25 years of metal, maces, mer­ri­ment

The Tribune (NZ) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - RICHARD MAYS

Ar­mour, swords, shields, pikes, pal­freys, knights, squires, var­lets and wenches are the stuff of me­dieval fan­tasy.

Contin­gents of men and women wear­ing chain mail and hauberks will con­verge on the Levin Show­grounds for the Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 11, 25th an­niver­sary of the Manakau Me­dieval Mar­ket.

The mar­ket’s Di Traynor said or­gan­is­ers had ’’pulled out all the stops’’ for the mile­stone birth­day bash - with the em­pha­sis on ‘‘bash’’.

‘‘For the first time, com­pe­ti­tion for the Pa­cific Cup will bring a hard fight­ing, full con­tact el­e­ment, while the Or­der of the Boar will run the ‘Nua Cup [short for Horowhenua], which is a horse­man­ship skill con­test.’’

In the past, the heavy metal bat­tlers in full ar­mour came to pro­vide en­ter­tain­ment. Now Traynor said, with places up for grabs on the New Zealand team for the Bat­tle of the Na­tions event to be held in Den­mark in May, the se­ri­ous male and fe­male war­riors will be fight­ing to im­press.

‘‘We have seven re-en­act­ment clubs - in­clud­ing the Red Ravens from Palmer­ston North. There are two pe­riod horse clubs, and a mass of non-com­bat pe­riod reen­ac­tors decked out in the finest of his­toric styles as well as a large pe­riod tent vil­lage.‘‘

Me­dieval Mar­ket com­mit­tee mem­ber Wade Cash­more said re- en­act­ment groups from all over New Zealand are keen to be at Levin for the an­nual event, in­clud­ing four full con­tact me­dieval fight­ing teams.

Some 40 male and fe­male fight­ers will be com­pet­ing for places in the New Zealand team dur­ing sin­gle com­bat bouts, as well as dur­ing three-on-three, and five-on-five fight­ing.

En­try to the Levin Show­grounds is $5 for adults while their lit­tle rap­scal­lions come in for free - see the Manakau Me­dieval Mar­ket Face­book page. Pro­ceeds go to as­sist lo­cal clubs, com­mu­nity groups and schools.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

A knight rushes to at­tack dur­ing a bat­tle reen­act­ment at the Me­dieval Mar­ket.

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