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1600-1800 Events / Re: Fort Defiance Colonial Muster {3/22/2024}
« Last post by Karl Helweg on January 23, 2024, 03:59:41 AM »
Who is coming to the March 22 weekend colonial event here at fort defiance?
Middle Ages / Re: Medieval Pirates
« Last post by Karl Helweg on November 25, 2023, 08:41:50 PM »
"The English tried repeatedly to capture the Spanish treasure fleet and during the last decade of the 16th  century expeditions were organized nearly every year with this objective. Among the best known are the campaigns of 1591, 1592 and 1597.2 The economics of the raiding were clear; the Spanish crown depended on the flow of silver and gold from its colonies to finance the wars against England. It has been estimated that during the 1580s, the income from the American mines provided Spain with around 2 million ducats a year.3 The Armada of 1588 had cost around 10 million ducats and its defeat was a financial disaster for Spain. Spanish finances were consistently precarious under Phillip II. He had effectively declared bankruptcy in 1577, when interest payments to the Genoese bankers were suspended, and in 1596 the country again defaulted.4 If the English could cut off or reduce the  income to the Spanish crown, they would cripple the Spanish ability to carry on war against England. Further, any treasure captured by the English would bolster the English economy and allow the construction  more warships, while avoiding taxation of English citizens or any appeal to Parliament to obtain money. Thus, a successful raid against the treasure fleet would have a twofold advantage to England, it would deprive the Spanish of finance for their military and provide the English crown and nobles with wealth without need for recourse to Parliament."

Middle Ages Events / Gryphon's Fest 2023 {Elsberry, MO 9/29/23}
« Last post by Karl Helweg on September 04, 2023, 02:40:27 PM »

Join us for Gryphon's Fest!
This year's theme is the Palio di Siena -  a street fair held in the public plaza in Siena, Italy, since the Middle Ages. It continues to this day. We aim to recreate the atmosphere of a street fair with food vendors, shops, games, both rattan and steel fighting, archery, thrown weapons and the central theme of the Palio to this day; equestrian activities!!

Event flyer:

This event will be at beautiful Sky Farm:

Pirate Life / Re: William Dampier, Pirate Foodie
« Last post by Karl Helweg on September 03, 2023, 05:36:44 PM »
Volker Bach

"Hans Staden on Cassava
Another piece from my ongoing research into buccaneer cuisine. This is from the account of the German landsknecht Hans Staden who served the Portuguese crown in Brazil in the 1550s. He spent a considerable time as a captive of the Tupinamba and made his observations during this time the centrepiece of his account which was printed in German in 1557. Staden’s account is most well known for his lurid (and possibly fictitious) descriptions of cannibalism, but his observations on life among the Native Americans are quite valuable. Here is what he says about processing and preparing cassava flour which he refers to as Mandioka.
Firstly they grate them on a stone to very small crumbs. Then they press out the juice with a thing made from palm branch skins called tippiti that way it becomes dry. Then they rub it through a sieve and bake thin cakes of that flour.
The thing in which they dry and bake their flour is baked from clay and shaped like a large bowl. They also take the roots fresh and lay them in water, let them rot in it, then take them out and lay them over the fire into the smoke. Let them dry. They call the dry roots Keinrima, they last long and when they wish to use them, they pound them in a mortar of wood that way it becomes as white as white flour. Of this they make the cakes called Byyw.
They also take well rotted Mandioka before they dry it and mix it with dried and with fresh and dry the flour of that. That lasts a year and is good to eat and they call that flour Vythan
They also make flour of fish and meat, they do it thus, they roast the meat or fish above the fire in the smoke and let it become all dry. Then they pluck it apart and still dry it once again over the fire in vessels which they burned for that purpose called Yneppaun. Then they pound it small in a wooden mortar and searce it through a sieve, that lasts very long. For they have no custom of salting fish or meat. Such flour they then eat with the root flour and it tastes quite good.
This is not a very detailed description – the roughly contemporary account of Jean de Lery is much more informative – but for many German readers it was the first and only exposure they had to Native American customs. It is also interesting in two regards: Firstly, it repeats the observation by several European writers that Native Americans do not use salt in their cooking. The second is the way in which it describes three modes of treating cassava in parallel, without any evident hierarchy between them. Most European observers considered the laborious method of turning cassava root into dry flat cakes by grating, pressing, drying and baking it the primary approach and refer to the others in passing if at all. I suspect this reflects their perspective more than the reality of Native American cuisine. Not only were they culturally primed to look for bread as the main food, the dried cassava flour fitted their notions of how to use an ingredient and was portable enough for sip’s supplies. It was clearly the form in which most European soldiers and sailors encountered cassava, but I doubt the same was true for the Tupinamba, the Cuni, or the Kalinago.
The reference to a flour made of dried fish or meat is also interesting and is similarly repeated in a number of sources. It makes sense since meat is difficult to preserve in a tropical climate. I find it hard to imagine what the experience of an unsalted, but highly spiced cassava porridge mixed with intensely umami meat powder would have been like, but the contrast to European habits could hardly be starker."

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Date  Port  Arrive  Depart
Saturday, February 25  Buenos Aires, Argentina  5:00pm
Sunday, February 26  At Sea 
Monday, February 27  At Sea 
Tuesday, February 28  At Sea 
Wednesday, March 1  Ushuaia, Argentina  10:00am  9:00pm
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Spring Crown is still in the planning stages but it will include archery, fighting, feasting, camping, and equestrians among other things.

Event details:

The event site is beautiful Skyway Farm: 

1600-1800 / Re: Ft Defiance (western NC) opportunity
« Last post by Karl Helweg on December 03, 2021, 01:59:50 AM »
I am very sad to hear of Jonathan Baird's passing. 
Middle Ages / Re: Medieval Pirates
« Last post by Karl Helweg on October 09, 2021, 10:22:28 PM »
(King/Emperor) Eric of Pomerania (1381 - 1459)

"When King Erik VII of Denmark was forced from the throne, he did the only thing any self-respecting descendant of Vikings could: He joined the warriors of the sea, and hit right back at his enemies."
1600-1800 Events / Re: Fort Defiance Ranger Muster {11/5/21}
« Last post by Karl Helweg on October 09, 2021, 09:01:51 PM » 

"Remember we will be doing a muster the first Saturday in November. Wear your 18th century gear and if you don't have any please come anyway and participate. I want this group to be inclusive so all are welcome. Men, women, and children are all welcome. I really want to reach out to those who have always wanted to be in reenactment. "
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