The Name of What We Do

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Elendur Amloth
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The Name of What We Do

Postby Elendur Amloth » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:34 pm

I'd like to hear your opinions on the name of what we do. Of course, we don't have to have a name at all but as humans we tend to name things plus it's a good way of describing to a newcomer what we do. A few years ago, this vexed me for this is not cosplay, it's not really re-enactment or LARP. Even historical trekkers might think us odd even if they see a strong kinship. I was on a bushcrafter forum the other day and they applauded what was done here but said they couldn't get past the "Middle-earth theme". That link is here if you want to read yourself:

https://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showthre ... nger-Forum

"Rangering" is good but there are many types of Rangers so it might be confusing. A fellow Ranger in France described what we did when he said that we were like Jurassic Park. Tolkien's writings are the original DNA of the dinosaur whilst the historical record is the frog DNA that fills the gap. But this is an apt description and not a name. The name I finally came up with was "interpretive depiction" for I felt I was "depicting" a Ranger of Ithilien and "interpreting" what he might have wore, the equipment he carried and how he used it in the field, etc. Does anyone else have any names that you have given to our unique activity?
'I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace. Minas Anor as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens, not a mistress of many slaves.'
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Iodo
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Iodo » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:39 pm

When friends/family ask what this is called/what this is, I call it 'middle earth reenactment' and, if they have question's, I point them to the forum/wiki to give them an idea.

I know the term 'reenactment' means it's something from the past that's being recreated, and strictly it's fantasy so isn't but know ones questioned the term yet :P
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Elendur Amloth
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Elendur Amloth » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:48 pm

When I always used to say "Middle-earth re-enactment", they'd ask me when we were having our next battle. :evil:
'I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace. Minas Anor as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens, not a mistress of many slaves.'
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Iodo
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Iodo » Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:02 pm

Elendur Amloth wrote:When I always used to say "Middle-earth re-enactment", they'd ask me when we were having our next battle. :evil:

LOL! :lol:
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Greg » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:34 am

Udwin quite often uses the term "Experimental Archaeology" and it quite well fits what we do behind-the-scenes: take existing information from books and existing information from History, combine them into a usable kit to take into the wilderness, and then tweak things as we discover what does and does not work.
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Elleth » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:46 am

I think "historical(ish) trekking" comes closest, but I don't think there is a perfect name yet.

At home we call it (tongue in cheek) "Elf LARPing" :)
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Iodo
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Iodo » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:01 am

Greg wrote:Udwin quite often uses the term "Experimental Archaeology" and it quite well fits what we do behind-the-scenes: take existing information from books and existing information from History, combine them into a usable kit to take into the wilderness, and then tweak things as we discover what does and does not work.

I like that. It fits well, a lot of the stuff we do is based on history, but then changed a bit, often to make it work better. What I've always thought is if one of us makes something that isn't exactly backed up by historical examples/records, but is still made using materials and tools that were available then, if it works really well, how can anyone prove that it wasn't used?

My thought has always been that if you just go ahead making and testing things using historical materials and keep what works, you should be able to build a pretty good picture of all the unfound/undocumented examples that someone somewhere used.

So, definition:

Experimental Archeology: finding out what people used by making and testing, instead of by searching and finding.

Just my interpretation :P
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby E.MacKermak » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:31 pm

I usually use the term Middle Earth recreation. I am not reenacting since that would imply doing the same thing that has already been done. I am recreating Middle Earth to the best of my abilities (limited as they are).
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Iodo
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Iodo » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:48 am

Middle earth recreation, that is a good idea also :P
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Elendur Amloth
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Elendur Amloth » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:49 pm

All great names - I do like all of them.
'I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace. Minas Anor as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens, not a mistress of many slaves.'
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Udwin » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:16 am

Greg wrote:Udwin quite often uses the term "Experimental Archaeology" and it quite well fits what we do behind-the-scenes: take existing information from books and existing information from History, combine them into a usable kit to take into the wilderness, and then tweak things as we discover what does and does not work.


To be fair, I didn't come up with this term, just have latched onto it. It's a lot more appropriate for this setting than others I do.

As for my choice of term for What I Do, here's a selection from a manifesto I wrote a while back on related topics:
"Which eventually brings me to Tolkien Reconstruction (my term for what most would term ‘Middle-earth reenacting’). As I’ve written before, I’m not sure exactly how to describe what I do with regards to Tolkien’s writings. I’m wary of the word ‘reenactment’, as to most Normals it brings to mind folks who say ‘Huzzah!’, or ... Civil War fellows drinking s’mores schnapps and shooting blank loads with their boomsticks. The term ‘living history’ is also troublesome, as Middle-earth is not—strictly speaking—what most people would consider ‘history’, but rather fictional, mythic prehistory. And as it is not strictly ‘real’ or history, it cannot be ‘reenacted’.
That said, I think I’ve become quite fond of the word Reconstruction, in that it allows for a certain amount of play, yet still works in the framework of the academic methods used by Primary-Sources-Living-History. I’m even more increasingly fond of ‘Tolkien-’ or ‘Middle-earth-interpretation', as my personas are my interpretations of his written word.

As long as 'the frog DNA' is drawn from legitimate historical sources (resisting the ahistorical, strictly fantasy, and rule-of-cool), I think the Jurassic Park analogy is pretty apt!
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA
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Elendur Amloth
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Elendur Amloth » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:56 pm

I like Tolkien Reconstruction - very apt!
'I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace. Minas Anor as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens, not a mistress of many slaves.'
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby theowl » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:19 am

The best I've described it as is primitive bushcraft inspired by the works of Tolkien.

Like others have said, getting too much into the middle earth reenactment explanation lends itself a bIt too much to the LARP comparison.
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby TaylorSteiner » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:27 am

Life...imitating art...?
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Re: The Name of What We Do

Postby Ruinar Hrafnakveðja » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:54 pm

Our group uses the term Experimental Archaeology Role Playing, EARP for short. I think it works as a (few) steps towards historical accuracy from LARP but it still lets us explore the fantasy side of role playing without the restrictions of history :)
I am the sword in the darkness, the archer in the trees, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of Eldar and Atani...

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