THE DRUZHINA HANSA
A society based on the 1901 law
« Getting history out of the books and giving life to it! »
The motto of the Druzhina Hansa could be as such. At the beginning there was only a handful of friends, all united by their passion for history. Our aim is to pass on this passion to others through historical reenactment. Thanks to the study of archaeological sources and less direct sources -iconography, writings- we bring the 10th century European lifestyle back to life as accurately as possible.
It is important to remember our past. We thus work on reconciling the youngest with the studies of ancient times through demonstrations of old craftmanships and skills, but also through participatory and teaching workshops, as pottery, architecture, or « become a warrior » for example. To illustrate historical events of the time, we also play sketches and offer displays of military manoeuvres and fights.
An expedition to Byzantium
« Druzhina » means « brotherhood » in Slavic language. We are a group of mercenaries and Varangian traders. If the word « Vikings » names the Scandinavians gone to seek fortune on the Western coasts (England, Gaul…), the word « Varangians » names people who decided to take the path laid by the rivers in the East.
From exchanges with the Slavic people to the mercenaries employed by the Rus princes, we explain the Scandinavian influence on this part of Europe.
Life in Carolingian Francia
The « Hansa » is a Germanic word naming an association. Generally made up of traders, it can also be a group of military men united around an important person. We reenact the life of a noble party in Flanders at the time of Baldwin II. This land, often attacked by the Vikings, was nearly given to them in 911. We explain the stakes of this transitional event of the land’s history to the public.
THE CONFRÉRIE NORMANDE (NORMAN FELLOWSHIP)
Promoting the historical heritage of Normandy
In 2011, several Viking boats sailed up the River Seine and stopped at different places to take part in medieval festivals. The main event of this whole reenacting project was to celebrate the anniversary of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte during which Normandy was given to Rollo in exchange for the cessation of Viking raids. We were contacted by the Confrérie normande to work with them on the reenactment of a royal Frankish party. and we celebrated the eventwith great honour.
At the beginning of 2013, the Druzhina Hansa officially joined the Confrérie normande. This society hosts several reenacting societies interested in periods from the 5th century to the 13th century, and more specifically the 9th and 10th centuries in Normandy. It shares the same goal as the Druzhina Hansa and allows several groups to meet occasionally during events and to provide our hosts with very good quality demonstrations. The « Saxon Army » project took place several times in partnership with the Confrérie.