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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.