Why do people get involved in historical re-enacting? There can be as many different reasons. It is a personal attraction to history, activities involved, cultural pursuits, interest in a historical battle or you just like to play dress up.
When it comes to the type of group that you join there are many decisions involved, depending on your historical time period of interest, how authentic you want to be and the monetary expenditure involved.
History is defined as: the study of past events, particularly in human affairs. eg. “medieval European history”
Historical re-enacting : Historical reenactment is an educational or entertainment activity in which people follow a plan to recreate aspects of a historical event or period. Wikipedia
Living history is an activity that incorporates historical tools, activities and dress into an interactive presentation that seeks to give observers and participants a sense of stepping back in time. Wikipedia
Cosplay, a portmanteau of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Wikipedia
When joining one of the above groups you need to consider your reasons for joining, as some groups want to be historically accurate (living history), while others like some re-enactment groups are more flexible in their guidelines. Living historians make all their clothing by hand sewing, their tools and food are produced by historical means, While Reenactment groups will hand sew the visible stitching of garments, they may sew the hidden stitching on a sewing machine for durability reasons. So make in inquiries so you can find the right fit for you needs.
So check this link for where you live in the world and what types of groups are available to you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_historical_reenactment_groups
If you find you are in 10th century Ireland among the Vikings….watch out for me ! Come back soon and visit us.
Possible other groups to check out: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fur-traders-and-mountain-men https://www.sca.org/ https://www.quartermastershop.com/reenactor_groups_by_state.html https://exarc.net/issue-2019-1/mm/how-run-reenactment-part-1
Written by: Needlewoman aka Joan Anthony