica Viking ship, ‘Fafnir’ lovingly handmade by members using tradition methods. At the Abbey this year, the public will get the opportunity to experience ‘Fafnir’, magnificently rigged with its full square sail and dragon-headed prow. The group will also display and demonstrate Viking weaponry, tools, blacksmithing, jewellery making, weaving, runewriting and children’s games.