Medieval Fest 2017
Those who know me know that I love history. Which makes you wonder why I haven’t attended a medieval festival before when there is an annual one about 45 mins to an hour from my house. Well, for one thing, I always have my head in the sand and learn last minute (when I can’t rearrange my schedule) about these things. This time, I set aside the time to attend, and I have to say I’m glad I did. I’m even glad that this was my first glimpse into the medieval fest. Because I am a part of the SCA, I got an exclusive experience.
For those who don’t know, the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a nonprofit devoted to research and reliving certain areas of the past. As a member, I go by my persona name (Nasadai Ukhagatai) and my goal over the next couple years is to build up my garb, armour, and experience as I would have if I were in the Golden Horde era of Mongolia. My name was only recently approved, so I was excited to be able to introduce myself as Nasadai rather than my mundane name. (Even if the general response to my name is… “You may have to remind me again.” Sadly, there are not many Mongol-based personas in my canton.) Unfortunately, I have not yet made myself some Mongolian garb, so I borrowed some Viking garb from a friend. Here I am:
Behind the scenes of the “Medieval Daily Life” exhibit (which was us), I helped to chop vegetables to put in our meal, ate rabbit stew cooked over a fire and bread hand-made and grilled on a skillet (since we had no oven), and witnessed a variety of artisans far more talented than I as they demonstrated the life skills of peasants during the medieval ages. A friend showed wood carving as she worked on a new, intricate carving of a flower. Next to her, we had several people demonstrate how clothes would have been made from the initial combing of the wool, to the spinning of the thread, the weaving of fabric, sewing the final product, and even shoe-making. One of the most interesting things to me was the fact that we made cheese from milk by setting it near the cooking fire.
Next to the Daily Medieval Life stations, we had our war exhibits, including several working trebuchets (I fired twice at the palisade we were aiming to take down) and a ballista, which I also fired once. It was a very fun experience. Take a look at this trebuchet in motion!
One of the highlights of my day with the SCA group was a lesson on archery. I was able to use a recurve bow similar in style to one my persona would have used. It was a fantastic experience and I hope to find the time to squeeze in a few more archery lessons in the future!
Between my time with the SCA, walking around to visit all the booths, and watching a lady knight joust (Dame Jaclyn Ziemniak, pictured with me below), it was an amazing day. Definitely one of the highlights of my year and I can’t wait for the next event!