Monday, April 16, 2007

Interesting groups on the reenacting fringe, Pt 15

The Fringe is back! This time, we're covering major periods that really aren't fringe. Yeah, I know, I tried another approach with early colonial period reenacting (Jamestown, Plimoth, ect), but it just didn't feel the same. So, without further adieu...

The Medieval period is one of my favorite periods. It just has that fantastic air, but yet, it's real history. With this fringe post, I'll stick with the organizations that try to do as faithful as possible representations of the medieval period, which not suprisingly, is a big deal in Europe. Just look the Battle of Hastings reenactment. I won't cover the SCA, since their reach encompasses more that just the medieval period, but I will save them for a later fringe post.

We'll start with the Medieval Combat Society. I've heard of these guys for years. Unlike the SCA, who have an unparalleled track record of playing safely, the MCS use the real items, or very close reproductions of swords and other melee weapons of the medieval era. I can't vouch for their total authenticity, but the picts look pretty good. Maybe a little to bright for the period, but I'm sure they are the sport to watch. Here's a small bit from the MCS:

Founded in 1970 by a group of enthusiastic people who wanted to enjoy fighting and re-enacting the Medieval period to raise money for charity. The MCS is a non profit making society run by the members for fun and enjoyment and dedicated to the safe re-enactment of medieval combat and recreation of life in the 14th Century during the period of King Edward III of England.

The next organization is an Italian group - the Compagnia de Peon. They do take pains that the "peon" they refer to isn't the Spanish term, but rather it means "foot soldier". They seem a bit truer to the period than the MCS, so I'll assume they're probably a bit more hip on the authentic side of things. Although this Web site is abit smallish, the pictures are great, and are well worth a look-see. Here's a snippet from their site:

What does " peon " mean?
Is it Spanish ?
Has it something to do with Mexico?
Certainly not !! This "vulgar" word was used in the XIII and XIV century by the Venetian area people to indicate a foot-soldier of the feudal peasant levy or communal militia. This is what we re-enact, not professional soldiers,but simple town people (burgenses) that weekly leave their all-day occupation ,dress in privately purchased military garments according to their economical possibilities, and serve their own town as guards with various duties.

The Confraternity of Malemort is a Belgian group, that covers the medieval times in what would become Belgium. Here's a bit from their site:

Welcome everybody on the "Confrérie de la Malemort, asbl" website.

Located at Namur - Belgium and created in 1992, the objective of association is to promote medieval time by the reconstitution of a troop of mercenaries of the Hundred Years' War.However, our activities are not limited only to the demonstration of weapons, tournaments and battles. The everyday life of the knights, soldiers, ribaudes and middle-class men, gueux and lords is reconstituted in a precise concern of the detail, as well from the material's point of view as the evocation at the time of animations and spectacles. Scenarios are inspired directly by texts from the middle age found in archives or in books of history.

Great history!


Blue Bellied Yank said...

Very interesting post!!!
My first husband made his own chain mail in the basement. He became an expert at it. I have an article with photo showing him in an entire suit of mail he crafted. Sadly, he passed away six years ago after fighting a courageous battle with cancer.
One of my cousins celebrated her wedding in medieval fashion. The bride and groom are reenactors. My Dad and his wife just couldn't understand it at all...

mntineer said...

To be honest, one can easily get lost in the medieval time period, and I think that's a big part in what makes the SCA so alluring to many people. In many ways it's an alternate lifestyle, and to many people, that's hard to fathom.