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As of this edition, the re-enactment activities of the American Medievalist's Association mainly consist of feasts, tournaments, workshops, camp-outs, meetings and lectures. At feasts, members can dine on medieval type foods in a medieval decor...well almost!  Actually, the mix of foods is more in tune with modern palates, and we are tolerant of eyeglasses, etc. We strongly discourage smoking at actual events, but there is usually a reserved area for this. Members and any guests are asked to dress as authentically period as possible and (especially) to refrain from throwing food. Try not to talk about modern topics such as transmissions, ergonomics, etc. Usually there are a variety of medieval games present and you should try them, because sometimes they are surprisingly sophisticated. Do not be alarmed at anything that goes on, as several characters have running disputes that are mutually agreed on beforehand, sort of like a living theatre. You should not handle other people’s possessions without permission, and if you do handle any weapons, please be extremely careful.

All-important "medieval "business is conducted at feasts and/or tournaments. This is where vassals are sworn, disputes between characters are settled, etc. Now that inter-kingdom peace is established again, King Reynart is busy replenishing his feudal army. One activity based on this is a yearly inspection and census of all nobles who owe military service to him. This is done by an agent of the king, usually a Marshallier. This takes place between May 1st  and June 1st, and is the time when high nobles attempt to show themselves and their retainers to be more magnificent than each other. At this time, oaths are formed, etc. The great Lords schedule their own Inspection, marshal their forces, and this is witnessed by the king's agent. Should a great Lord be inspected and fail to meet his feudal requirements to the King, then such a Lord would be found to be "in arrears", and would lose their title until such time as they can prove that they meet the requirements. This can be done by scheduling a re-inspection at anytime, at any upcoming event. If they are then in compliance, they shall recover their titles. The importance of fulfilling your feudal obligations cannot be over-stressed! Arrears at the lower levels affect those Lords who are higher up.

Tournaments are organized fighting matches, where members use safety versions of their period weapons to compete for prizes, etc. The rules are currently agreed upon in advance, and everything is inspected for safety before being used. When the American Medievalist's Association was founded, we wanted a lot of experimentation with the various arms and armor to produce the best and most authentic performance. Therefore we did not set up a restrictive set of rules and standards that would discourage development. In addition, the placed all matters pertaining to fighting under the control of a "College of Knights", which would automatically form (and consist of) when 3 members achieved knighthood. The College was finally formed in February 1996.

 New members should take note that although a fighter must possess authentic armor and weapons for social advancement, only safety (padded) weapons may be used in actual fighting. Real weapons are not even allowed within the lists. Likewise, they are encouraged to wear a lot more padding than was worn historically. This is mainly for safety and because having fun and being injured is usually exclusive of each other. No member is required to fight as a condition of membership; it is however, expected of the fighting classes, i.e., the knights, men at arms, barons, etc. Additionally, no member is required to fight against a weapon (or armor) that they consider dangerous or unsafe to themselves. If you feel that it's all un-safe, don't expect to be knighted!

At workshops members can get assistance at making things. Workshops are always being held on a variety of topics. This is usually free to attend, but there may be small charges (they are usually trades) for, or you might have to provide, your own raw materials. Unfortunately, workshops are poorly advertised, due to poor communications. This should change for the better when the newsletter gets published more regularly. The best way to find out about workshops or even get private lessons is to ASK! Most of our members are happy to show you how to make something, or to steer you to someone else who can. 

Camp-outs: We pitch our tents, set up our displays and entertain the local residents. Usually everyone mainly sits around a bonfire, drinks beer and then sleeps it off in our tents. There are also overnight events on members' private property. Camp-outs are a cheap source of comradery and very easy to do. Some members are available for lectures, usually at schools. There is a lot of demand for these type activities, and there will be a lot more of them in the future.

            Although not a re-enactment activity, many of our members are engaged in actual research into a variety of subjects. From time to time a report gets written up and notes are usually available to interested parties.

            At some further point, it is the intention of the American Medievalist's Association to publish a respectable journal (when members can support it), and much of this research is intended for such a publication.

            Lastly, the best way to find out about activities or take part in them is to mix and mingle with other members at meetings and events. Do not be shy! Everyone there has the same interests as you.

                                                      

 

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Last modified: April 01, 2002