June 16, 2004

Howick & Pakuranga Times New Zealand

Preserving medieval practices in the Kingdom of Lochac


The Barony of Ildhafn is celebrating its 10th anniversary next month.

The group is a member of the Society of Creative Anachronism, an international medieval re-enactment organisation.

"We try to get as close to what would have been done in the old days as possible," says organiser Karen Dransfield.

Members meet every Sunday morning at Cornwall Park to practice heavy combat, archery and fencing, with monthly tournaments to hone their skills.

Their battles and styles of fighting are based on techniques from the 13th-14th Centuries.

"We fight full force, full contact, Ms Dransfield says.

Each fighter wears at least three layers of protection, including tunics, metal breastplate, neck guards and fully articulated metal leg and arm plating.

A fighter is ‘killed’ if he or she receives a blow on the head, chest, groin or back.

The heavy combat weapons are made from rattan wood, which has a similar density and weight to metal swords.

Each member chooses a character that may have existed in the Middle Ages or during the Renaissance.

They focus on a geographical area and a time period, with kings and queens elected from the Australia and New Zealand regions — otherwise known as the Kingdom of Lochac.

Members also do research into time periods, customs and practices of the time originating from SCA members.

"We have people researching, shoes, embroidery and fabric," Ms Dransfield says.

"If it’s from our chosen time we will have investigated it."

For more information visit www.ildhafn.sca.org