Since non-fungible tokens (NFTsSince their first appearance, much of the attention has been on them in the multimillion-dollar market for digital art.
NFTs are now exploring new avenues. The Knights Who Say Nah is a pioneering NFT project, billing itself as a “multi-platform media company.” Its aim is to combine narrative storytelling, profile pictures (PFPs), a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and real historical artifacts to create a new model for history and heritage.
The Knights Who Say Nah will release PFPs over several weeks based on ancient warriors as well as 3D renderings of armor and arms scanned using photogrammetry. Its mission is to digitize, collect and curate historical arms and armor—all governed through a DAO that will control the project’s treasury.
The collection of NFTs is the heart of the collection. It contains historical artifacts sourced from a private collections that includes over 6,000 artifacts from more than 50 cultures. This collection spans 6,000 years of human history. Nick Richey, ‘Keeper of Arms’ of the collection, wanted to find a creative way to share these pieces with the public.
Richey said that despite their historical and outstanding aesthetic value, armor and arms are not often given the spotlight. “When you go to a museum, the arms and armor department’s probably one of the last places you go,” he told Decrypt.
However, their cultural impact is outweighed by their relative indifference. They’re seen on screen in films such as “The Northman” and “The Last Duel”; in TV shows like “Vikings”; and even in video games like “Assassin’s Creed.” Their influence is felt in the fantasy shows that currently dominate pop culture, like “House of the Dragon” and “The Rings of Power.”
In a way, Richey said, arms and armor are like IRL NFTs; they have traits of varying rarity, they’re unique, and they carry a wealth of history and narrative.
“Not only are there treasures underneath these objects, but then it also starts to unravel the story. You’re starting to pull the string and then you start to look into—well, why was this design on this sword?,” Richey said. “You just start to dig in and you start to learn about these people and how we’re connected to them.”
The Knights Who Say Nah want to uncover those hidden stories that were created hundreds of thousands of years ago, and bring them to the present generation. They also hope to preserve them for future generations. Here’s how they’re planning to go about it.
The Knights Who Say Nah will launch with a drop of 1,111 generative PFs. Each drop represents a different group of ancient warriors.
PFP drops are followed by a series NFTs that will feature 3D artifacts from this culture. That means in the week following the samurai PFP release, you can expect to see NFTs of real samurai swords like katana and tanto, hundreds—and in some cases thousands—of years old..
Our photographers will take 360-degree pictures of the model as part of the photogrammetry process.
We had to manually turn 100 degrees each angle on the pedestal in order to capture the samurai-armor. There were over 300 photos. pic.twitter.com/5DlilwW0dz
Photogrammetry is a tedious process that scans objects from different angles in various light conditions. The photos are then layered over a 3D mesh that’s tweaked to match the dimensions of the real object, and tweaked so that the lighting is consistent across the whole object. “It’s like a 12-step process that takes up to 40 hours per object,” said Richey, adding that in future, NFT holders could be able to 3D print a copy of the object.
Richey is determined to expand the cultural reach of this project. An experienced screenwriter, he’s currently creating elaborate scripts and character arcs for the ancient warriors depicted throughout the project—all of whom are based on real historical figures, like like Tomoe Gozen, a female samurai from the late Heian period of Japanese history.
“We’ll release those to our community so they can read them episode by episode,” he said, adding that he’s also pitching the project to various TV and animation studios. “Ideally, I’m going to go to the Adult Swim world and try to find a partner. If Knights doesn’t find a partner, there’s also the Web3 space,” he added, pointing to the example of NFT series like Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ Stoner Cats.
The heritage DAO
Knights Who Say Nah isn’t just about presenting a collection in a new way; it’s also aiming to evolve into a heritage DAO, in which Knights NFT holders will vote on how to curate the digital collection, and even what new pieces to acquire on the open market.
Richey has an ambitious goal: 3D scan the artifacts and donate them to the communities they come from once the DAO has acquired them. With museums around the world grappling with their colonial legacies and the various claims on the artifacts in their collections, it’s a novel approach.
This is why the Knights are here! To help museums and people appreciate cultural artifacts in new ways. https://t.co/SPyFZGRoMu
He suggested that museums could hold 3D-printed versions of artifacts, while the actual objects are returned to their origin tribes or nations. They could be used as revenue streams with objects licensed to games and metaverse platforms. “It’s not just about you making money, it’s about the project having a treasury so that we can give back to these cultures,” Richey explained.
Richey has an ambitious vision, but it is a bold plan. Richey is well aware that Web3 can be a bold experiment space.
“Imagine being someone in our community that owns this gothic warhammer NFT,” he said. “You get to go to the Metropolitan Museum and you can see it’s been donated by the Knights Who Say Nah and you’re holding your AR version in front of the real thing. It’d be pretty cool.”
In early November, The Knights Who Say Nah will launch with a unique artifact NFT. Follow them Twitter For more information.
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Decrypt Studio was the author of this sponsored article. Learn more about Decrypt Studio partnering.
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