The Barony of Namron is a member group of the Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA, which allows folks the chance to immerse themselves in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The local organization has been around for over three decades and was formed by a group who had attended the Medieval Fair in Norman.
The SCA includes over 30,000 members, and the Knowne World, which is comprised of 19 kingdoms. “Each kingdom has a number of baronies, shires and other local groups” (www.baronyofnamron.org).
The Barony of Namron is in the Kingdom of Ansteorra, which is comprised of modern day Oklahoma and Texas, and they hold tons of events every week that are open to the public and free of charge.
The group prides itself on accurately recreating the various arts and crafts, dress and activities of pre-17 century cultures (600-1600 A.D.). Members get to choose what particular culture or time period they wish to portray, and get the opportunity to officially register their own heraldry (symbol or crest) and name. Both the heraldry and name are reviewed for their authenticity to the period before they can be approved. Indeed, the amount of effort that these individuals put into accurately depicting the Middle Ages is mind-blowing.
So I had to see it in person.
I met up with Jakob Krieg, the Knight’s Marshal and Deputy Seneschal, at Sellers Rec Center in OKC, and he explained to me the basics of Chivalric Fighting. There were many different cultures and roles represented at the practice. There were knights and soldiers from Japan, Russia and Poland, as well as a herald, and many other members of the barony there that night. The intricacy of the armor that the members had on was astounding. The mask of the Japanese fighter looked like something from a movie set, and many of the fighters wore full armor, chainmail and all. The weapons we used were thick sticks of rattan, a very flexible, yet durable, material similar to bamboo. The combatants fight until one person sustains a good hit that would have severely injured them if real weapons were involved.
Jakob got me suited up, and I tried my hand at some Chivalric Fighting. I had a rattan sword and a metal shield, arm and leg pads, all emblazoned with my honorary heraldry, the screaming weasel. My instructor let me know what a soft and hard hit was, and after some coaching, allowed me the opportunity to wallop him.
Mostly, I just hit his shield.
But it’s not just fighting. The Barony of Namron has lots of events available to the public. At the Chivalric Fighting Practice, women were gathered in a room, working on calligraphy and painting scrolls to hand out as certificates of achievement at the next gathering. Everything from singing and poetry, to axe throwing and period music can be found at a typical SCA event, and everyone is invited to join in.
The Barony of Namron features a Populace Meeting on the first Thursday of every month at the Norman Unitarian Universalist Fellowship building at 1309 W. Boyd at 7:30 p.m. They also have rapier and Chivalric fighting practice at the Sellers Rec Center every Tuesday and Wednesday, archery practice every Sunday at 4200 E. Franklin at noon, and open arts and sciences nights on Mondays at the Comanche County Fairgrounds off of Robinson. For a full list of events, or to contact someone from the group, check out www.BaronyofNamron.org.