History of the Archers
Archers of Ravenwood / History of the Archers
What started over a decade ago as a group of friends who wanted to provide an archery event to local faires has become the Archers of Ravenwood, a non-profit corporations dedicated to educating the public about Late Medieval and Renaissance archery.
Each member contributes to the Archers’ stated goals of researching, publishing material of relevance and interest to the field of pre-16th Century Western Culture, presenting activities and events which re-create the environment of said era, such as, but not limited to, tournaments, faires, classes, et cetera; and acquiring authentic or reproduced replicas of chattels representative of said era. They also sponsor both voluntary and professional activities, providing online communication forums, and other online publications.
Quite simply, the archers present various aspects of Late Medieval and Renaissance culture through public presentations of an English archers free company. They host archery tournaments, open to all comers in period-correct garb and with their own equipment; teach archery to the public, explaining the proper methods and use of equipment and technique; and provide demonstrations of period fletching techniques.
Tony Eade, aka Anton of Ravenwood, heads up this group as the undisputed guild master and battle master. He has been extremely successful in organizing some great battle teams in order to put on some of the best battle shows at different venues throughout Southern California. His knowledge of period warfare, weapons and tactics, along with his ability to utilize the talents and skills of everyone working with him, make him one of the most respected leaders in the faire circuit, and a true “Renaissance Man.”
Through their efforts, the Archers have been able to give presentations and teach archery through the Boys and Girls Club, as well as the Boy Scouts of America. The Archers are proud to have become a certified merit badge station for the Boy Scouts, and love to hear when someone attends a faire, stating that they learned about archery though the Archers, and now they own their own bow.
Publicly, the Archers have made appearances for local color and flavor, including at various theaters, television news broadcasts and a Direct TV show about archery. They have also provided entertainment in an educational fashion at various corporate events, garnering interest for Renaissance faires as a whole.
There are currently 12 “crafts” presented by the Archers through public demonstration, articles, LORE (Loyal Order of Renaissance Enthusiasts) classes and throughout the faire. They include Leatherwork, Chain Maille, Arrow Fletching, Weapons, Cooking, Herbal Medicine, Plate Armor, Period Wood-working, Characterization and Costuming. An additional craft is in the process of forming, to include bards, street performers and musicians. We have now also taken on a new Children’s Education Program designed to incorporate the youth of our organization into historical studies. Each of these crafts provides and contributes to the welfare of the group. While the period Cooking Craft illustrates to the public techniques, foods and spicing of meals similar to the time period, they also feed the encampment at the end of the day, when the whole group gets together for a meal after faire. The Leather Craft teaches young and old alike both period and more modern techniques of leather tooling, clothing and uses of leather products – not to mention often providing the archers with tournament prizes. The Chain Maille Craft teaches various methods and weaves used in Renaissance times, from simple butterflies, to the more complex Persian weaves. Through their efforts at LORE and at faires, many people have become interested in making their own maille armor. Their on-line “University of Maille” features many how-to articles on creating maille projects. The Fletching Craft for the Archers is an absolute necessity for a group who usually make their own arrows. Through this craft’s efforts, many innovative designs have been created and tested, as well as showing the public how arrows are made and repaired. The Weapons Craft encompasses all weapons not directly related to archery, including swords, polearms, axes and all other edged and blunt weapons used by the Archers. This craft presents weapons demonstrations, showing the public how each weapon is used, how to defend against each of them, and what combat with them looks like. The Weapons Craft also teaches a bi-weekly class to any interested people, to teach weapons safety and techniques. The Herbal Craft teaches methods of healing through herbs and foods, contributing to the well being and health of the group as a whole. They have also presented a class at LORE and provide on-line articles on the various uses of individual herbs. Characterization and Costuming crafts are those “invisible” crafts that are actually presented to the public on a constant and ongoing basis. These crafts aid each of the members to create historically accurate personas, stay in character and look the part throughout each faire. Much of their work is done outside of the view of the public, as characters are created, refined and molded into the members of the Archers.
The Archers of Ravenwood continues to grow, both in size and knowledge, as they endeavor to fulfill their goals of educating the public about Renaissance Archery and the related activities of a mercenary archery encampment.
Who We Are
The Archers of Ravenwood portray independent English Military Company known as a free-company in the year 1450. This is not to be confused with the term mercenary...