22 July 2009

(Belated) Humpday Hardware

Ok... yes, I know I missed last week's installment. And this week's is a lil' behind schedule. Apologies: we have a busy weekend ahead of us (including our first bikini bike wash), so time's been... sparse.

So anyway... without further ado...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here are two of the toys we use for "up close and personal" aboard the Privateer.

As you may know, fighting aboard ship (or in the confines of a building) requires a different style, and set of equipment. This was summed up best back in high-school, playing D&D: a 6' greatsword doesn't do so well in a 5' wide passageway. It also wouldn't do well on the deck of a sailing vessel: LOTS of ropes hanging here and there, just waiting to get accidentally cut. So smaller weapons were generally employed.

Although this pair probably never was used in such a fashion, they ARE a couple of my favorite archaic weapons.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The short sword is a basic kris design blade, made out of I don't know what. I DO know that she's been used to shave a 440C blade before, so she is NOT your garden variety wall hanger.

I first saw her at one of my first SCA events, on the hip of a new friend. The joke being, he wouldn't let me hold her: she had developed a reputation, you see. The original seller had been cut a couple times by her, as had the maker of the sheath she was riding in, AND my new friend (when he first put her in said sheath, she was a touch longer that everyone though).

Fast forward several years: friend needed some cash, and remembered that I had liked her. So, she got passed on to me...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The spear, SHOULD be fairly recognizable: it's the Cold Steel version of the assegai.

In the Privateer's Condensed and Misremembered History Tome, the assegai is (correctly) attributed to the Zulu. However, the story goes a bit different from what most have been taught...

Back in the day (before the British came to make movies in Africa), African tribal warfare was a simple game. You would get 20-30 lads together on a hill over there, and I'd get some of my lads together on a hill over here. We'd all have long spears to throw, and shields to block thrown spears (if they got too close). Then we'd start talking smack about each-others' mothers. Eventually, one group would lose their temper, and throw their spears. Which would be blocked, and then the second group would throw. Rinse & repeat, until one group said "Uncle".

I'd like to think that actual deaths were rather rare, back in these "better days". Unfortunately, the Zulu had a guy named Shaka.

And Shaka couldn't throw a spear.

I can see him in my mind's eye, being teased by the other Zulu for just not getting it. "He throws like a girl!", they'd taunt. Until one day, he finally snapped... the haft of his spear in two. After the dust had settled, he came to some realizations, and an empire was born...

Now, I don't actually use the assegai as was originally intended. Instead, I got it as a curiosity, and started playing with it a bit. This is when I found out that, combined with certain eastern forms, it's Hell on a Haft: think "jo staff with 18 inch blade"... >:)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's it for this week folks. Next week, we'll showcase some of the Far Eastern collection. And we'll also have pics from the weekend (Saturday is going to be a LOT of fun).

1 comment:

Hammer said...

Wicked looking blades. I'm impressed.