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stamped leather

pouches

Although most artifacts used in that time period were plain and crude, most surviving items are quite ornate. That makes sense, as few people treasure purely utilitarian objects enough to preserve them. The variety of styles and techniques in evidence at the faire is staggering.

ornamental clasp

motto

Naturally, people adorn what is important to them. Clothing, personal arms, books and containers for spirits are prime candidates for beautification. Many faire participants come well-equipped indeed and well should they! A long hot summer day without ale just isn't pretty.

personal effects cottage shelves
plucking strings

musical instrument

You'll get to see a great variety of musical instruments and an even greater variety of styles. Vote with your wallet: by buying recordings of your favorite musicians, you would insure that they don't starve over the winter months and would perform for you again next year.

clavicord man with bugle

Singer

Harpist
Harpist

Just like the modern pop stars, these performers are a mix of technical proficiencies and exciting personalities. Get to know them. Re-enactors need groupies, too.

Handguard Fancy rapier
dirk

Blades of all types are another hallmark of the period. Rapiers for duelling, daggers for close and personal work, broadswords for those days when nothing less would hack it, fencing foils and many others swing within leather scabbards. A lovely sight -- and a reminder that any fixed blade knife is illegal to carry in Minnesota. Have we become more docile and subject to control by authorities since the 17th century?

Guard Rapier and pistol
Plate armor Occasional 19th century anachronisms might sneak in. But Renfest organizers are not fond of projectile weapons and so bows, arbalests, muskets, arquebuses, pistols, culverines and other implements of independent living are forbidden. No credible threat to the dominance of the armored knight must remain legal. Naturally, the castle commanding the site has a mortar. God fights on the side of the heaviest artillery.
Swordsman Basket hilt
Young lady with sabre

Women's Lib arrives early. Ladies who can fend for themselves, pysically or financially, may prove harder to tame than the helpless, decorative variety. But men can still be useful for companionship.

Boy and girl, resting

Woman with a rapier Armed and female
Polearms

Blacksmith

Someone has to make all these tools, and the Renaissance smith is as esteemed during that this temporal anomaly as Mike Kalashnikov and Gene Stoner would be a few centuries hence.

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