Demoing For The Medieval Festival At Upper Canada Village

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August 3, 2017 by Rua Lupa

I have been quiet of late, and that is perhaps due to a lot of SCA (medieval living history) stuff that was going on. So without further delay, here is an overdue update on what exactly went on with this SCA stuff. Let us start in the order of events, so for this article we will focus on the weekend of June 9th – 11th where we demoed for the Medieval Festival at Upper Canada Village.


The weather was hot, the Festival was busy, the mood was congenial, the food phenomenal. It helps that we were hosted by Skrael – The SCA Barony of the Ottawa region, Ontario, Canada. Fantastic cookery goes on in Skrael, and open fire roasted meat is hard to beat. They were organized as the “14th Century Archers” located by the Eastfield on the map.

The role I played was wool comber and novice spinner, having had a lot of wool I had bought raw, cleaned, and needed to learn the next stage of the process – wanting to learn and do the process from sheep to cloth. The thought was that since I would be sitting in one place demoing this for a whole weekend there would be no better opportunity to work on this labour intensive stage.

That is when I learned that demoing means very little work actually gets done as you need to continually address an audience.

Among this fluxing audience was one notable family. A young man saw what I was doing and said he was familiar with combing, and his grandma – who did not speak the language, so I assume the young man was among the first generation Canadian in that family -showed us how it was done more properly. Damn she was good. And from that I now know how to card without straining my wrists – by holding the ‘anchoring comb’ with my palm upright, and the driving comb is moving either outward or inward. I am sure that there were more subtle layers to the technique that were lost in our language barrier. Even so, it was a fun and great experience to learn from those who breathe this sort of thing since childhood. If a member of that family happens to be reading this, I would like to say thank you for sharing your knowledge – because knowledge ever always is a wonderful gift.

Rua Wool Combing, Image By Duncan MacLeod

Following that step in processing wool is spinning, and my goodness do I have a lot to learn on mastering Spinning. What I was able to demonstrate was how the fibers were twisted together and with a thick piece I had attendants pull on it as hard as they could and would not be able to break it. Wool is tough. But other than that, I am a complete newbie. So I ended up making attempts at showing spinning, failing horribly, then Dame Helen – a master spinner, would show how it should go. Being a great visual aid in demonstrating that it is not as easy as it looks. Though some people do take to it easily, many others, like me, struggle in accomplishing that skill.

In the Skrael “Medieval Daily Life” & “14th Century Archers” camp around me and my little corner of wool stuff, there was leather working – more specifically cordwaining (shoe-making), fiber crafts, wood carving, food preparation, Carnival Games, full sized siege engines (that I got to launch a few times), archery, axe throwing (did a bit of that as well), and armored combat demonstrations.

 

Skrael / 14th Century Archer’s & Medieval Daily Life Camp. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa

Skrael Cooks Preparing Food For Camp & as Demonstration to Public. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa

Skrael doing Food Preparation with herbs, spices, root veg, grain, and so on. Note The Grain Mill on Bench. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Aethelbert Cordwaining and Engaging with Public on what that is and how footwear of that time differs from today. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Dame Helen’s Display of Different Colors of Dye from the Medieval Period. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Dame Helen’s Display of Different Colors of Dye from the Medieval Period. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

The Siege Engines on the Field. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Loaded and Ready To Release Engines. That is me pulling the Trebuchet Cord. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

The Readied Siege Engines Draw A Crowd. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Medieval Siege Engines Launching Payload at Medieval Festival. Aethelbert pulling the Trebuchet Cord. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Animated GIF by Rua Lupa

These Siege Engines are operating on their lightest possible setting so that the stones remain in the demonstration field. For the Trebuchet, it’s counter weight bin is literally empty.

The Knights of Valour’s Horses brought out of the pasture next to Siege Field to go to their demonstration field. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

The Knights of Valour’s Horses walked in front of the Carnival Games in front of Medieval Daily Life Camp to go to their demonstration field. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

The Knights of Valour’s Horses walked in front of the Carnival Games in front of Medieval Daily Life Camp to go to their demonstration field. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Upper Canada Village cows brought out of neighboring pasture through Medieval Festival Grounds before Opening. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

So those big beautiful horses went on to do this,

FULL CONTACT JOUSTING! Knights of Valour. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Full Contact Jousting by The Knights of Valour, Upper Canada Village. June 12017 H.E., Animated GIF By Rua Lupa.

Nearby our camp and the Jousting Field were other Living History Groups. The following images are of DARC – Dark Ages Re-Creation Company. Though these folks pictured are also involved in the SCA as well – as there is a lot of cross over between such groups.

DARC – Dark Ages Re-Creation Company. Upper Canada Village. June 12017 H.E. Image Credit: Rua Lupa.

Viking Tent with Children’s Toys. DARC – Dark Ages Re-Creation Company. Upper Canada Village. June 12017 H.E. Image Credit: Rua Lupa.

Norse Glass Bead Kiln. DARC – Dark Ages Re-Creation Company. Upper Canada Village. June 12017 H.E. Image Credit: Rua Lupa.

Because I was demoing at this event, I did not get much opportunity to take photos of the other groups at this Festival. There were quite a few groups and performers that I did not get to see at all. So demonstrating Living History does have its draw backs. What I did see was still pretty awesome.

ESCAPE TO THE FUTURE – The Pioneering Future!

The Sunday, immediately after closing to the public, and within an hour before the village is completely closed off, a few of us decided to briefly check out what the future had in store in the Upper Canada Village proper.

Whats this then? Glass over windows??? Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Oy, Look, another Time Traveler is joining us! Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Strange Garb on these future folk… Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

At least the hogs look the same. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

These ones must ‘ave wee wee wee’d all the way ‘ome already. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

The Future Meets The Future!!! Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Cous. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

“Cous” is Middle English spelling and pronounciation of Cows.

Strange Look’n Tower Tha’ Is. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Mighty Strange Tower of the Future. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Going up Tower. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Lovely View From The Top of The Tower. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Western View from the Tower. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Making our way back to our time. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Lets not forget to say goodbye to these lovely cous. Upper Canada Village, Ontario, Canada. June 12017 H.E. Photo Credit: Rua Lupa.

Next SCA installment will be Trillium War!

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