The Ancient Arts Fellowship (AAF) is a non-profit society, incorporated in the ACT. Our main goal is to spread the knowledge of history throughout the community. We do this through school displays, fetes, fairs and public lectures, and are acknowledged to be one of the best such groups in Australia.
We have been presenting historical displays for over 20 years, and many of our team have backgrounds in teaching, training and public speaking. In addition, our display fighters train weekly to present safe and spectacular fighting scenes.
Our fighters use steel weapons, blunted for safety, and our armour, shields and costume are constructed to a high degree of historical accuracy.
Our displays consist of re-enactment of historical combat (both specific battles, and fights which demonstrate typical tactics, styles, etc. of various periods), interesting and easily understood descriptions of historical events, peoples, clothing, and other relevant subjects, and often a period at the end of the display for the audience to examine the costume, armour and weapons.
Some sections of our display invite audience participation, although not in the actual fighting. We've found this is an excellent way of engaging the audience, especially school students. Our typical school display consists of:
- An introduction to the Saxons, including a description of early Saxon clothing and fighting gear. One of our fighters is used as a model and is dressed from the underwear up.
- A fight between two Saxons using early Saxon gear.
- An introduction to the Vikings, their clothing and fighting gear, and their raids on Britain. As with the description of Saxon clothing, etc. one of our fighters is used as a model.
- A fight between Saxons and Viking raiders.
- A dispute between two Vikings over a woman and her lands, resulting in a Holmgang (trial by combat). This fight also incorporates a description of Viking law and society.
- A description of how Saxon clothing and fighting equipment changed over several hundred years, accompanied by similar changes on our model.
- A description of the battle of Maldon (between Saxons and Vikings).
- A re-enactment of the battle of Maldon.
- As with the change from an early Saxon to a late Saxon, a Viking is changed into a Norman. Normans, their society, clothing, etc. are described.
- A fight between two Norman knights with too much testosterone.
- A description of the events leading up to the battle of Hastings, including the final repulsion of the Vikings at Stamford Bridge.
- A re-enactment of the battle of Hastings.
- A "Challenge Fight" where audience members choose their champions, and are awarded small prizes if their champion wins.
Some time for the audience to examine the costume and fighting gear, and to ask any questions. Our display is very flexible, and any of the above can be omitted, or examined in greater detail. We are able to provide displays that focus on most aspects of our core period (400 – 1200AD). The display usually runs for around two hours, but this too is flexible.
If you would like to book the Ancient Arts Fellowship for a display, please contact us.