There are some common rules that, of course, do not cover every single case. First of all, they can be applied to those who re-enact “abstract” Vikings or Slavs. Whether you have a source that conflict with the rules below, please, mention it. Be careful with unique stuff though, as these things are a source for themselves only. You cannot use them to make something themed on. If you apply the methods of making/decorating of things to other, you have to demonstrate the sources of the concrete region.
Tailoring and trimming
1. Fasten neck holes with a brooch, a button, or strings according to the archaeology.
2. Do not use weavings of more than 2 cm wide unless you can present an argument for it. A more narrow weaving is OK to use. Please, use approved patterns, materials and techniques to make it.
3. Do not decorate your clothes with embroidery of more than 3 cm wide. In case it is archaeologically approved, it mustn’t differ from the original in more than 50% (please, don’t forget to mention the original width in your application form).
4. Do not sew leather staff (bags, hats, shirts, sheath, etc.) with a leather cord. Use threads.
5. Use sabretaches of the Hungarian type, bags with wooden handles or wallets.
6. Do not use the veldtschoen shoe construction method to sew your shoes, or any methods that are not based on archaeology.
7. Date your costume with a period of no longer than 100 years (we highly recommend up to 50 years). Date your costume according to the stuff you have. For example, if you have some jewelry of the first half of X century and a pair of shoes of the second half of X century, then your costume is to be dated as “The second half of X century”.
8. Unless you have a thing needed in the region you re-enact you can borrow it from a neighbouring region. You can only borrow things from a neighbouring region, not further. For example, we have the following regions: Europe, Scandinavia, Rus, the Steppe, the East. If you re-enact a Scandinavian, you can borrow things from Europe and Rus, but not from the Steppe. If your region is Rus, your neighbouring regions are the Steppe and Scandinavia. If the Steppe, then the East and Rus. Of course, the classification is rather relative, so borrowings that break this simple model are to be justified with the sources. If you have a rich and complex costume, you can borrow anything you like in case you already have the analogue from your region. For example, a rich Viking can afford a pair of Byzantine shoes only if they already have a pair of Viking shoes.
9. Make sure your costume is good-looking: neat and tidy, without visible holes or spots on it, your clothes are dyed and sewn carefully. Pay attention to the length of your clothes: men’s shirts knee-length when unbelted and to the middle of the hip when belted; women’s tunics and dresses ankle-length; sleeves to the thumb base; neck holes of an appropriate size (the neck circumference + ~2cm for a neckline with a cut, the head circumference + ~2cm for a boat neckline). Mind the difference between the length of your underwear and outer garments (the bottoms up to 3cm different, sleeves – up to than 1 cm).
1. Do not wear modern clothes – socks, sweaters, thermal underwear – under the historical costume, modern shoes.
2. Do not wear clothes of non natural colours.
3. Do not wear glasses (substitute them with contact lenses), watches, modern jewelry, sunglasses, hair ties.
4. Do not wear knitted socks of bright colours with modern patterns;
5. Since 2010 triangle hats bended to the side have been banned.
Wear triangle hats bended back or not bended at all. Don’t decorate them with brooches, bells, etc.
6. Since 2014 animal skins have been banned to wear unless they are cut out (with paws and other body parts). Use cut out pieces of fur to decorate or warm your clothes.
Do not decorate your hat with fur unless you have a “rich” costume:
1) two types of weapons (e.g. a sword and a spear)
2) corpus armor
4) neat and beautiful colourful clothes with different fabrics and trimmings used according to the region and rules.
Whether your costumes meets the mentioned criteria, decorate your hat with fur, but be careful: fur can take up to only 50% of the hat height, or about 7-8 cm. Use the kind of fur found in the region you re-enact.
7. Do not use tablet-weavings as wrappers, or reed-weavings of less than 7 cm wide. Since 2015 fabric strip wrappers have been banned. Wrappers must be woven.
8. Do not use women’s hats knitted with a needle.
9. Since 2014 you must have at least one piece of shoulder woolen clothes (e.g. a shirt or a coat). A cloak is not shoulder clothes!
10. Since 2015 Gallic brogue shoes have been banned as they date back to I-VI centuries AD.
For Alan men
11. Since 2016 woolen clothes have been banned. Wool can be used as warming layer covered with linen or silk.
12. The wrap of the kaftan should reach the midclavicular line. When standing with the feet shoulder width apart the kaftan skirts shouldn’t open.
13. The length of the kaftan sleeve should at least completely overlap the hand.
II. Weapon and armor
1. You cannot use helmets much different from the original in shape, appearance or technological features.
1a. Four-piece helmets
If the helmet is a kind of collective hypothetical thing, both the head and back pieces should have wavy edges as well as a sound top.
Simplified shapes (e.g. without a top or wavy edges) can be used in case the helmet is based on a specific finding.
Since 2018 the shape of a Norman helmet made of one piece of iron (a bowl helmet) has been dated to the middle of XI century.
2. The nose guard should not be longer than the distance from your brow ridges to nose tip.
3. Since 2016 the pommels and cross-guards should be original-like. The types of swords that are supposed to have ornamented/decorated pommels and cross-guards should have them. Your sword should have the size corresponding to medium sizes within the type.
3à. The blades of swords should correspond to the samples of the Viking era in the width of the blade, the width of the fuller, the shape of the fuller, etc. To be sure, please provide a separate photo of the hilt and blade.
4. If you have a blade weapon, you should also have a scabbard made with the techniques used during the Viking era.
5. You cannot use axes made of modern ones as weapons. Your axe should be based on a historical analogue.
6. You cannot use gauntlets made of non-historical materials, inaccurately or of hypertrophied proportions (kind of boxing gloves) as well as gauntlets with a pattern from the late Middle Ages.
7. You cannot use padded armor. Instead, you can use quilted armor separately only in case it is based on archaeological findings, otherwise it can be used as a shock-absorbing element worn under the chain mail armor covering at least 90% of it.
8. You cannot use a quilted or padded aventail without being covered with a chain mail one. You cannot use plate aventails made of any materials.
9. You cannot use leather bracers, greaves, cuirasses or helmets.
10. The shaft of the broad-axe should not reach higher than the owner’s chin. Please provide an appropriate photo.
Since 2018, only rich complexes (p.6) can include a broad-axe according to the region.
11. You cannot mix specific Scandinavian, European or Steppe things unless the use is based on archaeological sources (e.g. a Gjermundbu helmet and a saber, or a kite shield and a saber, or a Gjermundbu helmet and a kite shield).
12. You cannot use a spear shaft of more than 3 cm wide and more than 2.5 m long.
13. You cannot use aventails that cover all of the face unless the helmet provides that.
14. You cannot wear lamellar tassets unless you ride a horse.
15. You cannot use shields made of plywood or metal, or shields with a metal rim. You can use metal clinches over the leather rim.
16. Since 2012 you cannot use chain mail made of butted rings.
17. Since 2013 you cannot use cheek guards on a Gjermundbu helmet.
18. When re-enacting warriors from Kazazov, Moldavanovka or Stolbische (The Saltovo-Mayaki material culture), you can date your costume to VIII century (770 AD).
You can use a bow that has passed all the stages of registration to the festival. Make sure your kind of weapon doesn’t break the laws of the Russian Federation. You cannot declare one bow and use a different one during battles.
When passing the registration to the festival, provide photos of not only the bow, but also a separate of the accessories: the quiver, gloves, cuffs etc. You cannot use the equipment that hasn’t passed the registration. Remember that you cannot sew your stuff with a leather cord.
Your quiver should be designed to be worn on the belt.
Since 2017 you can use stylized hand and finger protection provided it is made of natural materials and fits the re-enacted image.
In case you register a rich complex of armor and weapon, you can have several bows using the rules of borrowing mentioned above. When re-enacting an image of a poor, you have to use the most typical bows of the region. For example, for Scandinavia it’s typical to have a bow found in Hedeby while a recursive bow in the hands of a poor Scandinavian or a long bow in the hands of a nomad will certainly raise questions. Your bow should fit your complex naturally.
You should use authentic bows without any plastic parts.
You cannot use bows made of bamboo.
You cannot use arrow shelves, anatomic grips or sighting devices.
In battles you can use bows with force up to 18 kg.
Before taking part in a battle the archer has to pass an accuracy test (hit a target of a shield from 15 metres – three times out of three possible) and also to be shot with his own bow three times to understand what other participants will feel.
In battles, you can only use wooden arrows with natural fletching, dyed in natural colours, with nocks based on archaeology and made of natural materials. The fletching should be done in an authentic way. You can only use Gumpikes or their analogues made industrially to humanize the arrow heads. Before the battle, you have to show your arrows to the marshals. Chipped, cracked or broken arrows or arrows with torn points cannot be used.
In the archer tournament, you can only use wooden arrows with natural fletching, dyed in natural colours, with nocks based on archaeology and made of natural materials. The fletching should be done in an authentic way or using an arrow fletcher. You cannot use scotch tape, electrical tape or synthetic threads. You can use sport arrow points in the tournament.