Descriptions of the Crossroads Faire Embassies

Below are the current versions of the various descriptions that will be outside each of the embassies at the Faire. Subject to change.

Florence, Italy, 1480-90's

Welcome to the embassy of the city of Florence! We are charged with the task of seeking potential new business partners and markets, and would share with you samples of the culture, history, and society of our beloved city. Music, literature, banking, and wool are all important to our citizens, as sources of culture and prosperity. We invite you to come and join us!

France/England, 1550-1600

In this room we see Jehan II Baron de Carolingie at home in his manor house of La Tour du Lac, in the region of the Perigord, in the province of Guyenne, in the southwest of France, on March 15, 1600. He is being visited by Master Luke Knowlton, gent., an Englishman and former companion-at-arms in the French civil wars, who has vineyards in the area and travels between London and Bordeaux for the great wine fairs. They and various members of their households, neighbors, and visitors are engaging in typical indoor activities for persons of their social class: needlework, reading aloud from books and newsheets, singing, and chatting with visitors about their acquaintances, current affairs, past glories, and the general bad behavior of young people nowadays. Feel free to talk with them about any subject of interest, or to join in their singing.

India, 16th century

Welcome to the Indian Embassy at Crossroads Faire! The Embassy will be held at Lakshmi's Home. A simple temple dancer, Lakshmi will be opening up her one room bedroom as a classroom and studio for the day of the Fair. She'll have some of the home accoutrements and clothing of her native culture on display and she and her volunteers are willing and eager to answer all questions about the items in the embassy - many of which are original constructions of the Indians hosting the embassy.=20

Ireland, Early Period

From the five cuige of early Ireland come singers and story-tellers, monastics and warriors, athletes and sages to share the might and strength of the Celtic civilization. We come, bringing some Saxon neighbors, to share the light which burned while the rest of Europe slept in deep darkness. Come to hear our music, laugh at our riddles, listen to our stories, and wonder at the awe of our monastic tradition.

Japan, 1592

Welcome to the tea room of the manor of the noble clan of Matsuyama. The year is 1592 (by the Gaijin calendar) and the capital is buzzing with news of preparations for the invasion of Korea by the forces of our great Taiko (dictator), Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Nowhere may such gossip be discussed more freely than in the confines of the tea room. Indeed, this single space is a perfect refuge from the woes of the world. It is here that art and refinement reach their zenith as the guest is invited to contemplate the impermanence of existence (or of political alliances) over a shared cup of green tea. Though we are a poor clan and are currently without our Tea Master (he has been ordered to Korea), we would be honored to serve you. Mokurai-bozu, our resident Zen monk and teacher to the Daimyo of Matsuyama, has also indicated he will be willing to offer dharma lessons for those in need of guidance in these "latter days of the law". Don't be shy, he only strikes pupils occasionally.

Silk Road Embassy

At a caravanserai somewhere along the Silk Road, travellers from different lands have stopped to wait out bad weather: some gentlewomen of al-Andalus, an Arab merchant, a Mongol, and perhaps a Turkish dancing girl or two. We are passing our time with poetry, music, games and dancing, and will welcome travelers to this oasis with coffee, mint tea and other refreshment, instruction in our games and amusements, and a rare opportunity to meet a Mongol warrior under peaceful circumstances.

Viking Embassy

Too many people know us only as Vikings -- bloody-handed, horny-helmeted pirates and plunderers. But we've also traveled as merchants and explorers, as far west as the shores of the New World, east to the shores of the Black Sea, and south where we formed the elite guard of the Byzantine emperors. And not nearly enough people know about our culture at home: our rich literature, our fine jewelry, our table games, the runes we carve in wood and stone. Come in out of the cold into our longhouse, and meet the Norse. We're not all Vikings, and we don't wear horned helmets!

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