Saturday, May 30, 2009

A re-created medieval battle in Russia

When I got involved in medieval re-creation in the early 70s, Russia was a faraway and generally inaccessible place where the kind of fun we were having would not have fit in. Now, however, an energetic and classy re-creation (Alexander Nevsky versus the evil German Crusaders? English Russia saith not) looks much the same there as it does in North America.

Images: Love that fort!

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Monday, February 23, 2009

What is "medieval modern" fashion?

Is it this? Alas, this is only the Deluxe Barbarian Queen ensemble, not the real cutting edge, high fashion medieval modern. If you want to know more, go visit Got Medieval and become enlightened.

And then maybe you'll have more respect for the creator of the Deluxe Barbarian Queen.

Update: Once you are tired of the Deluxe Barbarian Queen and other forms of fashionable (or not) "medieval modern" and are in the mood for some dense scholarly discussion of serious issues, go here and surprise! -- you may find the medieval modern Deluxe Barbarian Queen looking right back at you!

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Got 15th-century armor? Fall of Constantinople video

I thought readers might be interested in this e-mail, especially readers near New York who own armor and love heroic last stands:

Hey folks. This is the last call for the "Fall of Constantinople" music
video shoot.

The project has gone very well so far (I portrayed Janos Hunyadi in a scene
shot last weekend, which required me dying my hair black), but they can
always use a few more people in armor to portray knights and soldiers on the
walls of Constantinople in 1453. From the research we have done, it seems
that the Italians came with their contemporary European armor, so anything
that can pass for mid-15th century gear will do nicely. They say everyone
who is part of the shoot will get face time on screen. This is a no-pay gig,
but they will provide food and a copy of the video once it is done.

The rehearsal is Saturday, June 6, in Astoria, Queens, and the shoot will be
Monday, November [December?] 8, also in Queens.

This is a 12-minute music video/short film for the Greek-American heavy
metal rock band Phoenix Reign ( and has already
been booked into a couple of film festivals.

If interested, contact Chris at

Image: Art from the Phoenix Reign site.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Viking shield discovered in Denmark

Reenactors and re-creationists of all sorts will be happy to hear this news: a Viking era shield found in Denmark, reported here from Yahoo news.

It will be some time before such data as original weight and construction will be available. The reason the shield is still around, long after all the others have been beaten to flinders, is that it was found waterlogged in wet soil. Much effort will have to be put into removing and preserving it.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Conversations around the campfire

For the last 16 years my wife and I have been hosting an SCA camping weekend at Labor Day. A variety of reenactment and recreation activities take place including armored combat, archery, riding ( back when we had enough good horses) as well as all the kinds of things to take place at any sociable camp -- a lot of cooking and partying in particular. Llarger than usual craft projects sometimes take place. This time there was both pewter casting and Viking glass bead production.

Because this takes place on a long weekend, there is lots of time to talk to people. Here are two conversations that occurred.

I was talking to a friend about this and that when he started telling me a story about how in 1988 when he was 17, his father took him out of school and they crossed and Mongolia went to Tana Tuva in then Soviet Siberia to attend a Siberian throat singing Festival. It was one of those stories where a mature person recalls a formative experience of youth. a woman listening to the story eventually shared with the rest of us which she it had a striking experience in 1989 -- she'd been in Norway, heard what was happening in Berlin, and went there in time to help tear down the Wall with her own bare hands.

The next day, I told a third person about the Tana Tuva story and was just about to mention the Berlin Wall tale that followed it, when the person I was speaking to started telling his 1989 story. He had crossed China and the Soviet Union and was in Eastern Europe when it became evident that the old system was falling apart. His experience of that phenomenon was a ride with an East German who had come to Hungary with the specific purpose of escaping to the west -- Hungary's communist government had already taken down in section of the Iron Curtain. He went on at some length telling how it affected him to talk to this German who was a bundle of hopes and illusions and fears, for instance that he might never see his aged mother again, though his sisters might live long enough for him to see them.

There are many interesting and unusual people in the SCA, and conversations tend to reflect that. But this was really quite exceptional.

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