Why an AO?

As soon as you say that you are attempting to recreate the culture of another historical area, you are assuming a great responsibility. People are going to be looking at what you and your fellows do and what you present and think that it is an honest display and interpretation of the past. Even if some spectators merely regard it as an unimportant escapist fantasy, the participants should not and should dedicate themselves to the creation of the most honest representation possible. They should know that there will be others who regard it as an educational experience and who regard what they see as s portal into the past. These spectators—and, indeed, fellow participants—will be judging, consciously or unconsciously, the presentation by its worst efforts; as the old saying goes, "What you permit you promote."

As such, it is the reenactor's responsibility to make the whole presentation as accurate as possible and not to be content with inaccurate and casual efforts either by themselves or by fellow reenactors whose efforts will inevitably color the perceptions of their own. It is not enough to make an honest personal representation without taking care to ensure that everyone else in the presentation by your group is of an equal value and to restrict participation and to exclude efforts which do not attain such standards.

For that reason, every sincere reenactor welcomes the inspection of their costume and kit by more experienced and knowledgeable officers called Authenticity Officers, whose job it is to make certain that the presentations and displays of their organization are as accurate and honest as they can safely be.

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