Augie Farks understood. His Sturdy Wings big brother, Danny, not so much.
“Why do you bow for that guy?” asks Danny. “Because he’s the king, and he rules the entire realm,” Augie explains.
The pair is hashing out the details of something called “anachronism” in a movie called “Role Models.” But the casual viewer may not realize that a Society for Creative Anachronism actually exists – and a branch practices in Tahlequah.
SCA is an international, nonprofit organization that dedicates itself to re-creating arts, skills and traditions of pre-17th century Europe. Members and participants take part in a variety of activities, including combat, archery, costuming, calligraphy, and more.
“We do historical re-enactments from the fall of the Roman Empire to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I,” said Barony of Northkeep Treasurer Shirley Hackworth. “We also give classes on historic arts and crafts, as well as letter work; it just depends on who is there and what they’re interested in.”
The Barony of Northkeep is the Tulsa-based branch of SCA. Hackworth – or “Lady Sicily Bridges,” as she is known in the SCA community – organizes the Tahlequah satellite group, which meets in the Northeastern State University library.
“The group meets every other week, on the second and fourth Saturday of the month,” said Hackworth. “At the library, we do arts and sciences – things like sewing, embroidery, painting, illumination, and calligraphy. We’ve got about 12 paid members in the local area. A lot of college kids are interested in this sort of thing.”
Among the most popular activities of SCA is armored combat. Opponents face each other in single combat, or may engage in large melee battles. Participants wear real armor and use rattan swords. In Tahlequah, these battles are held at Sequoyah Park.
“Rattan is similar to bamboo, but it does not splinter,” said Hackworth. “A marshal must also be present for safety reasons.”
According to Hackworth, visitors may also participate after signing a waiver. The group has loaner armor on hand. Novice fighters are trained by more experienced fighters.
“They are taught how to use their weapons, how to defend themselves, and how to judge blows received in combat,” explains the SCA website. “Every fighter on the field is on his/her honor to accept a blow sufficient to ‘wound’ or ‘kill.’ At the end of training, if the marshal decides that the fighter is safe – not necessarily good, but unlikely to hurt him or herself or an opponent – then the fighter is considered authorized to fight. The process of becoming authorized can take from a few weeks to several months.”
Like “Lady Bridges,” each member of SCA chooses a name for use in the society. The College of Arms is available to assist members in selecting and registering an SCA name and heraldic device. Some members try to create an entire persona of sorts, even behaving as if they actually were their personas.
“The major activity in the SCA is our events,” said Hackworth.
“The opportunity for us to put on our medieval clothing, cook and serve the recipes we’ve been researching, dance the dances we’ve been practicing, socialize, and generally have a good time. SCA events take place almost every weekend of the year.”
Augie Farks understood. His Sturdy Wings big brother, Danny, not so much.
- Local News
Third Thursday Art Walk
Shoppers will have a chance to visit downtown merchants in the evening during the Tahlequah Main Street Association’s first Third Thursday Art Walk and After Party on Thursday, March 20.
Participating downtown businesses will keep their doors open to offer specials until 8 p.m., and artists will display their work at different locations. Art exhibitors, including the Cherokee Art Center’s Spider Gallery, will stay open late.
Sex offender bill reaches House
By a unanimous 44-0 vote of the Oklahoma Senate, a bill that would make it more difficult for registered sex offenders to change their names has reached the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 1421, authored by Kyle Loveless, Oklahoma City Republican, underwent its first reading in the House on Feb. 27.
Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said he did not know of any instances, during his service with the department, of registered sex offenders evading detection with new names for any length of time.
SB 1497 may aid transparency
Government transparency advocates were pleased, and some were surprised, when a proposed bill designed to strengthen Oklahoma’s Open Meetings Act passed the Senate Judicial Committee recently.
Senate Bill 1497, by Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, would allow citizens who are denied access to public meetings to bring civil lawsuits, and if the court rules in favor, to collect attorney’s fees. A continuing resolution has already been filed.
Should the legislation pass into law, it would become effective Nov. 1 this year.
Moulton: Sovereignty is John Ross’ legacy
When describing the Cherokee people, the words “well-educated” and “independent” may come to mind. Those attributes were principles held most dear by John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokees from 1828-1866.
Dr. Gary Moulton, University of Nebraska Thomas C. Sorensen emeritus professor of American history, discussed Ross’ history during a presentation at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center Thursday. The event was organized by the history department at Northeastern State University.
The bear facts
A joint project linking two state agencies with researchers at Oklahoma State University is gathering the “bear facts” on a growing population in the northeastern part of the state.
A six-year study on black bears in Cherokee, Adair and Sequoyah counties is being conducted as a precursor to possible establishment of a controlled hunting season in Green Country. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management of Oklahoma State University have partnered for the endeavor.
Drug task force seizes K2 at a Tahlequah house
The District 27 Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force seized between $200 and $300 worth of synthetic drugs during a bust Friday.
The Tahlequah Police Department and the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service were also in on the raid. Members of the task force hope the seizure will aid in an ongoing investigation to find larger suppliers.
“We received information that sales were being made from a residence off Choctaw Street,” said Michael Moore, task force director. “Further investigation led to a state search warrant based on the federal Schedule I list of drugs.”
Citizens can report sight obstructions to city
On Feb. 25-26, the Tahlequah Fire Department responded to motor vehicle accidents at South Muskogee Avenue and South Street, and since that time, a few citizens have expressed concern about the sight lines at the intersection.
A visit to the intersection showed that, for traffic westbound on South, the view south down Muskogee is partially obstructed by shrubbery and a tree that appear to be on private property.
Spears: OSRC should help boost business
In a little over 25 years, Arrowhead Resort owner Jack Spears has grown his business from being the smallest float operator on the Illinois River to the second-largest, and he’d like to continue on that path.
Spears believes tourism is vital to the Tahlequah area. He says if the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission would eliminate a zoning issue along the river, both the agency and his own business would reap the benefits.
Spears recently asked the OSRC to consider doing away with recreational floating zones. Commercial flotation device licenses are granted to operators in each area for a total of 3,900 licenses.
Last-place swine earns top sale bid
Local businessmen drew regional attention through a record-setting bid of $10,000 at the Cherokee County Spring Livestock Show last Saturday, but now they say they don’t want the recognition.
The annual show, which ends with a premium sale featuring top winners, is a fundraiser for local FFA and 4-H participants. Proceeds help cover the animals’ expenses or are used for future projects or showings. Community members, organizations and businesses bid on the livestock, but it is not a purchase. The children showing get to keep their animals.
Hulbert man involved in standoff didn’t own illegal guns
Further investigation into the Friday standoff between a Hulbert man and law enforcement has not yet produced any weapons charges.
A search warrant executed after the incident uncovered several firearms inside the trailer in which Michael Wyatt Earp, 42, was living. Law enforcement officers and agents were concerned that some weapons were fully automatic.
- More Local News Headlines
- Third Thursday Art Walk