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The Golden Griffin Order

Our order runs in Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu-Secuiesc) town, our regular trainings started in 2012, October the 1st. We are dealing with traditional medieval Szekler, Hungarian and European martial arts. Our leader is Sashalmi-Fekete Tamás historian. The Golden Griffin Order is the first Transylvanian, Szekler medieval re-enactor organization, which realizes the military and martial arts of the middle ages based on authentic historical sources, local archaeological findings and the local traditions. We reconstruct the armature, attire and tactics of the 14th -15th century Szekler warriors. Since 2013 our activity widened with the historical dances, experimental archaeology and alternative teaching. From the April of 2018 we established a firm under the name of Historical Transylvania Kft., and we have started organizing experience tourism programs.

Concerning the weapons, the collection of the Szekler National Museum and the ordinance of the 1536 Marosvásárhely diet gave basis. Because in this it is detailed with what the Szekler warriors belonging into different social stratums had to turn up at the musters. According to the archaeological findings found in Szeklerland, and the medieval murals, they could use both the Western-like (harness, double-edged longswords, shield forms) and the Eastern-like (bow-types, cone-shaped helmet forms, “Cumanian” maces) armature type.

Based on the illustrations of the Szeklerland murals and the parameters of the place of arms of our fortified churches we reconstruct the basis of the traditional bow and archery. In the archery, the Szekler people could have applied a particular Eastern, so-called semi lune release technique and so-called heart-shot (the nerve pulled to the chest) strain technique. Amongst others about the sizes of the bows are there scientific debates. Based on the doctoral dissertation of Sófalvi András we find it possible the diversion in size from the traditional Hungarian reflex-bow. A smaller bow in the defence of the fortified churches and castles might have meant an advantage in the tactics.

The murals besides this can help in the creation of the medieval Szekler martial attire. Exceptionally widespread are in our regions the illustrations of the Saint Ladislaus’s legend, which depict the fight of the knight king and the maiden heist Cumanian. The Cumanian warriors’ attire on the murals might have been similar to that of the Szeklers’, as to the local mural painting masters the attire of the Szeklers could have served as a basis. According to the experts as well, the so-called Cumanian fashion spreads in the whole Hungarian Kingdom, the Szeklers wore Eastern-like robe (caftan) in the Middle Ages.

We revive the old medieval Szekler customs in our order. When in the middle-ages the Szekler went to the battle, he prayed, he prepared himself in body and soul, and he prepared his armature appropriately as well. In the church door, asking for the blessings of God, he put an edge on his sword, on the mountain peaks they lit fire heaps, and they called into battle the warriors with drums and horn cornets, as Antonio Bonfini and Verancsics Antal, 16th century historians mention that too. Our group uses the 15th century Szekler crested flag.