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Morning Sun
  • Several take part in medieval reenactment

  • It’s something you don’t see every day — a man in chain mail armor talking on a cell phone. But that’s what happens when the Society for Creative Anachronism are around.

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  • It’s something you don’t see every day — a man in chain mail armor talking on a cell phone. But that’s what happens when the Society for Creative Anachronism are around.
    Several members of the Border Reivers, a local group affiliated with the SCA, had a booth Saturday at the Fourth of July festivities in Lincoln Park, and gave two demonstrations of fighting with old-style weapons such as axes, spears and daggers.
    “SCA is a worldwide organization that does medieval reenactments,” said Shawn Waggoner. “Our local group is centered here in Pittsburg, but we’ve also got people from Chanute, Fort Scott and Parsons.”
    He explained that each member creates a “persona,” or character that he or she depicts. Members research the time period and society of their persona and create or purchase appropriate clothing and weapons.
    Waggoner’s persona is Karistan.
    “He’s an early 14th-century Viking who was kidnapped by another tribe,” Waggoner said.
    “You can take it as seriously as you want to and can afford,” said D.J. Mehring, who recently moved to Fort Scott. “I’ve seen people work a year and a half on a dress.”
    His persona is Fagan Ap Grauwulf, son of a Germanic tribesman who refused to give up his pagan ways when those around him were converting to Christianity. The tribesman eventually settled in Ireland and had a son with an Irish slave.
    “I’m his procurer of goods, and travel a lot,” Mehring said.
    The man in the chain mail with the cell phone was Buster Hoy, Mulberry. His persona is of Wolfstag Bloodboar, a 976 A.D. Viking.
    “It’s kind of ironic, because I went to Northeast High School, and we’re the Vikings,” he said.
    He confessed that he cheated and didn’t make his own chain mail.
    “I bought it online,” he said.
    Hoy served as informal emcee for the fighting. Participants included Mehring, Waggoner and Ed Mitchell, also known as Herrick, a 10th century Viking.
    Waggoner said that the SCA has strict safety rules and regulations regarding the battles and fights.
    “We don’t do anything that will get anybody hurt,” he said. “Our weaponry is based on rattan cane, and we wear 16-gauge steel helmets because we get hit in the head a lot.”
    Honor is also an important part of combat, according to Hoy. For instance, if a man’s arm is touched by a weapon, it is considered that that arm is lost.
    “His opponent may put his own arm behind his back, so he can fight on an equal basis,” Hoy said.  “We fight each other with honor.”
    “We focus on fighting because that’s what people see,” Mehring said. “But I’ve also seen SCA contests in calligraphy, belly dancing and who could make the most intricately carved ostrich egg.”
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