a funny thing happened on the way to the zoo

One of my many activities here in Abq is the local SCA group of Al-Barran. It's a fun game, a fun group of people, and there's always something interesting going on. The things I love about the game fulfill my crafty & history loving nature. As a result of my participation in the game, I do a lot of historical costuming - mostly of Han and Tang China (my personal favorites!). I have also dug into some history and made things relating to Viking history, Flemish history, and even some basic European stuff here and there.

My man, on the other hand, loves to fight. Not in a bar brawl kind of way, but in a competitive sport kind of way. He participates in the "hard suit" fighting aspect of the game.

I know, I know. Everyone has seen them. Those guys with helmets on, trying to play like "knights" and hitting eachother with swords.

I used to think the same thing when I first got into the game years ago. But, my opinion has evolved to appreciate what the fighters do. (and, as an aside, there is also a HUGE contingent of fencers - called rapier - in the SCA) They follow set standards for armouring, they create kits of armour appropriate to each of their own "personas" in the game, and then they meet one another on a field of combat and go at eachother full force! I have seen many broken collarbones, football sized bruises, torn cartilage, YOU NAME IT. They really to put themselves and their bodies on the line to learn something new about themselves and a form of combat.

I LOVE TO WATCH. Partly because I am a bit of a sports buff, but partly because it's mezmerizing!

SO, every sunday at 11am at Bataan Park on Lomas and Carslisle, you can find these guys (and some gals!) armouring up and preparing for anything from one on one tournament combat to HUGE grand melee's with hundreds of fighters from accross the nation.

(spear tournament shot)

now...back to the point of all this...

on Sunday March 16th there was a tournament. It was a particularly windy day, but a fun day for fighting. The fighters were heavily entrenched in the Spear tournament, and the viewing gallery (onlookers) were equally involved.

I'm standing there chatting with a couple of fighters, when a friend turns to me, hits me on the arm, and yells "GOAT ON A LEASH!" I turn, and in fact, she was correct. Standing there was a goat on a leash.

Why do I go through all this backstory to get to the fact that there was a goat on a leash? Well, for two reasons. Firstly, because I love the SCA and think people don't know enough about it to appreciate it. Secondly, because that moment embodied one of the many reasons I LOVE ALBUQUERQUE. Where else can I be hanging out with some friends in a public park on a sunday afternoon and see/pet a goat on a leash?

And thanks to the digital age....there were pictures:

check out his beard blowing in the wind? how flippin cute is that?!

now, if you ever feel like going someplace to find out more about this game of the SCA, or just want to check out those crazy guys in armour. Just come out to Bataan Park on a sunday, or wednesday nights on the south side of Johnson Field at UNM, and feel free to stop someone and just start asking questions.

you never know, you just might meet a goat on a leash.

Views: 17

Comment by Sí Serrano on April 3, 2008 at 12:31pm
Vikings and goats, a winning combination and perhaps a team mascot.
Comment by mombat on April 4, 2008 at 2:10pm
I am so excited to read this. My son has loved watching the knights for years and now that my 12 year old daughter is fencing she likes to watch too. This post also helps answer a question that was floating around the office which was "Is ABQ losing its characters? If you can have goat walkers and combative knights at the park on a Sunday afternoon I guess were are still OK.
Comment by Adelita on April 4, 2008 at 2:36pm
Love the goat on a leash! And mombat, here's a little post I did a while back about characters in Burque!


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