JoiningFAQ

I might like to join Micel Folcland and Regia, but I have a few questions…

What do I need to do to join?

Simply put, time, a sense of humor and an affection for history. To become a participant, you need to become a member of Regia (ask us for a membership form and costs; memberships run from October to October, and we allow you to attend two events while not a member to decide whether it’s for you—and accurate historic clothing (we’ll help you accumulate this and will help you make or acquire your own, though we urge you to delay this, again, until you decide participation is or you). Anything more acquired after that—accessories, furniture, tools, tents, weapons, etc.—is at your discretion, although more experienced members will of course be glad to help you!

How much does it cost?

The quick and dirty reply is not a lot, especially compared to other eras. To become involved, besides membership, you need to have accurate clothing, made either of wool or linen. Clothing should be for lower classes, so you needn’t worry about elaborate design. Some loaner costume is available, and often second-hand clothing is sold. Appropriate historic clothing can be purchased, though you should always check with the Authenticity Officer or another experienced member before purchasing something. If you want to make your own, you can actually get appropriate fabric cheap—ask someone to help you with the weight, texture and colors before buying. The price can be surprisingly low if you buy at the right time (wool in the spring and linen in the fall, when stores like JoAnne's are selling off stuff. Two or three yards are adequate for most clothing. You can usually get someone experienced in making historic clothing from the group to help sew it for free. We also have diagrams for the construction of most clothing. Keep in mind that living history is an evolutionary process; don't think you have to get everything at once!
The most difficult and possibly expensive things are the shoes. However, shoes are available from vendors, and members have their own and can be talked into helping you if you want to sew your own. They are similar in many ways to American Indian moccasins, and the price is in the leather. Vendors who make them very well, according to period shoes, generally cost about $150. Of course, remember that bare feet are period for most lower-class portrayals!
Costs for equipment needed to pursue a specific interest—equipment and materials, for example—will probably eventually come into the picture, and the cost for transportation, food and possibly lodging should also be considered. These all vary greatly.

How much time does it take up?

As much as you want. Some members pop in for an hour or two every few weeks (if that). Some spend all their free time doing something reenactment-related. Most members are somewhere in between, depending on their study/work/life situation. Whatever suits you suits us.

I am younger than 18 years old . Can I join?

As a family member, together with a parent or guardian, yes. There might be some activities—such as combat—that you cannot engage in.

I am 18 years old (or older). Can I join?

Yes.

I am positively ancient. Can I join?

Of course. We have no upper age limit.

We are a family unit. Can we join?

Yes. We are a very family-friendly group and love when younger members participate.

I have a disability or health issue. Can I join?

Probably yes. Of course, it depends on your particular situation and what you want to do. Talk to the group leader. We can probably work something out.

I am not a Caucasian. Can I join?

Certainly. As our cousins in Australia said a few years back when someone opined he had no respect for a black man who portrayed a Viking (although he did not use such a pc term), a reenactor must be correct from he skin out! As long as your kit is historically accurate, we little care about the color of your skin. But in fact, the Vikings encountered and possibly returned to Scandinavia with Africans and Asians, so the concept of a black Viking is not nearly as remote as some racists would have you believe! We are not a racist Aryan group!

I have tattoos and/or piercings. Can I join?

While only females seem to have pierced ears, tattoos were frequently seen among the Norse and Anglo-Saxons. Ibn Fadlan notes it in his account of encounters with the Vikings. However, aside from an ambiguous description by ibn Fadlan, we have no idea what the tattoos looked like and cannot therefore be permitted. Any tattoos or inappropriate piercings must be hidden by clothing or by bandages until such time that we find the frozen body of a Viking in his tattooed glory (as Otzi the Iceman was from an earlier time), and we have an idea of what tattoos might be allowed!

I am a female. Can I become a warrior?

Yes, but since there is no historic evidence for female warriors, so you would need to "cross-dress" and portray a man while you are fighting. Such cross-dressing must be good enough that you will not be perceived as a female, but we have many instances of this from the American Civil War ad earlier times. When we are closer to the audience at other times, we expect our members to dress in the clothes of their respective biological gender.

I am a male. Can I portray a nun?

No, "cross-dressing" is only permitted so that a female member can portray a male warrior on the battlefield. At other times, we are closer to the audience, and so we expect our members to dress in the clothes of their respective biological gender.

I am a male. Can I cook, clean, sew and stitch, look after my young child, and do other things that are traditionally considered "female" jobs?

Yes, there are only very few activities (e.g. church-related ones) that are gender-specific.

I am a female. Can I portray a monk or a priest?

No, "cross-dressing" is only permitted so that a female member can portray a male warrior on the battlefield. At other times, we are closer to the audience, and so we expect our members to dress in the clothes of their respective biological gender. However, there are references to female preachers during this period.

I am a female. Can I do metal work, wood work, and other things that are traditionally considered "male" jobs?

Yes, there are only very few activities (e.g. church-related ones) that are gender-specific.

How do I decide whether to become a brave warrior or a clever civilian craftsperson?

It's not an either-or question. You can do a bit of both. Most of our members do.

Are combat displays (and the training sessions) dangerous?

Well, we’re not playing tiddlywinks, but even so, serious injuries are rare. A few bruises are the norm. After all, you’ll want to be able to show you've had a good time. That said, combatants must be trained, obey specific rules and be approved before they're allowed on the field. We rate safety above authenticity, education and entertainment. This is reflected in our training system.

I see a lot of crosses (on flags and so on) but I am not a Christian. Can I join?

Yes. Regia Anglorum is strictly non-political and non-religious. Members may believe and think what they want (provided they are polite about it). Anything that looks religious or political (or violent, for that matter) is a dramatic representation. But remember that we portray an age and a society when most people, except a few visitors, were Christians. Historical heathen practices are not well known, since they were generally recorded and perhaps changed by Christians, so modern Asatru is not believed to histotically accurate and is not allowed. However, many Christians of the time also practiced–at least at times—some heathen pursuits. Ironically, there was interactions between the Norse and Muslims—called Serkirs. See ibn Fadlan!

I see a lot of leather, fur and meat, but I am a vegetarian. Can I join?

Yes, but participation may take a little effort. On the matter of food, there were many vegetarian dishes available, and even times when you were supposed to be vegetarian (not Vegan, and fish was consumed, but these are small matters that can be avoided). If you have a special dietary requirement, we may need your help, but we are willing to try nearly anything. Leather and fur are different matters. We represent an age when leather was a very common material, and often the only way to make some items (for example shoes). False leather and furs are not allowed (although the Vikings did have a period fake fur made from wool), and efforts will be required to find an historical practice that avoids some leather and fur byproducts. However, remember, barefoot is entirely period for many classes of the time!

You seem fairly inclusive. Are there anybody you don't accept as members?

Anyone who will not wear appropriate accurate clothing or who complement it with inappropriate items such as sneakers, glasses, sunglasses, etc. According to regia rules, anyone who has been convicted of violent crime, drug use felomies or illegal sex offenses are ineligible for membership. Persons with other convictions or serious problems are required to disclose this to the group leader, who will guide them through a membership suitability assessment.

Inspired by and pilfered from a similar FAQ written by members of Milites de Bec, the Kent branch of Regia Anglorum

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