Presenting an artistic collaboration on micronationalism, narrative embroidery, speculative genealogy and epic poems at the artistic research conference NSU ”ReActivate and ReVisit” – Riga/ Latvia March 2018.
Collaborators: Anna Frew, Betsy Lamborn and Freï von Fräähsen zu Lorenzburg.
The Battle of Wayoh
(as written and told by Betsy Lamborn in the video)
In the in the year fourteen hundred and seventy three,
Agnes Kristina had lived some six years Wayoh,
She worked as a blacksmith, and training with a sword.
Strong and powerful as she was she lived alone.
Wayoh was small, scarce 500 souls lived there.
Their king was Oswine the Longevous.
Aged and grey, he had ruled peacefully for some fifty years.
Once a fearsome warrior, he was now tired.
One fulsome morning, a large army was seen on the horizon,
A horde of soldiers and mercenaries were there,
And with waving spears and great cries of glee –
these men of Rakkur descended on the kingdom.
Wayoh was shocked, but not frozen:
Families rushed to get inside the city walls,
Guards ran to the towers, swords raised,
The drawbridge was swiftly pulled up.
Though Wayoh was small, the people fought bravely,
But they were unprepared, and this war raged on for many days,
Rivers ran red with the blood of good souls –
Exhausted, Wayoh became desperate.
To save her people, Anna Kristina jumped from the castle walls,
Alone, she slashed down full thirty enemies
The men of Rakkur were first shocked and reacted slow,
But then, these tyrants placed around her neck, a noose.
Anna Kristina struggled and tried to be free,
The rope drew tighter and tighter
Though she gasped for air, her sword never stopped
Until finally, exhausted, she fell.
It was just then a mighty roar was heard,
Thunder crashed and rain began to pour
All men looked up to see the wrathful Scáthach. SKATHIK
The Scáthach came down from the heavens, seax in her hand,
The Scáthach, her eyes burning with rage,
Stamped thrice upon the ground, swung her sword,
and then as these men turned to run, she cut them down
All but one, to whom she turned and said:
“You, you are to go, but you are not free,
From now you will tell the tale of Wayoh,
And you will tell that this place is protected –
And you will never stop.”
For it seemed The Scáthach was so impressed,
So astonished by Agnes’ bravery that she pledged protection.
And further, Scáthach took the silent body of Agnes Kristina,
Carrying her gently to her own home, laid Agnes on the bed.
The Scáthach began to chant in a strange language,
Around the room she walked, waving burning sage and thyme,
Finally she lit a single candle, and placed it by the bed-head.
It was there the stout-hearted Agnes Kristina lay for three days.
One the fourth day, the sun shone onto Agnes’ face,
And, as if from death, she rose.
The Scáthach, who had kept vigil all these days,
Nodded, and said:
“You are returned to the world, brave warrior,
And glad we are of it, I am Wayoh’s protector now,
For your valour I am grateful, one day I will reward you.
For now, farewell.” And the Scáthach ascended once more.
(designed and embroidered by Anna Frew)