August 23, 2009

GOT MUD ON YO FACE:

Medieval art of jousting is alive and well (Keith Ervin, 8/23/09, Seattle Times)

The Seattle Knights, the troupe of jousting, sword-fighting actors that put on the fair, are building the first of two pirate ships in preparation for the October event and future fairs. Nearby are a Wild West town and a Native American village of tepees used for other family-oriented events at V2 Farm.

The Knights, founded in 1991 by former comic-book artist Dameon Willich, play their parts with relish, goading the audience to cheer them on as they fight with swords, knives, lances and other weapons.

"This is sort of a hobby and a second job at the same time," said Lauren Crosson, of Issaquah, a Seattle Knights pirate for the past two years. "You get to hang out with the best and funniest group of people."

For the mounted knights, wearing as much as 80 pounds of armor and peering through narrow slits in their helmets, the outcome is a bit unpredictable. It takes a special kind of horse to stay on course while running toward an oncoming horse, with a combined speed of 60 to 70 mph, actor Alan Paulsen said.

And plenty of nerve and skill on the knight's part to hit the target. In a "light joust," the knight tries to strike the opponent's shield. In a "heavy joust," they go for the torso.

Lances are built with tips that break off when they hit body armor. "We're crazy, but we're not stupid," Paulsen said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 23, 2009 7:04 AM
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