Muddy Evil Balingup

This past weekend, Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th August, saw the annual Balingup Medieval Carnival grace the small & picturesque town of Balingup in South Western Australia.

The town of Balingup, located 237km south of Perth, came alive with the long dead styles of the European dark ages.  Known as the ‘Kingdom of Balingup’ for the two day Medieval [Muddy-Evil] festival, the township & the main highway were adorned by bright & cheerful banners.

Wandering the paths (quite muddy paths on the Sunday) were knights, jesters, Gypsies, Saxons, Gaels, Turks, wizards, witches & dragons.

Market stalls offered wares from trinkets & jewellery to woven baskets & produce. Food vendors offered pancakes, icecream, hotdogs, chilli, rolls & stuffed spuds, while drink ranged from dairy & coffee to soft drink & even alcohol (inside its designated area); with many local wineries offering tastings & special offers to those patrons who could prove they’d already come of age.  Households could acquire new banquet tables & carved thrones, & clothing was available for all manner of people peasantry through to royalty with simple, useful & elegant dresses, armor, cloaks robes & brigga.

Musicians & Minstrels graced the stage closer to the carnival bounds, the sounds of their live performances being mystically heard throughout the grounds through black boxes on posts. Choirs wove their harmonies through the hearts of young & old, while the Badpiper brought out the youth in everyone with the sounds of his punk rock bagpipes that kept feet tapping & people dancing throughout the day & evening.  Jesters & travelling performers juggled & grins developed across even the sternest faces while watching their crazed antics.

Performances by House Dark Sun, the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) & the Grey Company saw re-enactments of some of histories battles, including the Crusades.  Visiting gentry were given the chance to try out the weight of real armor – 12kg in their chain shoulder protection alone!

Many thanks to the Grey Company for their willingness to model their booted feet for my camera after one of their performances!  They make all of theirs to the standards of the era for their costumes; so I have some wonderful 11th-13th century, handmade leather booties going into my book.  Thank you too, to the King of Balingup who happily posed his royal, thigh high bucket-top boots for my lens.

For the moment I only have a couple of photographs processed from the weekend.  I’ll be uploading full albums, much like I do for the Kalamunda Zig Zag Festival, as soon as I have them all finished.  In the meantime, there are sneak peaks available at my facebook page & you are welcome to tag yourself if you appear!

And finally, a thank you to the wonderful Queen of Balingup for her very kind words with regard to my photography of years past!