Archery

         Archery and its evolution as a skill, an art, and tool of war is one of the many things recreated in the SCA. Whether for hunting, for war or just for sport, the medieval period was full of innovative and skilled archers. Archery played a distinct role in many battles (such as at Agincourt during the Hundred Years War), and many cultures relied heavily on their skill as archers as a means of conquest (such as the nomadic warriors of the Asian steppes). In the SCA we have three categories of archery activities: 

Target Archery, Combat Archery, and Atlatl.

TARGET ARCHERY 

Target Archery is just as the name implies: shoot a target. To recreate the historical archery experience, we use materials that were used in the Middle Ages:

·         Wooden shafts for arrows and crossbow bolts & feather fletching for arrows

·      Long bows, Self bows, Recurve Bows, Japanese Yumis, and Crossbows made to represent their medieval equivalents. 

·         Compound Bows are not period and are not used.

As the name implies in Target Archery, we only shoot at non-living targets.  Many events will have Archery tournaments as well as open shooting for fun and practice. Tournaments give folks a chance to measure their skill against others, compete for prizes and fame, and are often held with various themes. Some themes include taking shoots at different types of targets that represent various combat conditions, such as shooting at a castle window, an advancing warrior, or long distances. Specialized Tourneys are held to pick Champions and others to find the most promising novice archers. 

The Barony of Marinus holds practices outside while 
the weather is nice at the Skeet Range across from US Oceana Naval Base. 

                                     Spinning wheel target

                             Lord Marco and Lady Catalina

         Above, Lord Klancey takes aim. 

                                                                                              (Below)  Marinus Archers inspecting targets.

                                                  COMBAT ARCHERY 

Combat archery is more complicated and challenging than target archery, because your targets are all moving independently – and some of them may be shooting back at you or coming at you with a weapon of their own! Be assured, you will be using low-powered bows and you will be adequately armored, similarly to your opponents. The low power of the bows makes them much safer to everyone involved, and the design of the arrows and crossbow bolts ensures maximum safety, while still allowing your armored opponent to know they have been hit. The battle field may be a flat area of grass, ranged across the woods, or even an assault on a fortification, and ranges may be from point blank to as far as you can cast your arrow, all in the name of realism and the chaos of battle as experienced by our ancestors in ages long ago.



 Above Image courtesy of  Jararvellir.org

 






Left Side: Roxanne The Archer

  ATLATL

 What is an Atlatl?

Atlatls are ancient weapons that preceded the bow and arrow in most parts of the world and are one of humankind’s first mechanical inventions. The word "Atlatl" (pronounced "at-latal" or "atal-atal") comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztec, who were still using them when encountered by the Spanish in the 1500s. Atlatl is also known in other cultures as "spear-thrower", "estolica" (Spanish), "propulseur" (French), "speerschleuder" (German) and "woomera" or "miru" (English versions of the most common Australian terms).  An Atlatl is essentially a stick with a handle on one end and a hook or socket that engages a light spear or “dart” on the other. The darts can be 5 feet to 7 feet long. The flipping motion of the Atlatl propels a light spear much faster and farther than it could be thrown by hand alone.

Here in the kingdom of Atlantia we use the Atlatl on the archery range and we also have our own style of battle.