UND students recreate pre-17th century

Middle Age Recreation Society hooks up with Society for Creative Anachronism to relive a time long gone

Daren Potucek displays a helmet he created for the Society for Creative Anachronism in the Memorial Union. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

Students and community members met Tuesday to admire and recreate pre-17th century culture.

In its monthly meeting Tuesday night, the student-based Middle Age Recreation Society met up with the city-based Society for Creative Anachronism in the Medora Room in the Memorial Union.

The groups meet on campus on the first Tuesday of every month, but get together for other events and trips as well.  During the meetings, the members view and discuss each other’s projects, such as SCA member Daren Potucek’s armor.

Potucek, who works with a welding shop, brought armor that he has been working on for 10 years. The design is based almost entirely on photos from the “Polish ReEnactors Handbook.”

History of society

MARS was formed in the mid-80s with the goal of furthering knowledge of the Middle Ages.

The student group’s adviser Karlene Clark said MARS has changed very little in the last 30 years.

“The people in the group are very into studying — not just what happened during the time frame, but how they did it,” Clark said. “We stay true to the same mission the overarching group has; we stay in that time period, but support each other in learning.”

Clark said the club studies the Celtic and the Pictish history.


After losing members and having a hard time regrouping last spring, the NDSU club traveled to Grand Forks to rebuild the program. Together, the programs spent time at University Park. Since the program is unable to have swords on campus, it spends a lot of time traveling to Fargo on Wednesdays, in order to gain experience at NDSU.

Beyond the connection the group has with NDSU, Clark said the groups in Grand Forks also have relationships with other programs.

“Collaboration is very strong among the groups,” she said. “We have another group in Bemidji, which is not very far, and we have all gone up there and helped them out.”

Schedule and events

Recently, members of the societies visited NDSU for an event last month. The event included embroidery, rapier and illumination. Treasurer of SCA, Bert Garwood, said there was a showing of almost a hundred people.

“Various groups will have events which draw from a wide area,” he said. “Fargo had one that drew people all the way from Wisconsin and Winnipeg.”

The group travels to the events together, much like an athletic team, but the competition at these events is quite different than a sports game.

“We do not compete group versus group. When we do have contests, it is person vs. person,” Garwood said.

Some of the students and adults in the two groups compete a lot, depending on how far they want to travel.

Around here we don’t go to as many events as we would like,” she said. “They decide individually, but they represent the group they are from.”

In the near future, Garwood said he is looking forward to Twelfth Night.

“It’s a big party,” Garwood said. “We play games and have contests.”

Mathew McKay is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].