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Piracy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Piracy is a war-like act committed by private parties (not affiliated with any government) that engage in acts of robbery and/or criminal violence at sea.

The term can include acts committed in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons travelling on the same vessel as the perpetrator (e.g. one passenger stealing from others on the same vessel). The term has been used to refer to raids across land borders by non-state agents.

Piracy should be distinguished from privateering, which was authorized by their national authorities and therefore a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors. This form of commerce raiding was outlawed in the 19th century.

Contents

1 Etymology

2 Definition

3 History

3.1 Ancient origins

3.2 Middle Ages to 19th century

3.2.1 In India

3.2.2 In East Asia

3.2.3 In Eastern Europe

3.2.4 In North Africa

3.2.5 In the Caribbean

3.2.6 In North America

4 Popular image

5 Pirate democracy

6 Treasure

6.1 Rewards

6.2 Punishment

7 Privateers

8 Modern age

8.1 Overview

8.2 Recent incidents

8.3 Successful attempts against piracy

8.4 Legal authority

8.5 Self protection measures and increased patrol

9 Commerce raiders

10 In international law

10.1 Effects on international boundaries

10.2 Law of nations

10.3 International conventions

10.3.1 UNCLOS Article 101: Definition

10.3.2 IMB Definition

10.3.3 Uniformity in Maritime Piracy Law

11 In popular culture

12 See also

13 References

13.1 Bibliography

13.2 Further reading

13.3 Notes

14 External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate  

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Privateers

HMS Kent battling Confiance, a privateer vessel commanded by French corsair Robert Surcouf in October 1800, as depicted in a painting by Garneray.A privateer or corsair used similar methods to a pirate, but acted while in possession of a commission or letter of marque from a government or monarch authorizing the capture of merchant ships belonging to an enemy nation. For example, the United States Constitution of 1787 specifically authorized Congress to issue letters of marque and reprisal. The letter of marque was recognized by international convention and meant that a privateer could not technically be charged with piracy while attacking the targets named in his commission. This nicety of law did not always save the individuals concerned, however, as whether one was considered a pirate or a legally operating privateer often depended on whose custody the individual found himself in—that of the country that had issued the commission, or that of the object of attack. Spanish authorities were known to execute foreign privateers with their letters of marque hung around their necks to emphasize Spain's rejection of such defenses. Furthermore, many privateers exceeded the bounds of their letters of marque by attacking nations with which their sovereign was at peace (Thomas Tew and William Kidd are notable examples), and thus made themselves liable to conviction for piracy. However, a letter of marque did provide some cover for such pirates, as plunder seized from neutral or friendly shipping could be passed off later as taken from enemy merchants.

The famous Barbary Corsairs (authorized by the Ottoman Empire) of the Mediterranean were privateers, as were the Maltese Corsairs, who were authorized by the Knights of St. John, and the Dunkirkers in the service of the Spanish Empire. In the years 1626–1634 alone, the Dunkirk privateers captured 1,499 ships, and sank another 336.[42] From 1609 to 1616, England lost 466 merchant ships to Barbary pirates, and 160 British ships were captured by Algerians between 1677 and 1680.[43] One famous privateer was Sir Francis Drake. His patron was Queen Elizabeth I, and their relationship ultimately proved to be quite profitable for England.[44]

Privateers were a large proportion of the total military force at sea during the 17th and 18th centuries. During the Nine Years War, the French adopted a policy of strongly encouraging privateers, including the famous Jean Bart, to attack English and Dutch shipping. England lost roughly 4,000 merchant ships during the war.[45] In the following War of Spanish Succession, privateer attacks continued, Britain losing 3,250 merchant ships.[46] During the War of Austrian Succession, Britain lost 3,238 merchant ships and France lost 3,434 merchant ships to the British.[45]

During King George's War, approximately 36,000 Americans served aboard privateers at one time or another.[45] During the American Revolution, about 55,000 American seamen served aboard the privateers.[47] The American privateers had almost 1,700 ships, and they captured 2,283 enemy ships.[48] Between the end of the Revolutionary War and 1812, less than 30 years, Britain, France, Naples, the Barbary States, Spain, and the Netherlands seized approximately 2,500 American ships.[49] Payments in ransom and tribute to the Barbary states amounted to 20% of United States government annual revenues in 1800.[50] Throughout the American Civil War, Confederate privateers successfully harassed Union merchant ships.[51]

Privateering lost international sanction under the Declaration of Paris in 1856.
Modern age
See also: Piracy in Somalia and Piracy in the Strait of Malacca

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v • d • e

Overview

A modern dhow suspected of piracySeaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue (with estimated worldwide losses of US $13 to $16 billion per year),[52][53] particularly in the waters between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, off the Somali coast, and also in the Strait of Malacca and Singapore, which are used by over 50,000 commercial ships a year. A recent[54] surge in piracy off the Somali coast spurred a multi-national effort led by the United States to patrol the waters near the Horn of Africa.

Modern pirates favor small boats and taking advantage of the small number of crew members on modern cargo vessels. They also use large vessels to supply the smaller attack/boarding vessels. Modern pirates can be successful because a large amount of international commerce occurs via shipping. Major shipping routes take cargo ships through narrow bodies of water (such as the Gulf of Aden and the Strait of Malacca) making them vulnerable to be overtaken and boarded by small motorboats.[55][56] Other active areas include the South China Sea and the Niger Delta. As usage increases, many of these ships have to lower cruising speeds to allow for navigation and traffic control, making them prime targets for piracy.

Also, pirates often operate in regions of developing or struggling countries with smaller navies and large trade routes. Pirates sometimes evade capture by sailing into waters controlled by their pursuer's enemies. With the end of the Cold War, navies have decreased size and patrol, and trade has increased, making organized piracy far easier. Modern pirates are sometimes linked with organized-crime syndicates, but often are parts of small individual groups.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) maintains statistics regarding pirate attacks dating back to 1995. Their records indicate hostage-taking overwhelmingly dominates the types of violence against seafarers. For example in 2006, there were 239 attacks, 77 crew members were kidnapped and 188 taken hostage but only 15 of the pirate attacks resulted in murder.[57] In 2007 the attacks rose by 10% to 263 attacks. There was a 35% increase on reported attacks involving guns. Crew members that were injured numbered 64 compared to just 17 in 2006.[58] That number does not include hostages/kidnapping where they were not injured.

The number of attacks within the first nine months of 2009 already surpassed the previous year's due to the increased pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia. Between January and September the number of attacks rose to 306 from 293. The pirates boarded the vessels in 114 cases and hijacked 34 of them so far in 2009. Gun use in pirate attacks has gone up to 176 cases from 76 last year.[59]

In some cases, modern pirates are not interested in the cargo and are mainly interested in taking the personal belongings of the crew and the contents of the ship's safe, which might contain large amounts of cash needed for payroll and port fees. In other cases, the pirates force the crew off the ship and then sail it to a port to be repainted and given a new identity through false papers often purchased from corrupt or complicit officials.[60]

Modern piracy can also take place in conditions of political unrest. For example, following the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, Thai piracy was aimed at the many Vietnamese who took to boats to escape. Further, following the disintegration of the government of Somalia, warlords in the region have attacked ships delivering UN food aid.[61]


Armed suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean near SomaliaEnvironmental action groups such as Sea Shepherd have been accused of engaging in piracy and terrorism, when they ram and throw butyric acid on the decks of ships engaged in commercial fishing, shark poaching and finning, seal hunting, and whaling. In two instances they boarded a Japanese whaling vessel. While non-lethal weapons are used by the Sea Shepherd ships, their tactics and methods are considered acts of piracy by some.[62][63]

The attack against the U.S. cruise ship the Seabourn Spirit offshore of Somalia in November 2005 is an example of the sophisticated pirates mariners face. The pirates carried out their attack more than 100 miles (160 km) offshore with speedboats launched from a larger mother ship. The attackers were armed with automatic firearms and an RPG.[64]

Many nations forbid ships to enter their territorial waters or ports if the crew of the ships are armed in an effort to restrict possible piracy.[65] Shipping companies sometimes hire private armed security guards.

Modern definitions of piracy include the following acts:

Boarding
Extortion
Hostage taking
Kidnapping of people for ransom
Murder
Robbery
Sabotage resulting in the ship subsequently sinking
Seizure of items or the ship
Shipwrecking done intentionally to a ship
In modern times, ships and airplanes are hijacked for political reasons as well. The perpetrators of these acts could be described as pirates (for instance, the French for plane hijacker is pirate de l'air, literally air pirate), but in English are usually termed hijackers. An example is the hijacking of the Italian civilian passenger ship Achille Lauro, which is generally regarded as an act of piracy.

Modern pirates also use a great deal of technology. It has been reported that crimes of piracy have involved the use of mobile phones, satellite phones, GPS, Sonar systems, modern speedboats, assault rifles, shotguns, pistols, mounted machine guns, and even RPGs and grenade launchers.
Recent incidents
See also: List of ships attacked by Somali pirates
During the Troubles in Northern Ireland, two coaster ships were hijacked and sunk by the IRA in the span of one year, between February 1981 and February 1982.
A collision between the container ship Ocean Blessing and the hijacked tanker Nagasaki Spirit occurred in the Malacca Straits at about 23:20 on 19 September 1992. Pirates had boarded the Nagasaki Spirit, removed its captain from command, set the ship on autopilot and left with the ship's master for a ransom. The ship was left going at full speed with no one at the wheel. The collision and resulting fire took the lives of all the sailors of Ocean Blessing; from Nagasaki Spirit there were only 2 survivors. The fire on the Nagasaki Spirit lasted for six days; the fire aboard the Ocean Blessing burned for six weeks.[66]
The cargo ship Chang Song boarded and taken over by pirates posing as customs officials in the South China Sea in 1998. Entire crew of 23 was killed and their bodies thrown overboard. Six bodies were eventually recovered in fishing nets. A crackdown by the Chinese government resulted in the arrest of 38 pirates and the group's leader, a corrupt customs official, and 11 other pirates who were then executed.[67]
The New Zealand environmentalist, yachtsman and public figure Sir Peter Blake was killed by Brazilian pirates in 2001.[68]
Pirates boarded the supertanker Dewi Madrim in March 2003 in the Malacca Strait. Articles like those written by the Economist indicate the pirates did not focus on robbing the crew or cargo, but instead focused on learning how to steer the ship and stole only manuals and technical information. However, the original incident report submitted to the IMO by the IMB would indicate these articles are incorrect and misleading. See also: Letter to the Editor of Foreign Affairs.
The American luxury liner The Seabourn Spirit was attacked by pirates in November 2005 off the Somalian coast. There was one injury to a crewmember; he was hit by shrapnel.
Pirates boarded the Danish bulk carrier Danica White in June 2007 near the coast of Somalia. USS Carter Hall tried to rescue the crew by firing several warning shots but wasn't able to follow the ship into Somali waters.[69]
In April 2008, pirates seized control of the French luxury yacht Le Ponant carrying 30 crew members off the coast of Somalia.[70] The captives were released on payment of a ransom. The French military later captured some of the pirates, with the support of the provisional Somali government.[71] On June 2, 2008, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution enabling the patrolling of Somali waters following this and other incidents. The Security Council resolution provided permission for six months to states cooperating with Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to enter the country's territorial waters and use "all necessary means" to stop "piracy and armed robbery at sea, in a manner consistent with international law."[72]
Several more piracy incidents have occurred in 2008 including an Ukrainian ship, the MV Faina, containing an arms consignment for Kenya, including tanks and other heavy weapons, which was possibly heading towards an area of Somalia controlled by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) after its hijacking by pirates[73] before anchoring off the Somali coast. The Somali pirates—in a standoff with US missile destroyer the USS Howard—asked for a $20 million ransom for the 20 crew members it held; shots were heard from the ship, supposedly because of a dispute between pirates who wanted to surrender and those who didn't.[74] In a separate incident, occurring near the same time (late September to early October), an Iranian cargo ship, MV Iran Deyanat, departing from China, was boarded by pirates off Somalia. The ship's cargo was a matter of dispute, though some pirates have apparently been sickened, lost hair, suffered burns, and even died while on the ship. Speculations of chemical or even radioactive contents have been made.[75]
On November 15, 2008, Somali pirates seized the supertanker MV Sirius Star, 450 miles off the coast of Kenya. The ship was carrying around $100 million worth of oil and had a 25-man crew. This marked the largest tonnage vessel ever seized by pirates.[76]
On April 8, 2009, Somali pirates briefly captured the MV Maersk Alabama, a 17,000-ton cargo ship containing emergency relief supplies destined for Kenya. It was the latest in a week-long series of attacks along the Somali coast, and the first of these attacks to target a U.S.-flagged vessel. The crew took back control of the ship although the Captain was taken by the escaping pirates to a lifeboat.[77] On Sunday, April 12, 2009, Capt. Richard Phillips was rescued, reportedly in good condition, from his pirate captors who were shot and killed by US Navy SEAL snipers.[78][79] Vice Admiral William E. Gortney reported the rescue began when Commander Frank Castellano, captain of the Bainbridge, determined that Phillips' life was in imminent danger and ordered the action.
In July 2009, Finnish-owned ship MV Arctic Sea sailing under Maltese flag was allegedly hijacked in the territorial waters of Sweden by a group of eight to ten pirates disguised as policemen. According to some sources, the pirates held the ship for 12 hours, went through the cargo and later released the ship and the crew.[80] However, an investigation into the incident is underway amidst speculation regarding the ship's actual cargo, allegations of cover-up by Russian authorities and Israeli involvement.
On April 1, 2010, pirates attacked the USS Nicholas, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class missile frigate in international waters west of the Seychelles. The pirates opened fire from a small skiff at 12:27 a.m. local time, presumably mistaking the warship for a merchant vessel in the dark. The USS Nichlolas returned fire, pursuing the small vessel until it stopped. The U.S. Navy crew detained the three occupants of the skiff as well as two more pirates aboard the mother ship, which was waiting nearby.[81]
Authorities estimate that only between 50%[82][83] to as low as 10%[84] of pirate attacks are actually reported (so as not to increase insurance premiums).
Successful attempts against piracy
International ships equipped with helicopters patrol the waters where pirate activity has been reported, but the area is very large. Some ships are equipped with anti-piracy weaponry such as a sonic device that sends a sonic wave out to a directed target, creating a sound so powerful that it bursts the eardrums and shocks pirates, causing them to become disoriented enough to drop their weapons, while the vessel being pursued increases speed and engages in evasive maneuvering.[85]

MS Nautica, December 2008[86]
US-flagged Maersk Alabama, April 2009,[87] November 2009
Liberian-registered cargo ship, April 2009[88]
US-flagged MV Liberty Sun, April 2009 [89]
The Marshall Islands-flagged Handytankers Magic, April 2009 [90]
Legal authority
There are legal barriers to prosecuting individuals captured in international waters. Countries are struggling to apply existing maritime law, international law, and their own laws, which limits them to having jurisdiction over their own citizens. According to piracy experts,[citation needed] the goal is to "deter and disrupt" pirate activity, and pirates are often detained, interrogated, disarmed, and released. With millions of dollars at stake, pirates have little incentive to stop.

Prosecutions are rare for several reasons. Modern laws against piracy are almost non-existent. The Dutch are using a 17th-century law against sea robbery to prosecute.[citation needed] Warships that capture pirates have no jurisdiction to try them, and NATO does not have a detention policy in place. Prosecutors have a hard time assembling witnesses and finding translators, and countries are reluctant to imprison pirates because they would be saddled with them upon their release.[91] By contrast, the United States has a statute imposing a sentence of life in prison for piracy "as defined by the law of nations" committed anywhere on the high seas, regardless of the nationality of the pirates or the victims.[92]

George Mason University professor Peter Leeson has suggested that the international community appropriate Somali territorial waters and sell them, together with the international portion of the Gulf of Aden, to a private company which would then provide security from piracy in exchange for charging tolls to world shipping through the Gulf.[93][94]

Self protection measures and increased patrol
First and foremost, the best protection against piracy is simply to avoid encountering them. This can be done using the regular radar, as well as by using more advanced forms thereof (e.g., BAE Systems HF SWR, BAE Systems PRISM).[95]

In addition, while the non-wartime 20th century tradition has been for merchant vessels not to be armed, the U.S. Government has recently changed the rules so that it is now "best practice" for vessels to embark a team of armed private security guards.[96][97] In addition, the crew themselves can be given a weapons training,[98] and warning shots, less-lethal ammunition, … can be fired legally in international waters and/or when sailing under Israeli or Russian flag[dubious – discuss]. Finally, similar to weapons training, remote weapon systems can be implemented to a vessel.[99]

Other measures vessels can take to protect themselves against piracy are implementing a high freewall [100] and vessel boarding protection systems (e.g., hot water wall, electricity-charged water wall, automated fire monitor, slippery foam).[101]

Finally, in emergency situations, warships can be called upon. In some areas such as near Somalia, naval vessels from different nations are present that are able to intercept vessels attacking merchant vessels. For patrolling dangerous coastal waters (and/or keeping financial expenses down), robotic or remote-controlled USVs are also sometimes used.[102] Also, both shore-launched and vessel-launched UAVs are also used by the U.S. Army.[103][104]
Commerce raiders
A wartime activity similar to piracy involves disguised warships called commerce raiders or merchant raiders, which attack enemy shipping commerce, approaching by stealth and then opening fire. Commerce raiders operated successfully during the American Revolution. During the American Civil War, the Confederacy sent out several commerce raiders, the most famous of which was the CSS Alabama. During World War I and World War II, Germany also made use of these tactics, both in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Since commissioned naval vessels were openly used, these commerce raiders should not be considered even privateers, much less pirates—although the opposing combatants were vocal in denouncing them as such.

See also: Ruse de guerre
In international law
Effects on international boundaries
During the 18th century, the British and the Dutch controlled opposite sides of the Straits of Malacca. The British and the Dutch drew a line separating the Straits into two halves. The agreement was that each party would be responsible for combating piracy in their respective half. Eventually this line became the border between Malaysia and Indonesia in the Straits.

Law of nations
Piracy is of note in international law as it is commonly held to represent the earliest invocation of the concept of universal jurisdiction. The crime of piracy is considered a breach of jus cogens, a conventional peremptory international norm that states must uphold. Those committing thefts on the high seas, inhibiting trade, and endangering maritime communication are considered by sovereign states to be hostis humani generis (enemies of humanity).[105]

For a different opinion on Pirates as Hostis Humani Generis see Caninas, Osvaldo Peçanha. Modern Maritime Piracy: History, Present Situation and Challenges to International Law. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISA - ABRI JOINT INTERNATIONAL MEETING, Pontifical Catholic University, Rio de Janeiro Campus (PUC-Rio), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jul 22, 2009

In the United States, criminal prosecution of piracy is authorized in the U.S. Constitution, Art. I Sec. 8 cl. 10:

The Congress shall have Power ... To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

Title 18 U.S.C. § 1651 states:

Whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life.

The recent US District Court of Virginia case of United States v Mohamed Ali Said a.k.a Maxamad Cali Saciid et al. U.S. (District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Aug. 17, 2010) the court confined piracy as "robbery at sea" and dismissed piracy charges against the defendants.

In English admiralty law, piracy was defined as petit treason during the medieval period, and offenders were accordingly liable to be drawn and quartered on conviction. Piracy was redefined as a felony during the reign of Henry VIII. In either case, piracy cases were cognizable in the courts of the Lord High Admiral. English admiralty vice-admiralty judges emphasized that "neither Faith nor Oath is to be kept" with pirates; i.e. contracts with pirates and oaths sworn to them were not legally binding. Pirates were legally subject to summary execution by their captors if captured in battle. In practice, instances of summary justice and annulment of oaths and contracts involving pirates do not appear to have been common.

Since piracy often takes place outside the territorial waters of any state, the prosecution of pirates by sovereign states represents a complex legal situation. The prosecution of pirates on the high seas contravenes the conventional freedom of the high seas. However, because of universal jurisdiction, action can be taken against pirates without objection from the flag state of the pirate vessel. This represents an exception to the principle extra territorium jus dicenti impune non paretur (the judgment of one who is exceeding his territorial jurisdiction may be disobeyed with impunity).[106]

In 2008 the British Foreign Office advised the Royal Navy not to detain pirates of certain nationalities as they might be able to claim asylum in Britain under British human rights legislation, if their national laws included execution, or mutilation as a judicial punishment for crimes committed as pirates.[107]
International conventions
UNCLOS Article 101: Definition
In the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982, "maritime piracy" consists of:

(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:
(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;
(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;
(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;
(c) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).[108]
A major drawback of UNCLOS Art 101 is that it confines piracy to the High Seas. As the majority of piratical acts occur within territorial waters, some pirates are able to go free as certain jurisdictions lack the resources to monitor their borders adequately.

IMB Definition
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) defines piracy as:

the act of boarding any vessel with an intent to commit theft or any other crime, and with an intent or capacity to use force in furtherance of that act.[109]
Uniformity in Maritime Piracy Law
Given the diverging definitions of piracy in international and municipal legal systems, some authors argue that greater uniformity in the law is required in order to strengthen anti-piracy legal instruments.[110]
In popular culture

"Mic the Scallywag" of the Pirates of Emerson Haunted Adventure Fremont, CA.

This image shows many of the characteristics commonly associated with a stereotypical pirate in popular culture, such as a parrot, peg leg, hook, cutlass, bicorne hat, Jolly Roger, Royal Navy jacket, bad teeth, maniacal grin, earrings, beard, and eye patch.Pirates are a frequent topic in fiction and are associated with certain stereotypical manners of speaking and dress, some of them wholly fictional: "nearly all our notions of their behavior come from the golden age of fictional piracy, which reached its zenith in 1881 with the appearance of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island."[111] Some inventions of pirate culture such as "walking the plank" were popularized by J. M. Barrie's novel, Peter Pan, where Captain Hook's pirates helped define the fictional pirate archetype.[112] Robert Newton's portrayal of Long John Silver in Disney's 1950 film adaptation of Treasure Island also helped define the modern rendition of a pirate, including the stereotypical "pirate" accent.[112] Other influences include Sinbad the Sailor, and the recent Pirates of the Caribbean films have helped kindle modern interest in piracy and have performed well at the box office.

The classic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance focuses on The Pirate King and his hopeless band of pirates on the South coast of England. The Pirate King is often believed to be inspiration for Jack Sparrow.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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