The company goes back in time to ancient Europe | News
The Society of Creative Anachronism teaches community members about society in Europe from around AD 600 to 1600 through the arts, and its Tahlequah-based chapter is emerging from COVID-induced hibernation.
Wyldewode Township is the name of the local group of the International Living History Group, but it includes members from surrounding areas, such as Stilwell, Pryor and Sallisaw.
Due to the rise of the Omicron variant, their meeting at the Tahlequah Public Library was canceled on January 22, but society members are optimistic that they will be able to reunite for “wInterkingdom”, an event of and Services at Creek County Fairgrounds in Kellysville on February 5. It will be organized by the Barony of Northkeep chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Both groups are members of the Kingdom of Ansteorra, which covers chapters in Oklahoma and Texas. In Kellysville, residents will learn about the arts and sciences of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
“We try to piece together history, not always as it was, but how we would have liked to be,” said Shirley Hackworth, who explained that unlike the days of the Middle Ages, Wyldewode Township embraces the running water and avoids dark plagues. “There will be 30 classes in different parts of the Creek County Fairgrounds.”
Hackworth said the organization’s Wyldewode Township’s aim is to piece together history, particularly from the fall of the Roman Empire to the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign in Europe.
“We have everything they did in this period of history. We have sword fights with rattan swords,” Hackworth said. “We don’t make steel. These are not theatrical fights. They deliver authentic hits while wearing armor. They wear helmets with face shields and padding.
The organization offers different styles of sword fighting, depending on the story its members piece together.
“We do rapier fights. It’s like fencing. The difference is that fencing is sharp and rapier is stabbing,” she said.
The organization also offers archery at the Joe Thornton Range at the Cherokee Nation Headquarters, as well as spear, axe, and knife throwing.
For those interested in the arts, the organization encompasses weaving, embroidery and tailoring. Participants are expected to wear a “garment” or attire from a certain period. Visitors and newcomers are encouraged to try on “lending clothes” until they make or acquire their own clothes.
“We have leatherworkers, metalworkers. We have people running counterfeiters to make armor used by fighters,” said Hackworth, who sews his own clothes.
Participants also create other works of art, such as glass and glass beads with rods, stained glass, and they learn how to make torches. They reproduce historical papers using calligraphy, with examples from specific periods.
Members have the opportunity to win prizes for their art. They are judged on quality and authenticity. With each entry, they must write about the art they created, the materials they used at the time, and the modern materials they used to complete their art, with an explanation of why. they used them.
Currently, the Township of Wyldewode has set up an exhibit at the Tahlequah Public Library. Featured is an award-winning scroll created by one of the society members.
“It was painted by hand and in the style of the 12th-13th century,” Hackworth said.
The company welcomes representatives from all parts of Europe, from Scandinavia and the British Isles to Italy.
“In our group we have a lot of people with Nordic personalities,” she said. “They have some pretty awesome clothes. One of our fighters is also Nordic.
Before the pandemic, the organization ate feasts together, often in a tavern. Food is served using period recipes with authentic ingredients. At these feasts, they also engage in bardic storytelling.
“There are competitions for that,” Hackworth said.
You are invited
At local meetings, they engage in group projects and recruit instructors to teach members how to perform a certain task or create a certain style of art. All are welcome to participate. Interested persons are encouraged to officially join. For more information, visit the Wyldewode Township Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Wyldewode.