Vikings, Celtics invade Hayward campus

Louis LaVenture,

Have you ever thrown a spear, shot a bow and arrow or engaged in Celtic combat?

If you haven’t, then you missed out on Friday at the Cal State East Bay Student Historical Society Celtic and Viking reenactment.

In addition to lectures and presentations of early century lifestyles, two historical reenactment groups, Vikings of Bjornstad and Gaesatae set up in the overflow parking lot to demonstrate how these cultures cooked, fought, survived and much more. Spear throwing, archery, hand-to-hand combat with weapons, as well as survival tactics like creating a fire and cooking were all on display for attendees to watch and participate in.

CSUEB Student Historical Society President Brian Doherty explained that this was the first time that reenactment groups Bjornstad, representative of Vikings and Anglo Saxon culture from the eighth to eleventh centuries, and Gaesatae, representative of Celtics from the first century BCE, or before common era, performed a historical reenactment on campus.

Both troops were dressed in full regalia of the era from head to toe, and all of their equipment and goods were things that represented the actual items of the centuries-old civilizations. Doherty also led a Celtic fighting demonstration in which participants used wooden shields and swords, while learning combat techniques of the culture.

“There are three common fighting styles, Artos, Karos and Moccos,” Doherty, a senior history major and anthropology minor explained. “Artos is associated with a bear and is a tall aggressive style on the offensive. Karos is associated with the deer and is more of a balanced style with a solid stance. Moccos is associated with the boar and focuses on defense with a lot of shield protection, low attacks and upward thrusts.”

Doherty said that despite being disappointed in the turnout, he is hopeful that the events had a strong impact on attendees.

This is a great opportunity to use history as a teaching tool for students and faculty,” Doherty said. “Hopefully this will get more people interested next time.”