A very understandable question :-)
We are normal people who have discovered a love for history and specifically the Middle Ages. We try to make everything ourselves and, depending on one's personal interest, try to be as authentic as we can be. However, we are also very open and tolerant. We do understand that everybody has to start at some time and will not have "perfect" equipment in the beginning. No problem!
Basically, everything that has been done in the Middle Ages is also being done within the SCA, of which we are a part of. Our own group is called the "Shire of Isengau"
The name Isengau comes from the time of the Agilolfinger during which territories were divided into Provinces, i.e. "Gaue", according to Alemannic/Bavarian tradition. The fact that the term "Gau" has received a more sinister meaning in World War II should not distract from the fact that the orginal, historic meaning was benign. Other ancient symbols such as the Swastika of the Orient or the Roman Emperor's salute were also replicated and then misused during this period. The much older usage of the term "Gau" should therefore not be evaluated in the glaring political light of recent history. This would mean that even the few remaining examples of this historic term, such as Chiemgau, Schongau, Suntgau, Allgäu and Breisgau, would have to be renamed. Aside from these examples of older Provinces there are quite a few names which have disappeared into the darkness of History. One of these names happens to be Isengau. Another province which is unknown today was called Donaugau. Whereas it is easy to find a possible geographic location for the name Donaugau, one can only find Isengau by making old, dusty maps yield up their secrets. The borders of Isengau once encompassed the areas of Freising and München and bespoke the richness of this area. After all it was the much sought after iron ore for which this area was known and thus it was given the name "EISEN Province", the "ISEN gau".
Check out http://www.isengau.de for the modern counterpart with historic information (in German)
The terms "re-enactment/Living History" has come to us from the United States of America where it is used by many historical groups. These groups re-create everyday life (Living History) and specific events (Reenactment) of the time. Their focus ranges from the re-creation of the culture of Native Americans who lived in teepees to the continual refighting of the battles of the American Civil War. Although the terms comes to us from the US the principle is not foreign to us. One needs only to think of the Battle of Nations in Leipzig, which year after year covers those Germans who have historical interests in the blackpowder smoke of history. There are also Viking groups which bring back to life the traditions of the Northmen in the remains of the earthworks of Haitabu. The efforts of some communities can also be called re-enactment as they attempt to make history something which can be experienced today in their historical festivals. But there are also those festivals which we, in our personal opinion, would not counttowards the group of historical re-enactments. Among them are festivals like the Kaltenberger Rittertunier. This is where one would find a lot of garb (although the term costume would be more fitting here) with zippers and many other "historical" atrocities. Re-enactment is not a time for one to show off and to relegate the rest to pure observation. Rather, it is the more or less successful, and definitely more fun-filled, shared attempt to bring back to life the spirit of a era filled with glory and shadows.