Medieval Tents at Estrella War 2011

Travel back 1000 years in time to the current middle ages

So… here I am in the current middle ages in the Arizona desert (notice my current location under my headshot at the right.) Camping and photographing at the Society for Creative Anachronism event “Estrella War 2011” , part of an ongoing project to document this fascinating subculture of medieval re-enactors, is like being in the middle of an epic movie production with a cast of thousands! Everywhere you look there are people dressed in full costume running around engaging in mock battles and various other medieval activities.

Blacksmith at Estrella

Every type of medieval craft is represented at an SCA war - a blacksmith crafts some metal.

Many people work at medieval crafts and other artistic endeavors – mostly participating as vendors selling their wares. In some cases, the vendors offer items of specific interest to modern campers attempting to create a medieval effect in their campsite.

Woodwork merchant

This merchant offers wooden camping furniture that breaks down for travel

And, of course, there is fighting! The main activity at an SCA War is fighting, medieval battles are staged for two main historical periods – separately designated as “Heavy Weapons” and “Rapier”. The “Heavies” stage mock battles that would be right at home in “Braveheart” with participants wearing full armor and waving rattan swords, spears tipped with foam rubber, rubber axes – often including catapults and trebuchets that toss soft rubber projectiles! The less brutish participate in the gentlemen’s fighting art of the rapier – think, Errol Flynn in Captain Blood or “the Three Musketeers”– mock battles are also staged with the long fencing weapons and rubber band muskets…

Rapier Battle

A rapier battle is waged in a makeshift "town" that provides obstacles and cover.

I’m here from Thursday through Sunday to document the activities and get a little R&R myself. Stay tuned for more posts…