We recently went to a medieval fair and loved it! It was fun, it was impressive to see all the costumes, creativity and attention to details. It was amazing to see so many people with a passion, for such a time.
I’m afraid I didn’t take a single pictures. I just enjoyed the day.
There are 2 things that stroke me there.
The first one is that, apparently, I can’t throw an axe. I was very disappointed! This isn’t the important bit here though. Just needed to mention it!
The important think is how much YouTube has become an invaluable resource of information.
I can’t pass on the opportunity to show off my sewing machine (again!), can I?!
YouTube is an amazing learning tool
At the medieval fair, there were several stands where people were selling their crafts. Clothes, knifes, jewellery, potteries… And quite a few of the sellers, were busy making more craft, in between customers.
I spoke to a couple women there. One was knitting with a big needle that looked like it was carved in a bone. It was. One was hand-sewing dresses, one was waving…
They all happily shared details about their craft, what they were doing, what it was used for, what was the origin of the technique they used, how it differed from modern techniques. They gave me all sorts of details, which showed, that they really put a lot of research, into what they were doing.
They really knew the historical origin of the craft. Yet knowing something is historically correct, does not mean you know how to do it!
So I asked all of them: How did you learn to do this?
And they all gave the same answer: YouTube!
It felt amazing to me and maybe somehow reassuring that they all used YouTube as a learning tool. I was particularly glad to hear that such techniques could be learned from YouTube.
You know I love Bernadette Banner, right?! Not related to the Medieval fair obviously but still amazing!
YouTube and the likes are the new way to transmit ancestral knowledge
That’s how I felt when talking to these women at least.
In the past, if your dad was a carpenter, a tailor or else, as his descendant, you pretty much had to learn the tools of the trade, to take over his business, at one point or another.
Passing down knowledge and skills from one generation to the next has always been extremely important for the survival and thriving of mankind… until recently.
For maybe the past century or may just a few decades, I won’t try to draw a definite line or put pressure on any specific generation, things have changed.
The World became bigger and people started getting more and more options. They discovered trades they didn’t know existed, they broke free from the obligations to continue what had been started in their family, generations before. They forgot to learn the skills and knowledge their parents had perfected over decades and which were handed down from their parents.
Meanwhile, some people started complaining about lost knowledge, lost know-how.
Rediscovering grand-mother tricks to clean or handle mundane daily tasks or listening to older generations on how to follow the moon cycles to grow vegetables became a thing, long before TikTok, I would had 😉
Many will always lack interest in old fashion techniques. Many will always prefer to look at the stars and think of the future.
But it is apparent that a lot of people are very much interested in technique from the past. “Savoir Faire” from other times which produced results that machines are not been able to reproduce, not yet at least.
And it seems that many of such people turn to YouTube to learn such know-how. YouTube and alike, I suppose.
It is fascinating to me how much efforts some content creators put to show and teach others how to do do this or that. It is just as fascinating how one can find just about any tutorial they might be looking for, on the most obscure and lost art.
This clearly shows that ancestral knowledge is not and will not be lost. That some people are willing to learn. These people are not the descendant of the original craftsman, but does it matter? As long as these techniques are still alive and perfected, all is well.
The women I spoke to, at the medieval fair, are perfect example of this. Maybe they will pass this own to their children, maybe not and it doesn’t matter because someone else, somewhere in the World, will probably continue to learn and use such techniques.
It is beautiful.
OK ok, I’ll admit it’s not all roses and rainbows
Yes, there are plenty of tutorials that aren’t so good, some that are just plain wrong, borderless dangerous. And obviously, YouTube is also filled with plenty of other content which, to remain polite, will not make you any smarter.
Still, I think there are invaluable gems on it and I’m grateful to all the content creators who make it a better place! Just needed to say it!
You know as well how much I love Pamela Reif, but I should take this time to introduce you to Abigail James! She is a gem!