Basic Villager

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The intention is to assess whether a candidate is capable of being left unsupervised within a Herred-size living history encampment, successfully run that display, and competently interact with the public.

This is a qualifying test for Fri-hals promotion ; the test gains one Drengr promotion point.

Part of the test is a guided tour around the Village, therefore the village encampment should be at least 10 tents/structures, in size and at least half must have significant craft works being undertaken. Consequently it is often not possible to carry out a complete Basic Villager Test at a local show, and many medium shows might not qualify either.

1. Personal Character The candidate must devise a character or persona and be able to act out this character role in the village set up. He/she will be asked to tell the assessors all about themselves and whilst remaining in character they must describe themselves, their family and their home, giving character information as listed within the “Village Activities – Who Are You” section of the Village Guide.

2. Personal Equipment The candidate should attend the test in full costume which should be appropriate for their character as above. Costumes should have already passed a basic costume check and comply with the requirements of the “Village Authenticity – Personal Kit” and “Village Authenticity – Personal Authenticity” sections of the Village Guide. A candidate must have their own eating utensils : Bowl, cup (or horn), spoon. (preferably in cloth shoulder bag) and should be accompanied by equipment and props to support their chosen persona and occupation. Only two or three items are required as a minimum, but bring your entire tool kit if you have it. If you are a warrior you need your weapons, although being in a village setting these should be peace tied.

3. Health and Safety The candidate will be asked questions in order to demonstrate their awareness of current legal and Society guidelines as described within the “Health & Safety” chapter of the Village Guide. All aspects of Health and Safety should be covered. If a candidate has already passed the Basic LHE Skills test then this section of the test may be omitted at the testing officer’s discretion.

4. Village Awareness The candidate will be asked questions in order to demonstrate their knowledge of commonplace village matters in respect of general rules and regulations within the Society, through to the context of the historical setting of the village and the show. All of these matters are generally covered within the “General Information” and “Village Activities” chapters of the Village Guide.

5. Guided Tour of The Village The candidate is required to take note of the crafts and traders present in the village on the day of the test, then acting as a guide show the RTT-V around the LHE as if he/she was a member of the public. The candidate is required to advise the assessor about what is happening within the village, especially what each individual craftsperson is doing. The candidate is to remain in character throughout and not allow any modern phraseology or slang to enter into their dialogue. Do not leave character irrespective of whatever modern distractions that the assessor may wish to introduce.

As part of this process the candidate may be required to demonstrate their general knowledge of village matters. The Assessor may ask questions such as :-

  • what are we all doing at the show
  • do we really live in tents
  • what is the difference between Saxon and Viking tents
  • why do we use fireboxes
  • what do we drink
  • what is a typical / usual meal

If you wish to take a Basic Villager test then you should select an appropriate event where the assessment can be made and contact one of the society RTT-V to arrange a time for the test. You should contact the RTT-V before the event to ensure that they will be there. Note that 2 testers are required for this test and the lead RTT-V cannot be from your own group ; you should make arrangements with both RTT-V required unless you agree otherwise with the lead RTT-V. Current RTT-Vs are listed on the Assessing officers page, and the list of current RTT-V is also available to download from the DocStore. For society run major shows you can contact the High Thegn of Living History to arrange tests.