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.