Why Should I Participate in Living History?

What's in it for me?

Well, because it is fun and educational, romantic and exciting. No matter what aspect of it you are interested in, you can find something satisfying about the participation. It is not the dry dates and the names of dead white guys that were you had to memorize in most history classes but a chance to learn how your ancestors behaved and what they experienced, to touch the past, to see its sights and to smell its scents. Living history is not only more romantic but more engaging than those dates and names. You can learn how our ancestors dressed, ate, sang, played, camped, slept, and waged war against one another! Good reenacting is historical and not a burlesque where the participants wear tennis shoes and sunglasses, who sit in nylon camp chairs and who assert loudly that they are being educational and historic.

Reenactors come from all walks of life. They are representatives of a wide range of professions, races, faiths, politics, ages and nearly everything else. All they have in common is an interest in living history! The ranks of living history are filled with dedicated amateur historians— who study history and who get together to re-create the atmosphere and living conditions (as closely and as safely as possible) of the past.

These reenactors each become involved for different personal reasons. They might be interested in the era. They might want to experience it first hand. They might enjoy the smell of the campfire or the taste of food prepared over that same fire. They might want to dress in exotic clothing, or they might want to experiment with the technology of the time. They might like the look of swords, muskets or other weapons of the time and how they might used. They might attempt to honor the people of the past and their deeds. They probably want to share their knowledge with the public and allow them a taste of the world that so fascinates them. Or they may simply reenact because it is something new and novel, and it looks like—and is—a great deal of fun. Whatever the motivation, living history is an exciting and satisfying hobby. We do not suffer from disease and plague. We do not go hungry. We do not risk our life and limbs on the field of combat, and we do not live in fear of and subjugation by period strong-arm men. However, our experiences do give us a better understand of the hardships and troubles of their lifestyles.

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