The Guilds of the AOA
The Guilds are designed to encourage and promote teaching and sharing talents. These guilds are overseen by Guild Masters who manage administrative matters, assure that skills are being taught correctly, and determine awards of standing within the guilds. As in history, the guilds of the AOA have three levels of membership: Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master.
All guild members, regardless of standing, help with the activities of their specific guild and the AOA in general. Any member may be a part of as many or as few guilds as he or she wishes.
Several forms of weapon use exist within the AOA, including but not limited to: Choreographed Stage Combat, Fencing, Archery, and Boffer combat. These are taught by an experienced instructor, usually the Master of Arms or another person appointed by the Master of Arms. The skills taught in the Arms Guild are an integral part of the Knighthood program.
The Guild of Artisans helps members to explore and learn various artistic crafts, aids the Arthurian Order of Avalon in a variety of ways and is an outlet for personal fulfillment. This guild aids the crown with compound beautification, general maintenance and longevity of compound items and also teaches problem solving and valuable ingenuity skills through artistic involvement.
In medieval times, dances were a great way to meet people, to talk with others about foreign affairs, or to just have a good time. In the AOA, dances are used as a way to entertain, not only ourselves, but also our audience. Within this guild, one can learn a variety of dances from high formal to country dances. Dances are often performed at the Norman Medieval Fair as part of the Song & Dance Show, as well as at feasts throughout the year.
The Drama Guild brings our productions to life by encouraging the confidence of members through performance. Some examples of our performances are The Human Chessboard at the Medieval Fair of Norman and summer plays such as Faustus, Cyrano De Bergerac, and more. This Guild is where members have the opportunity to learn stage acting, crowd interaction and stage management.
The care of horses was an integral part of training for knights of old. Within this guild, members learn the skills of horsemanship, safety and the riding and care of the animals. They also learn the history of the relationship between horse and rider through the ages.*
*Activities for this guild are on hiatus. At this time, we do not believe we are capable of properly facilitating skills training in this area due to time required for participation and the financial burden it places on our members. We will start activities again when we believe we are in a position to do so.
Historically, feasting was a way to celebrate major holidays and gather with friends and family for merriment and fun. The AOA hosts several feasts throughout the year, and the atmosphere of the feasts ranges from high formal to casual. These feasts provide members an opportunity to socialize and enjoy the food of the Middle Ages. In this guild, a member can learn about Medieval Cooking and how to serve at a feast.
The Foresters of the AOA are responsible for learning and passing on skills such as starting fires, first aid training, navigation, the use of knots, and other skills related to surviving in the wilderness. These are integral skills to ensuring that camping trips are well-equipped and safe, as well as assisting in the scouting of Quests and Page Climbs.
The Music Guild seeks to imbue the joy and spirit of music to its members and audiences. Throughout the year, the guild presents the members of the Arthurian Order of Avalon with opportunities to learn basic musical principles, musical performance techniques, cultural aspects of medieval music, and fun folk songs written throughout the ages. At the Medieval Fair of Norman, the Music Guild — along with the Drama and Dance Guilds — demonstrates what members have learned in both an improvised and scripted song and dance show.
In the Middle Ages, the preservation and passing on of knowledge was of paramount importance. It is in this spirit that the Scholars Guild strives to reach the people of the AOA as well as our audience to educate them in Arthurian legends and Medieval history. Fact and fiction, myths and legends, it is all available in the AOA’s ever-growing Library. The AOA library contains works by both published authors and members of the AOA.
A part of everyday medieval life, sewing in the AOA encompasses more than mending seams. When the AOA does anything (performances, rehearsals, feasts, etc.) the influence of the Sewing Guild is apparent. In the Sewing Guild, a member of the AOA can learn practical sewing skills, the history of medieval garb and other fabric arts such as embroidery, hand sewing and spinning.
Whether working in leather, chain, or plate, the Smithing Guild will help members learn the construction and care of armor, both to outfit members for shows as well as to pass on this knowledge to future members. Guiding the construction of weapons is also a responsibility of this guild, for those who wish to make a sword rather than buy one.
If you would like to learn more about our guilds, please reach out to us through our CONTACTS tab, or by clicking the
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