Monday, December 10, 2012

So you want to make a pilgrimage

The event was "Boar's Head - A Celebration of Travelers" (The gate was a viking ship and the site token was a pilgrim badge).  What else could I do but give advice to those who might want to undertake a pilgrimage?  The challenge was to present information about reasons for pilgrimage and equipment for the journey completely in persona. I had my scrip and staff, and badge-filled hat (borrowed from the Wife of Bath), so I could look like a pilgrim of 1284. But that wasn't enough.
What Kudrun didn't know, was that Karyn had a projector along, and could show slides of period pilgrims and shrines behind her back. This allowed presentation of things that would happen in Kudrun's future, such as the 1388 ordinance of Richard II allowing arrest of anyone claiming to be a pilgrim without the proper credentials, and Christopher Columbus vowing that a crew member would make a pilgrimage if they survived rough seas. I could display a map of the three pilgrimages imposed on a profligate priest that basically got him out of the Archbishop's hair for three years. I don't know if anyone noticed that the gent in his undies, asking, "Has anybody seen my tunic?" was holding a bar of soap. (He had sewn his money into his tunic... and then took it off for bathing.)
Not many subjects lend themselves to in-persona teaching as well as this one did, but I recommend it for SCA teachers. I don't know how students perceive it, but as teacher, I feel that it allows more immersion into the thought of the real middle ages. One is able to say, "We do this because of that" as opposed to "In period they thought this or that."

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