|Time Period||800 - 1000 AD|
|Location||Northern Europe - Primarily Scandinavia, England and Ireland|
|Characterizations||Primarily Norse but can include Saxon, Celt, Britain, - peoples in regular contact with the Norse.|
1) DARC is drawn from a large number of people of varying backgrounds and interests (most
of which have participated in the SCA or other re-creation groups). All these people
share an interest in the history, and especially the material culture, of Northern
Europe during the Viking Age, and wish to discuss their research.
Authentically Re-creating the Viking Age - the Development of an Idea
DARC is the result of long discussions of a small group of serious Early Medieval re-enactors held in the early 1990's. This core group was drawn primarily from long term members of the Society for Creative Anachronism. More importantly, these individuals had experience from participating in a number of other re-enactment groups. Several people had also worked professionally at living history museums. Ideas were drawn from all of these experiences when establishing the guiding principles for DARC. The original concept for DARC was to form a small, specifically focused group with high standards of historical accuracy. This group was always intended to be limited to those who were willing to maintain a clear set of published standards. Everyone wanted DARC to require an established minimum be met before allowing anyone to participate in our historic camps.
There has been a growing number of people who have become frustrated by the
lack of a venue to create and maintain a true historical re-creation of daily
life centered on the Viking Age. Individual members had gained considerable
expertise in fields related to this historic period with the related traditional
skills and wanted to expand their activities into more elaborate experimental
At the same time a small group of individuals from Central Ontario had been increasingly involved in serious museum projects related to the Viking Age. This started with the creation of the 'Norse Encampment' in 1993, followed by the demonstration of this program at L'Anse aux Meadows in 1996. Many informal discussions were held with other interested individuals over the next two years, followed by the writing of a set of proposed guidelines for a new re-enactment group. These guidelines borrowed heavily from the experiences of many other living history organizations, both professional and amateur.
The final spark that lead to the creation of DARC was the involvement of a core group of these same people as the only Canadian group selected to take part in 'Norstead'. This was the special historic event to mark the 1000 year anniversary of the Norse landing at L'Anse aux Meadows Newfoundland. A total of 13 individuals spent the early part of 2000 preparing equipment and perfecting their characters. In late August they made their way out to Newfoundland, to spend 6 days working as guest interpreters at the Norstead site.
After Norstead, several members stayed in Newfoundland to take part in the Viking Millennium International Conference (both as delegates and presenters). Once all of that group had returned to Ontario, DARC almost immediately was involved in work on the traveling exhibit 'FULL CIRCLE - First Contact' at the Woodstock Museum. Members were involved in physically installing the exhibit; lending reproductions as an addition to the main display, education program and promotional displays; providing workshop teachers and lecturers; and of course working as costumed interpreters for special events.
DARC is thus a group of experienced and enthusiastic historic interpreters. It includes members with considerable direct museum experience, academic credentials and artistic ability. Above all DARC is developing a proven reputation for excellence in their physical demonstrations with the public and authenticity in their re-creation of the Viking Age.