The South Haven Branch of the Porter County Public Library resembled a medieval battleground recently. In the parking lot, metal clanged as one knight’s sword crashed into another’s shield. Other fighters dueled with weapons such as maces, axes and poles.
The Society for Creative Anachronism, a not-for-profit organization, re-creates the medieval era for educational and entertainment purposes. Members of the local chapter, Shire of Greyhope, include residents of Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.
Individuals choose areas of interest, then “become” blacksmiths, weavers, archers, dancers, calligraphers and other members of feudal society.
Lady Quenild of Mercia — Jen Dreessen of Cedar Lake — is president of the local chapter. She armed herself with a crossbow and wore a blue tunic, handmade leather body armor, steel-plated knee and arm guards, black leather boots and riveted chain mail.
“The whole point of this is honorable combat,” Dreessen said. “It’s not about fighting as much as it is being able to fight honorably. As often as not, you’ll be fighting a friend. It depended on where you were from at the time.”
Inside the library, members demonstrated the art of pewter casting. A soapstone carved in the shape of a belt buckle was displayed, along with samples of completed products.
Various styles of ladies’ dresses hung on the wall. A long black velvet gown with pearl beads and copper buttons hung near a Turkish coat of ivory and burgundy silk.
Stan Casella of South Haven said he enjoys history and wanted to learn more about the medieval era.
“(The Society for Creative Anachronism) does a nice re-enactment,” Casella said. “The thing that really stands out to me is that they put a lot of care into the clothing they made. It’s very difficult to picture that era. You don’t get the sense of textures and stuff that they used. Seeing it up close, the weight of the shield, is … an immersion experience.”
Guests were invited to learn to play lansquenet, a German card game. They also had the opportunity to make a knotted cord using a wooden U-shaped lucet, or play an ocarina, a musical instrument made of blue ceramic.
The local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism meets several times each month for duel practice, sewing, dancing and more.
Source: Post Tribune