SWORD FIGHT: Two Vikings fight to the
SWORD FIGHT: Two Vikings fight to the "death" at the Lismore Viking Village on the weekend. Hamish Broome

Viking Village event celebrates with battles and feasting

BEING a good Viking warrior re-enactor is as much about dying well as winning a fight, said Rognvalds Lith's Jim Hammond.

Rognvalds Lith is Lismore's Viking club, and Mr Hammond is the club's Jarl, its chieftain.

A mass field battle was staged at Lismore's Viking Village on Saturday which displayed the some of the more gruesome realities of Viking life.

"You fight to win, but having said that you still have to respect your fellow man," Mr Hammond said.

"You can't just stab him in the face, take his throat out, hit him in the crotch. There's rules and regu- lations for how we fight.

Mr Hammond has been "playing" Viking for 18 years. He said it took at least 18 months to become confident in the warrior arts, such as using an axe, sword, spear and shield.

"You've got learn how to die as well," he said, which meant understanding health and safety issues but also maximising the drama.

"The more theatrics, the better; the crowd love theatrics of course.

 

I'M STARVING: Warrior and chef Cameron Garrett helped prepare the massive feast for 170 famished Vikings, which included this tasty looking spit roast.
I'M STARVING: Warrior and chef Cameron Garrett helped prepare the massive feast for 170 famished Vikings, which included this tasty looking spit roast. Hamish Broome

"It's almost like a reward for a good fight, if someone dies a good death."

The weekend had 170 Vikings come to Lismore for a two-day celebration of Viking life, including leather work, blacksmithing, archery and combat.

BATTLE ON: Two Vikings fight to the
BATTLE ON: Two Vikings fight to the "death" at the Lismore Viking Village Solstice on the weekend. Hamish Broome

Mr Hammond said with the number of re-enactors around the country, the camp could easily double in size and become a landmark East Coast medieval gathering , with jousting and knights in full plate mail armour.

Rognvalds Lith's Cameron Garrett took time out from the battlefield to prepare a Viking era feast, which included a gruel-like stew traditional to the era and a pig on a spit.

ARMED AND DANGEROUS: Axes, swords, and shields at the ready, a line of Vikings prepares to charge into battle.
ARMED AND DANGEROUS: Axes, swords, and shields at the ready, a line of Vikings prepares to charge into battle. Hamish Broome

Mr Garrett said the feast was a highlight of the weekend for the tribes.

"We love it, that's why we do it," he said.

Wealthy Viking trader Stephen Thomas and his wife Elizabeth Sek came from the Sunshine Coast.

CAPTAIN: One of the senior Viking warriors who was directing the mass battle.
CAPTAIN: One of the senior Viking warriors who was directing the mass battle. Hamish Broome

Mr Thomas, a former aged care nurse, is now Australia's only professional herald, a medieval MC.

He was a professional herald in Kryal Castle in Victoria, and now does it at the biggest festivals in Australia such as the Glen Innes Celtic Festival, the Sydney Mediaeval Festival, and the Ballarat Goldfields

Rognvalds Lith meets every fortnight at the fields opposite Trinity Catholic College on Bangalow Rd.

GLORY: The victor struts his stuff after winning the battle.
GLORY: The victor struts his stuff after winning the battle. Hamish Broome


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