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Re: [SCA-Archery] a short "banning modern bows" rant

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  • Brad Boda d'Aylward
    Something happened here not too long ago which resembles what we re discussing. There has been an ongoing discussion of trying to eliminate non-period looking
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 18, 2008
      Something happened here not too long ago which resembles what we're
      discussing. There has been an ongoing discussion of trying to eliminate
      non-period looking material on the battlefield. One of our Kings past made a
      ruling that there would no longer be any plastic shields on the field.
      UUHHhhh, Your Maj, you are going to loose half your army.......

      The ruling is now that there be no 'obviously' plastic shields (with the
      plastic ribbing). I applaud the peer pressure which encourages a more
      'period' kit on the field and I finally, after 16 years have succumbed and
      bought an aluminum shield blank at Pennsic.

      But I believe that one of our greatest strengths and greatest draws is our
      encouragement to 'come and play with us'. The greatest difference I see in
      this respect is my 15ft period pavillion next to a Colman or Hillary. If we
      started mandating period tack I would have far fewer rookie shooters to
      teach the noble art of killing targets. I fully applaud the peer pressure
      expressed by those who have a higher committment to period accuracy and am
      seriously looking forward to owning a real 'D' section along with my
      American Flat.

      Only don't denigrate my love for archery on the altar of period perfection
      or I will probably pat you on the head and religate your opinion to those
      groups like the MSR or to the Civil War Recreationists who have to spend
      close to $5,000 on their kits to join the artillary units. (Their 'garb'
      *must* be bought from the unit tailor who have to use the correct 'thread
      count' for their clothes). I'll smile, turn, and then take some shooters out
      to the archery line who want to work on improving their form.


      Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] a short "banning modern bows" rant

      > This, in essence summarizes the situation when I joined as well. Our
      > events were costumed theme parties where we tried to evoke an image
      > of period in order share what we learned in an atmosphere evoking the
      > period. I have never seen any official statement or policy changing
      > this nor have I seen any widespread organic movement to do so. Only
      > within the archery community do I see any call for regulatory
      > enforcement of re-enactment style policies.
      > Many references are made to the rapier community and their move to
      > more period appearance yet they have no such policies or rules, only
      > leading by example. One of the things which has led to their success
      > is the fact that they do not have to worry about using period
      > equipment, they are perfectly happy using modern fencing gear. Our
      > difficulty is that we do not move quickly across a field with a
      > competition over in a matter of minutes, modern gear quickly out of
      > sight. We stand in full view, as still as possible for extended
      > periods of time allowing all to observe us in detail. Our equipment
      > must remain setup and is difficult to conceal when not in
      > use. Additionally, the rapier community have a more concentrated
      > sense of time, the weapon they represent in use for a scant century
      > or so in a relatively homogenous cultural setting (true, if one looks
      > deeply the cultures were very different but trade and social pressure
      > caused styles to be quickly adopted in different locals).
      > On the other hand, archery covers an uncounted number of cultures
      > occupying 6 million square miles and a thousand years using
      > technologies from the primitive to the near space age. The is no
      > definable archery style or look, only the skills of a using string
      > stretched between the ends of a spring, pulled with fingers, to
      > launch a stick at a target. In researching the limits of archery
      > tackle to determine shooting classes, the NAA and the NFAA have
      > looked closely at all forms of bows and technologies and has come to
      > the conclusion that once sights and stabilizers are eliminated from
      > bows having a string attached directly to nocks at the ends of the
      > bow there is little effective difference. The skill of the archer is
      > the defining element.
      > If we want knowledge of archery to become common and respect for our
      > skill, we must have as many people as possible experience what we
      > do. What we have done for years does that. Putting artificial
      > barriers up to that experience and knowledge will only serve to
      > isolate us further from the mainstream of society. Yes, the more
      > period people may become more respected by the elite of SCA archery
      > but archers in general will become more remote.
      > Carolus
      > At 12:44 PM 8/17/2008, you wrote:
      > >All, In deference to the good black knight, my documented comments
      > >regarding types of bows historically used in Europe and Near-Asia
      > >throughout history, including the BCE, are acurate. Even so, they
      > >were made to offer a point...and, at the risk if really getting
      > >people angry at me, which IS NOT my point in this treatise, it was
      > >my understanding, upon joining the SCA, that it is a historical
      > >kind-of-reinactment/educational group wherein the members lived a
      > >'weekend' (or greater) lifestyle of the 'middle ages' as 'they
      > >should have been.' This is, in and of itself, subject to personal
      > >interpretation, which, by me, is fine. And again, to me personally,
      > >I couldn't care-a-less about peerage, as long as people are enjoying
      > >what they are doing and are trying to be as "period" as they can, so
      > >my comments on that issue would be both complacent and ignorant.
      > >
      > >snip
      > >To suppose that the SCA or any other 'American' organization
      > >accurately reflects pre-1700's 'period' is disingenuous to
      > >historical fact; we do not have the ability, nor I think the desire,
      > >to be completely historically accurate. For example: 1) Medieval
      > >Europe was restricted to Western Continent Feudal Systems (including
      > >the British Isles and Ireland) and some imperial enterprizes; it was
      > >not a world-wide system and therefore cannot be accurately utilized
      > >when "personas" come from outside of the Western European Genre; 2)
      > >Animals were extensively used in labor, transportation, food,
      > >clothing, etc.; they were one of the the basis of civilization (for
      > >a very accurate whiff of what it smelled like, visit Crescent City,
      > >California...where the Brown Pelicans hang out...OMG!!!). In my
      > >humble neophyte opinion, people do and should do the best they can,
      > >according to their conscience, dictates, and abilities.
      > >snip
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