Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 9


Coronation was on July 9.

For those of you who may not know the Society for Creative Anachronism, there is a wealth of information available online.  Here is a description of the SCA, found on its website:

"The SCA is a practical history society, recreating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe. While dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, you can experience tournaments, royal courts, feasts, and dancing. You also have the opportunity to learn and practice ancient arts and skills — calligraphy, cooking, armoring, metalworking, carpentry, and needlework (to name just a few) — within an all-ages social group. The SCA is a great place to make friends and learn transferable skills."

Here is a map of the known world, showing Calontir in the heart of what is also known as the USA.

My brother and sister-in-law live in the Kansas City area.  They and their kids have been involved in the SCA for decades.  My sister-in-law knows how to make clothing, shoes, soap, mead, and cheese.  She knows how to spin wool into yarn, and how to knit and weave.  Between them, she and my brother have managed the barony of Forgotten Sea (part of Calontir), and have organized and run many activities and events over the years.  (I'm sure I have managed to forget many of their contributions and accomplishments.) 

My brother makes banners out of silk he has painted with bright colors.  And he fights, and teaches fighting. 

In the SCA, they fight in real armor, with rattan weapons (so the combatants get bruises, but do not end up dead or maimed).  Fighters learn how to fight with various weapons (swords, pikes, many things whose names I do not know), and they learn how much injury they would have taken from a given blow, had it been delivered by a weapon that actually had a sharp metal edge.  (Chivalry demands that fighters quit using an arm or leg that has been seriously "damaged" by a blow, and that they retire from the field when they have been "killed.")

The person who wins the fighting at a Crown Tournament becomes the next monarch.  In May my brother won Calontir's Crown Tournament.  Against all comers.  Against the 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings.........

On July 9, much of the citizenry of Calontir gathered to witness and celebrate his coronation.

First, the previous king and queen gave recognition and honor to various individuals, and talked about what it had meant to them to lead Calontir.

Then they stepped down.

The knights of Calontir gathered to protect the empty throne, until it could be claimed by the rightful heir.  (The woman in the green dress is a sign-language interpreter.)

The heir appears, and is challenged as to his identity and credentials.  He answers the challenge, offering several people to speak for him.

People spoke of his character.

People spoke of his service to Calontir.  (The guy in Calontir purple-and-gold at the far right is the previous king.)

The guy in blue is the official who can attest to the identity of the victor in the latest Crown Tournament.

Many oaths were sworn on the sword of the kingdom.

(Digression:  This is the only SCA event I have attended, so it is entirely likely that I have made mistakes in my description.  I have tried to be accurate, but I expect I have not entirely succeeded.

My sister-in-law's persona is Norse, so the ceremony had Norse influence, and many more people wore Norse clothing than would have otherwise.  I believe that the oaths were specific to this reign.  All oaths went both ways on the status spectrum -- the people kneeling gave an oath, and the monarchs returned with an oath of their own to those who were swearing.)

Both the kind and queen have champions.  The young woman who is now the queen's champion is someone the queen has known since that champion was a little girl.

Lots and lots of oaths.  These are the knights.  The people who have earned rank through scholarship and teaching also swore oaths, as did those who have been honored for service.

Note the variety of costumes -- people can pick whatever persona they like, from any part of the appropriate time period, I believe, and then people are fussier or less fussy about developing that persona (including fancy, or not-so-fancy clothing).

I think these are the scholars/teachers.

Important robes were donned.  The tiny woman in the middle, below, is the previous queen.

Robes, front and back.

Lots of different garb.

The three people kneeling here are accepting roles as communicators, to be sure the people are heard if they have concerns they don't wish to bring directly to a monarch.

From left to right -- Queen's Champion.  Head of Household (who happens to be the mother of the Queen's Champion).  Queen.  The guy with the gray beard is one of my brother's oldest friends.  He was acting as Royal Herald.  King.  King's Champion.

Shortly thereafter ended the coronation ceremonies.

There was lunch.  There were meetings.  Some of us went back to the hotel for a rest.

In the late afternoon the new rulers held a court.  You recognize the people on the right (except the Royal Herald is a different person).

The kingdom of Calontir is divided into several administrative baronies.  Des Moines, as it is known to us mundane people, is in the barony of Coeur d'Ennui.  The two people in red at left are the baron and baroness of Coeur d'Ennui.

(Digression:  one of the things I love about the SCA is that the people are busy *doing* things.  Not sitting around mouldering in front of the TV.  SCA people tend to be high on curiosity, and high in sense of humor.  "Coeur d'Ennui" means "heart of boredom" in French...................  Their banner is a ring of boar heads -- one of their group calls is "Boar Ring!"  They also squeal like cartoon pigs from time to time, in honor and respect to Coeur d'Ennui.  Long may they squeal, say I!)

Many people were honored for various things, always including doing any work that needs to be done, and being helpful and kind to all.  Calontir prides itself on helping anyone who needs help, friend or foe.......

Lavish presents were given to the previous king (whose persona is Japanese), and to the previous queen, who received the most elaborate illuminated manuscript I've ever seen in the SCA.

When all had been rewarded, or notified that rewards would be received once the recipient agreed on a time, court was over. 

A crew of people made sure the church sanctuary was picked up and vacuumed, vacuumed, vacuumed.

Then we waited until the feast was ready.  It was hard to wait -- delicious smells emanated from the kitchen.........

The cooks did a spectacular job, and the wait staff was attentive and helpful.  I was warned to save room for dessert...........  We ate many wonderful things, and enjoyed sitting with my nephew and his fiancee, and with my brother's old friend (mentioned above) and his wife, as well as two other friendly people.

Of course the evening had to end.  Here is a close look at the king's crown.  This belongs to the kingdom, as do the thrones and banners (and maybe those elaborate capes?  I don't know.).

Many people went on to a post-feast revel, but we took my parents and my sister back to the motel.

The Coeur d'Ennui sun, setting over a very UNboring day. 

So nice, to see one's brother recognized for hard work, persistence, and right-thinking, over a long period of time.


1 comment:

Clayton Neff said...

"Chief Lady-in-Waiting" is a very good description. We call her Head of Household. She also happens to be the mother of the Queen's Champion.

The "Master of Ceremonies" is the Royal Herald.

Great write up. Thank you!