Summer Solstice – Kupala’s Night in Mikorowo 20-22.06.2014

We spent this  year’s Kupalnocka (Kupala’s Night – more here: https://xcentury.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/kupalnocka-kupalas-night-when-moon-and-sun-are-being-wed/) in Mikorowo with our friends from PGOH (Pomeranian Historical Reenactment Group) and some other very nice people we had a real pleasure to get acquainted with.

 

Maidens before the ritual and dances. (fot by Krzysztof "Rynek" Rynkiewicz and Agnieszka Piskozub-Rynkiewicz)

Maidens before the ritual and dances. Wreaths would be thrown to the lake after the rituals. (fot by Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz and Agnieszka Piskozub-Rynkiewicz)

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Jarl Bjørn, his wife Karolina, żerca Rynek, Ulf and Rynek’s wife Aga. (all rights to the pics belong to Krzysztof Rynek Rynkiewicz and Agnieszka Piskozub-Rynkiewicz)

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Dances with fire and water. That’s how the fire and water (the Sun and The Moon) are being wed. (all rights to the pics belong to Krzysztof Rynek Rynkiewicz and Agnieszka Piskozub-Rynkiewicz)

Mikorowo was perfect place for our reenactment. First of all, there’s a lake in Mikorowo and water is very important during the celebrations. Second, there’s an old slavic legend related to the place, built around the great and old oak called “Wojsław”. Wojsław is a slavic name meaning “a famous warrior” and this name belonged to the warrior who was a favourite in the eyes of thunder and war god Perun. Once upon a time there was a blacksmith in Mikorowo, great master of his crafts. But he was childless and became very unhappy. But god Perun liked him and decided to give him a wife, black-eyed Dąbrówka (slav. “Oak-maiden”). She gave birth to a son, but blacksmith wasn’t happy for long, because death took him not so long after the child was born. Lone mother could not raise her son alone, so she prayed to Perun to become a childs “piastun” (slav. “caretaker”). God of War was a good caretaker and made his pupil a great warrior – Wojsław. But Wojsław, as many brave warriors from legends was killed by a treacherous arrow. His mother Dąbrówka was mad in despair and cried so much that the local lake was formed from her tears. After Wojsław’s death an oak was grown on his grave. The oak became big and powerful as Wojsław was in life.

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Żerca Rynek (slavic priest and author of the majority of photos in this post), surrounded by the tribe. Ulf with the sword he used the following day in battle as his release from slavery day test left and me to the right. (Fot. by Agnieszka Piskozub-Rynkiewicz)

Pairs dancing. (all rights to the pics belong to Krzysztof Rynek Rynkiewicz and Agnieszka Piskozub-Rynkiewicz)

Pairs dancing. (all rights to the pics belong to Krzysztof Rynek Rynkiewicz and Agnieszka Piskozub-Rynkiewicz)

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Żercy Ragnar and Rynek. (fot. Agnieszka Piskozub-Rynkiewicz)

The event was really nice. First of all, usual camplife. Our reenactor brethren made a makeshift smokehouse (which in fact was a chimney box  ~ one meter high with an underground vent) to smoke some fish we received from the local community. Then the archery contest – I was quite ok at short distances but the author of the pictures in this post (Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz) was the most handy with the bow and won the contest easily. Then Ragnar and Rynek dressed as slavic priests “żercy” (“eaters”) and made a great ritual for tourists and denizens in which every reenactor took his/hers role. The 3 day event ended with a small battle contest which was won by Kacper.

Moreover, Tadek, a long time thrall (nord. “slave”) of PGOH has been set free and became einherjer (nord. “a warrior”) under the name Ulf (nord. “a wolf”) and was tested in combat the following day.

Mikorowo is a great place for reenactment events. Our hosts were great and helpful, there’s a lot of place for setting up the camp not far from the lake and various types of ideas (like the smokehouse mentioned before). Looking forward for revisiting the place!

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Ragnar and me fighting. Fot. by Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz

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Ragnar, Kacper and me before the battle. Fot. by Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz

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Some fighting. Fot. by Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz

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Some fighting. Fot. by Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz

 

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Ulf vs Kacper. Fot. by Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz

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Hafkitta helping Ragnar to dress up before battle. Fot. by Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz

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Bjorn vs Patryk. Fot. by Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz

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Archery contest. Patryk and Karolina shooting. Fot. by Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz

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Hafkitta and Rynek shooting. Fot. by Agnieszka Piskozub-Rynkiewicz

 

I’d like to thank Krzysztof “Rynek” Rynkiewicz for allowing me to use the fotos! Thanks!

 

 

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