2020 was a challenging year for us. We couldn't organise beautiful events for you, which caused financial impact as well. Therefore we were deeply touched when some exhibitors decided to donate their exhibitor fee. To return the favour we would like to celebrate them and their work by introducing their products to you.
Today we'd like you to meet Zwaard en Volk:
25 years ago (yes, we are in our anniversary year!) we started a fantasy / gothic / Wicca shop: De Malle Heks. When we started, without us knowing, there was only one other fantasy shop in the Netherlands. After a number of years, we came into contact with (semi-) medieval markets and discovered how nice it was to set up shop ourselves there. Then, one day someone comes to the shop to ask if he can put down flyers because he wants to start a sword-fighting school (one of the first in the Netherlands) and it all really started! We started sword-fighting, buying swords for the shop, we went to historical events and participated in medieval battles and buy all kinds of medieval stuff for your shop and and and…. Well, then another name had to be added because with “De Malle Heks” you think more of decoration or LARP related objects, while we were working historically correct. Zwaard en Volk was born! Zwaard (Sword) because we sell swords, armour, gambesons, etc. for reenactors; Volk (folk, people), because we also sell everything for the common people, such as clothing, pans, eating utensils, pouches.
More sword fighting schools came and more and better products came on the market for practitioners of HEMA, Historical European Martial Arts. Our shop has the most extensive and varied collection of products for HEMA in the Benelux. We keep getting more foreign customers who cannot really remember and have trouble to pronounce the name Zwaard en Volk. That's why we have also come up with a new name for the HEMA part: HEMAworld.
Besides our webshops, we have a physical store in Tilburg. Here everything can be tried out, fitted and compared. As we are swordsmen ourselves, we can adivse your and help you find the best gear for you!
In our shop section “De Malle Heks” we still sell jewellery, figurines, clothing (the latter only online), Wicca articles, and more. In the Zwaard en Volk section, you will find many swords, daggers, knives, armour, medieval clothing and shoes, clothing accessories (such as buttons, linen yarn, points and fibulas), pots and pans, eating utensils, chainmail, everything for practitioners of HEMA and OF COURSE mead and drinking horns!
What we do find special is that we have always just done what we liked but did not think commercially. We started with fantasy before it became widely known, just as with gothic and Wicca. Because we have such a wide array of items in our collection, we have been able to survive as one of the few physical stores.
As if all this weren't enough medieval influences in our life, I also started playing the hurdy-gurdy because it seemed such a special instrument. Years later, we started our group Compagnie Gallimaufry! We play at festivals with our acoustic and medieval instruments. We use hurdy-gurdy, davul, octave mandolin and bagpipe. Our repertoire has been expanded quite a bit: medieval, 17th century, Dickens, folk, and even rock. It's just wonderful to play! Some people feel our name, Gallimaufry, is quite unpronounceable. The word is old French for "anything and everything" and we thought it suited us perfectly, because well, we do all kinds of things :).
It is clear, our whole life revolves around the Middle Ages, work and hobby, our own house is also full of medieval things. And swords. And fantasy too, of course.
Several times a year we attend various events at home and abroad. With Compagnie Gallimaufry to perform, or as Zwaard en Volk to sell. Of course, we have our favourite markets and one of them is of course Castlefest! We have been participating since the first edition. The atmosphere is great, the organization and volunteers of Castlefest are great (this can really be a different experience elsewhere), the music is wonderful. In all those years we have seen it grow considerably, and nowadays we are on the re-enactment field with our (also grown) recognizable blue and white tent, a wonderful place. Together with our valued volunteers, we make a party out of it every time!
You can find more information on Zwaard en Volk, their webshops and Compagnie Gallimaufry via the links below: