Spear Work

Mike Baker mbaker at rapp.com
Wed Oct 2 14:13:00 PDT 1996

HEY there, Gunthar. Thanks.

I remember the admonition concerning the strap-on-the-spear I described 
earlier better now, and it was phrased in terms of "harpooning".

Although I will make the observation that *historically* straps or streamers 
on spears and javelins, and some types of "dart" in addition to true 
harpoons, are rather well documented (Greek vase decorations are just one 
source), there are problems with this for the SCA field of combat.

The majority of the illustrations I recall immediately show the attachment 
point for such straps or cords or whatever is near the head. Primary 
exceptions are darts / javelins, where a trailing streamer can provide 
in-flight stability and / or be wrapped to increase the power in the throw 
similar to an atl-atl. At least in theory: I haven't messed with streamered 
javelins enough to form a decision.

For SCA combat safety, I would strongly discourage such "streamers" as they 
create risks in on-field movement or the threat of flexible weapon injuries. 
Safety straps / "spear lanyards" may have advantages, but also 

(For non-combat target competition, perhaps we could explore the 
implications in relative safety.)

Query: the SCA-version of the mahdu is essentially a short spear with a 
buckler attached at mid-haft. Are lanyards required, or permitted,  for the 
use of this weapon?

If they are permitted for mahdu, I would thing they should be permitted for 
longer spears as long as they are not used for "harpooning". In practice, 
this would mean requiring the spear-wielders grip to be upon the haft of the 
weapon with both (or "all remaining 'functional'") hands. (Disclaimer added 
to reflect physical infirmities real & battle-inflicted.)

I believe that this situation is probably already relected in the rules of 
the list / war rules, but now might make a good opportunity to reflectively 
review same. (Shuffle of papers & files commencing ...)

 Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra
     currently residing in Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mike C. Baker                      mbaker at rapp.com
Any opinions expressed are obviously my own unless explicitly stated 

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