‘Soldier at a Medieval Faire’

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‘Soldier at a Medieval Faire’


Arms, armor, armour, aventail, Blacktown, Blacktown Medieval Fayre, camail, chain mail, chainmail, combat, entertainment, helmet, honour, medieval costume, medieval fair, New South Wales, Norman style helmet, NSW, Nurragingy Reserve, re-enactment, reenactment, Richard Taylor, Sydney, war, warfare, Western Sydney


This is a ‘frozen’ combat image taken at the Blacktown Medieval Fayre by photographer Richard Taylor in 2011. It depicts a participant dressed in a Norman style helmet complete with a chainmail collar known as an avential or camal, and engaged in combat. The participants and combatants in medieval re-enactment groups generally pay considerable attention to detail. Their clothing and war gear is researched and often handcrafted, and when it comes to re-enacting ‘combat’ all bouts are marshalled. However, the combat is also based on an honour system, in which “every fighter must decide which blows hit hard enough for him to yield or fall dead” (For more on this, see Patrick O’Donnell, The Knights Next Door: Everyday People Living Middle Ages Dreams, Lincoln, iUniverse Inc., 2004). Re-enacted combat combines medieval fighting techniques and entertainment. In Medieval Fantasy as Performance: The Society for Creative Anachronism and the Current Middle Ages (Lanham, The Scarecrow Press, 2010), Michael Cramer observes that participation in creative anachronistic events is largely performance-driven (p.xii). That is to say, historical re-enactment is essentially theatre, and this is a significant part of the appeal.

The Blacktown Medieval Fayre is billed as “a world of medieval magic,” and is part of the annual Blacktown Fiesta, an eight day extravaganza hosted by Blacktown City Council. It is just one of several interesting medieval events held throughout the country at different times of the year.


Taylor, Richard


21 May 2011


© Richard Taylor. Some rights reserved dicktay2000