The School of the Sixteenth Century is held yearly to train reenactors in the various aspects of portraying Spanish explorers and colonists during the Age of Discovery. This event serves as a comprehensive introduction to newcomers to this era of living history and as a refresher to more experienced hands. Museum professionals and educators are invited to attend, and often members of the general publicare on hand to observe as well. Classes on sword, pike, arquebus, crossbow and cannon cover the basics of 16th C. military life and modern reenactment blackpowder safety. The school is not limited to just military drill however, other subjects include food, games, recreation, clothing, comportment, and history. The emphasis is hands on learning for the participants. Many of the classes are taught stressing the importance and techniques of interpreting history to the general public.
Traditionally the School has been held at the the Fountain of Youth Site in St. Augustine. In January of 2000, however, the School was held on the west coast of the peninsula, at the Heritage of the Ancient Ones (HOTAO) brand new site at the Camp Bayou Nature Center, in Ruskin, Florida. Through the efforts of HOTAO, Native American culture at the time of the first contacts between the Europeans and Indian groups such as the Calusa, Timucua, and Apalachee have long been part of the School. West coast contact era history, was a theme for this event, especially that of the Tampa Bay area, in deference to the new location rather than that of St.Augustine as in years past.
Conquistadors as the Food? No, Just a reenactment of the story of Juan Ortiz.
The highlight of the event was Saturday afternoon's performance of four short skits depicting the sixteenth century history of Tampa Bay.
More photos from the event.
|Tampa Bay in the 16th Century
1500-1600 Tampa bay was inhabited by the aboriginal people known as the Tocobago, affiliated with the Timucuan who populated most of central Florida.
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