Saturday, August 1, 2009

Reminiscing: Pennsic XXXVI

When I started doing Medieval-Fantasy LARP* (do not confuse Medieval with Medieval-Fantasy - other pet peeve), I heard rumours of a magickal place called Pennsic. It was said to be the largest LARP* ever, where people flew in from all over the world to spend a week or two living it up Medieval style, and it is so big they said, that for the duration of the event, it gets it's own zip code! It seemed so unattainable, like the Grail for a Medieval Costumer/LARPer.Then I started playing in the SCA and I discovered that all I had been told about Pennsic was true!

*LARP: for all of you neophytes, that stands for Live Action Role Play.

And so two years ago, I embarked for War (as we say). I drove the 10+ hours by myself (I wasn't alone in the car, I was just the only driver) to spend a whole week in Raining Pennsic!

I went to as many classes on costuming as I could, including: how to drape a 14th hood, how to drape 14th century hosen, how to make a GFD (that is a Gothic Fitted Dress, of self-supporting cotehardie - that's right, no bra needed, the dress is made to your measurements to hold the girls up!), how to draw your sleeve for your GFD, how to drape a Herjolfsnes dress, specifically
No. 38 or No. 41 (don't ask me how to pronounced Herjolfsnes, I haven't a clue), how to make Poulaines (those are the pointed leather shoes), how to tablet weave (very useful to make your own trim and decorate your medieval clothes in a historically accurate way).

When I wasn't in class, I was shopping, buying shoes, silk veils and trim for future dresses, looking at what the garb sellers were offering, thinking "No way am I paying that much, I could make that easy!"... Dancing is another one of my passions, so I spent a few evenings at the Barn (where all the dancing happens).

(Note: I actually never went to any of the battles as I quite frankly wasn't that interested in them and there was just so much else to do!)

Now as half of my SCA household is leaving for War today, let me share with you some of the pictures I took when I was there with them.

Lady Jeanne de Robin, Mórag filia Scayth (me) and Ieuan ap Gwilym
At one of the camps is a building called the Church of Debauchery (lots of drinking and partying goes on there). The stones you see are actually plastic panels made to look like stones, but what a great backdrop for pictures!

A Demoiselle and her Lady: Lady Iuliana Angelina and Lady Sciath ingen Chaennaig

Our Men: Ieuan ap Gwilym and Lord James de Northebrok
(Unfortunately my Sweetheart had to work that week and could not come with us.)

The Household of the Busy Bees (at the time, minus my Sweetheart) - Back row: Ieuan, Sciath, James; Front row: Jeanne, Iuliana, Mórag.

The Bee-Ladies awaiting their Lords at the castle: Sciath, Mórag, Jeanne, Iuliana.

I grew up with the "Contes de Perrault" and this picture reminds me of Bluebeard: "Anne, sister Anne, dost thou see anybody coming?"

Mórag ready for an Antiquity Themed Masked Ball

A picture taken at the Barn

Some Middle Eastern Dancers in the streets

A few Tuchux by the end of War Week (don't ask me what Tuchux are, your guess is as good as mine!)

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