In an otherwise quiet pine forest, viking clans descend TweetFacebook The Gathering at the Pine Forest | photosHUNDREDS of vikings and their clans have set up camp in the Armidale pine forest.
It’s one of the biggest reenactments in the southern hemisphere, and The Gathering was open to the public on Monday.
Organiser Amy Winrow said there’s a lot of research that goes into the viking lifestyle.
“There’s a lot of camaraderie,” she said.
“I’m really inspired by understanding those cultures and how they lived so long ago, what shaped their beliefs and actions–that’s really what interests me.
“But I was always interested in it, I think it’s really important to cultivate your imagination.”
The three-day event sees history fanatics recreate dress, lifestyle and combat styles of Europe between 400AD and 1100AD.
More than 600 people are camped out in the forest, taking part in fierce battles dressed in full viking armour and garb.
At the markets, blacksmiths and traditional bodgers show off their wares and skills, while musicians play viking music on hand-commissioned instruments.
There’s a lot of problem-solving involved, every viking needs to use the raw materials they have to survive, Ms Winrow said.
“When you come out to a place like this where you’re working with natural materials there’s a lot happening, it’s a really vibrant, fertile brain space.”
Some peopleeven enact specific individuals found in burial sites, founder Richard Robinson said.
“It’s about rediscovering lost arts, working out how people did things thousands of years ago when we didn’t have technology to help us do things,” he said.
“In n society because of our population we are a noticeable minority and possibly sometimes perceived as eccentrics.
“But, it’s a real community.”