In the old days of the viking era the people of the Göta river valley were called Elvegrims, which would roughly translate to the 'grim people by the river'. (Geographically this would be in the region of Gothenburg, Sweden.)
The group's goal is to promote old nordic crafts, sports and traditions for the purpose of knowledge preservation, enrichment and cultural dissemination. As such we hope to promote the understanding between different cultures, and to hinder any rootlessness and disorientation. If those of us who live in the Nordic countries do not possess any knowledge of our origin, or pride and reverence of our cultural heritage, then we can not understand other cultural heritages and the intolerance and xenophobia will continue to grow.
Elvegrimarne is a non-profit and non-political group. However, we still want to participate in the debate that differentiates the unfair connection between old nordic traditions and extreme right-wing organizations.
The members of Elvegrimarne have a serious and humble attitude to the old nordic traditions and the period we are reenacting, which would be the viking era (approx. 8th-12th centuries).
The sports and athletics we primarily focus on are the martial ones. We build and acquire authentic weapons, shields and armors. The weapons are replicas of archaeological findings, but from a safety aspect all sharp edges have been dulled. With this equipment we try to recreate scenes of battle and find out what fighting techniques were used by the vikings. This fighting is preceded by rigorous training where we learn to pull any blows, cuts or thrusts. Sensitive areas such as head, neck, hands (among others) are forbidden hit zones.
Other viking era activities we practice are archery, wrestling, spear throwing, and many more - all of which are mentioned in the sagas. Even poetry is considered a necessary skill for the accomplished viking.
Our members are keen on giving an authentic impression, which is why we create our gear in consultation with the latest research and base all of our crafting on actual archaeological evidence and knowledge. Using authentic materials goes without saying when sewing, weapon smithing, leather crafting, wood, bone and horn carving, making jewelry, mead brewing, making chainmail, or any of the other crafts Elvegrimarne practice.
We hold to the belief that the best way of learning is by doing, and by doing it yourself. We frequently travel in Sweden and internationally to different viking markets during the summer months, living in viking camps. We try to live without modern equipment and by doing that we teach ourselves how the vikings might have done it so many centuries ago, and what problems they encountered. Anything lacking, flaws or broken down gear is corrected and mended during the winter months.
Elvegrimarne is an outgoing and social group and we're constantly visiting other similar groups, markets, and other large gatherings of viking reenactors in different areas to exchange ideas and experiences, and to make new friendships.