Sunday, February 06, 2005

Medieval Re-enactment Groups in Wellington

I picked up a leaflet at the World Jousting Championships held at the end of January in Upper Hutt that had information on re-enactment groups operating out of the Wellington area. There's a strange synergy between historic and SF groups, maybe because both groups are interested in other times and places...anyway here's some information on the local groups.

Order of the Boar The Order of the Boar is based near Upper Hutt. They create aspects of the medieval tournament along with living history activities from 1350-1400, and specialise in jousting. They are the only equestrian based re-enactment group in New Zealand. The club is organised along historical lines as a small retinue of mounted men-at-arms, infantry, family and servants at a tournament. The Order of the Boar is the regional representative for the International Jousting Association and competes in domestic tournaments and internationally.

Wellington Medieval GuildThe Wellington Medieval Guild is interested in the history and performance of the medieval lifestyle in the period 750-150 AD and recreates the more colourful and enjoyable aspects of life in the period, through dance, craft, arts, fighting and feasting. The group is relatively small and has adopted a merchant guild image with a chancellor to lead the group, a sheriff to manage the finances, and a chatelaine to welcome new members. There is also a system for recognising the skills of new members, including a form of apprenticeships. Their motto is "Laissez un pour moi!" - Save one for me, equally apt for fighting and feasting. They meet every Sunday at 10 am at the Aro Valley Community Centre (48 Aro Street) for a 2 hour dance practice, followed by a two-hour weapon practice of similar length.

Cymbrogi Cymbrogi is dedicated to accurate recreation of aspects of medieval life 1050AD to 1350AD. A member's costume, jewellery and weapons must be accurate to within a 50 year period, and make use of tradional materials and patterns. The society attends public events and displays where they inform the public on medieval life and history. Cymbrogi also has a combat arm which teaches medieval fighting methods with all the weapons of the period. Members start on the quarterstaff to learn control and safety, then through a formal martial arts style grading system members move onto the single broadsword, dagger, broadsword and shield, spear and axe. After the third grade is reached members may train in a selected weapon to master level. Training is held every Sunday afternoon at the Karori West Scout Hall (Campbell Street Karori) 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

The Shire of Darton The Shire of Darton is the Wellington branch of the International Society for Creative Anachronism. The SCA has the broad scope of pre-1600 western Europe, though they tend to pursue interests from the Norman Conquest to the 1600s, allowing them to include most early music and dance as well as a wide range of costuming and cooking resources. SCA combat uses weapons of rattan rather than steel and is full contact and fully armoured. Although the local fighting unit is small there are chances to fight with larger forces at annual events in Canterbury, Auckland and Australia. Darton holds an arts & science meeting Thursday 7:30 - 9:30 pm and a fighters practice session Sunday 1-4pm. People interested in learning more are welcome to come along.

Company of the Dragon The Company of the Dragon Inc is a steel weapons medieval re-enactment group based on an infantry/mercenary group that could have existed between 1200 and 1400 CE. Their fighting techniques, weapons, costume and armour are as accurate as possible based on the latest available literature. They have a martial-arts style grading system to help members progress from basic weaponry - broadsword and quartstaff - to more complex weapons and combinations, such as sword and shield, spear/polearm, axe, two-handed sword, etc. members are encouraged to choose a military occupation from a particular time on which to base their armour and equipment, such as infantry, archer, knight. The group frequently does displays at events in and around the Wellington region and also does private functions and displays for schools and community groups. Training is from 1pm every Sunday at the Wellington Scottish Athletics Association Hall (Prince of Wales Park, near Massey University). Contact kerry.gillan @ (remove the spaces).

Red Ravens
Finally The Red Ravens hail from Palmerston North. Their collective persona is that of a medieval mercenary company, Les Corbyns de Rouge, based in France in the years 1000 - 1250AD. New members are always welcome, and are trained in the ise of various weapons, including the sword, spear and quarterstaff. Training focuses mainly on ensuring new members are safe to enter into combat. Non-combatant members are also welcome and all members are encouraged to practice crafts. Training begins at 10 am every Sunday, at the old brick and pipe works on Featherston Street. No equipment is required for new trainees, helmets and weapons are supplied by the club.

No comments: