Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Cindy Edmunds (left), known as Dagmar the Red, attacks Jason Notter, known as Hrothi, while Prince Shawn Denny looks on during during the Society for Creative Anachronisms Newcomers Feast at the Soldotna Public Library on Saturday, March 14.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Cindy Edmunds (left), known as Dagmar the Red, attacks Jason Notter, known as Hrothi, while Prince Shawn Denny looks on during during the Society for Creative Anachronisms Newcomers Feast at the Soldotna Public Library on Saturday, March 14.

Living in the past

To some of its residents, the Kenai Peninsula is known as the Shire of Hrafnafjordr — or, in the English translation of the old Norse word, “Ravensfjord.” Local members of the Society for Creative Anachronisms, who research and engage in lifestyles from the past by living (some of the time) as personae from eras prior to 1650, gathered in the Soldotna Public Library on Saturday to introduce their group to the curious.

Events at the gathering included an English peasant dance, tasting of bread made from medieval recipes, displays of medieval calligraphy and weaving, sword-fighting demonstrations (using wooden swords wrapped in padding, which “still leave a bruise,” according to leather-armored fighter Bill Leslie, dueling as Ronan of Wintersgate) and a royal court.

The royalty present were Prince Shawn and Princess Arabella, known in the common world as Shawn and Laura Denny, of the Principality of Oertha – an administrative region of the SCA that includes all of Alaska. Within the Principality of Oertha, SCA members are organized into Baronies and Shires, depending on the number of members.

Baronies are larger than Shires. The Kenai group is a new Shire — or rather, a revival of an old one. Gretchen Thomas, who portrays the 17th century Italian noblewoman Lady Margarita, said she helped organize the original Kenai SCA group, the Shire of Greycliffs, in 1997.

Greycliffs changed its name to Ravensfjord before losing membership and becoming inactive in 2010. Peninsula resident SCA members are now attempting to revive their Shire with new recruits. Thomas traveled from Anchorage to participate in the event in Soldotna, at which SCA members hoped to attract interested locals.

When asked what had first attracted her about living as a late Renaissance Italian, Thomas said “it was the clothes.”

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com

Living in the past
Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion David Ekholm, known as Nikor from the Isle of Oaks, lets a visitor try on his helm during the Society for Creative Anachronisms Newcomers Feast at the Soldotna Public Library on Saturday, March 14.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion David Ekholm, known as Nikor from the Isle of Oaks, lets a visitor try on his helm during the Society for Creative Anachronisms Newcomers Feast at the Soldotna Public Library on Saturday, March 14.

More in News

The Alaska State Capitol is seen on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Legislature modernizes 40-year-old definition of consent in sexual assault cases

‘Alaska took a gargantuan step forward in updating our laws,’ says deputy attorney general

Project stakeholders cut a ribbon at the Nikiski Shelter of Hope on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Stakeholders celebrate opening of Nikiski shelter

The shelter officially opened last December

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with reporters Thursday about the state’s budget at the Alaska State Capitol. Dunleavy said lawmakers had sent a complete budget, and that there was no need for a special session.
Dunleavy: No need for special session

Governor calls budget “complete”

A magnet promoting the Alaska Reads Act released sits atop a stack of Alaskan-authored and Alaska-centric books. Lawmakers passed the Alaska Reads Act on the last day of the legislative session, but several members of the House of Representatives were upset with the bill, and the way it was passed. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
In last-minute move, Legislature passes early reading overhaul

Rural lawmakers push back on Alaska Reads Act

Graduates wait to receive diplomas during Connections Homeschool’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Connections honors more than 100 graduates

The home-school program held a ceremony Thursday in Soldotna

Alaska Senate President Peter Micciche, left, and Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, right, meet with reporters in Micciche’s office in the early morning hours of Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska, after the Legislature ended its regular session. Micciche, a Republican, and Begich, a Democrat, discussed their working relationship, as well as well as parts of the session they were either pleased with or disappointed with. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
After House balks at bigger figure, budget OK’d with $3,200 payout per Alaskan

Budget finishes as second-largest in state history by one measure, but Dunleavy could make cuts

Loren Reese, principal at Kenai Alternative High School, gives Oliver Larrow the Mr. Fix It award Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Kenai Alternative High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Alternative graduates 22, says goodbye to principal

The ceremony included special awards customized for students

Graduates throw their caps into the air at the end of Soldotna High School’s commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘We never fell down’

Soldotna High School honors more than 100 graduates

Brandi Harbaugh gives a presentation during a joint work session on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Mill rate decrease, max school funding included in proposed borough budget

The final document is subject to approval by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly

Most Read