A Brief Introduction to the Society for Creative AnachronismThe Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (SCA, Society) is a nonprofit educational organization devoted to study of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Most of its activites take place in the context of a social structure adapted from the forms of the European Middle Ages, which allows participants to take a first-hand look at various aspects of the life, culture and technology of the times under study.
As a living history group, the Society provides an environment in which members can recreate various aspects of the culture and technology of the period, as well as doing more traditional historical research. We sponsor events such as tournaments and feasts where members dress in clothing styles worn in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and participate in activities based on the civil and martial skills of the period. These activities recreate aspects of the life and culture of the landed nobility in Europe prior to 1600 CE. The dress, pastimes, and above all the chivalric ideals of the period serve to unify our events and activities.
Summer is usually Tourney season. Tourneys or Tournaments are large outdoor events centered around SCA combat, with many other activities and contests taking place also. They are usually weekend events with overnight camping, where participants camp in period-style pavilions or tents and must wear medieval garb. At most events there is usually a table or booth labeled Gold Key, which loans garb to those who do not yet have their own, for the duration of the event. Courts are held and warriors do battle.
At an event you will see fighters in the middle of a field engaged in combat using various weapons. They are recreating the combat of the Middle Ages. There may be times when they are fighting in wooded areas and you may not be able to view this type of combat for your safety. With the fighters are Marshals. They are their to ensure the safety of both the fighters and spectators. The fighters are highly trained and well practiced in their art.
The Society has active branches in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa. This "Known World" is divided into Kingdoms. Each Kingdom has a King and Queen selected by tournament combat, in which each entrant seeks the Crown both for him or herself and for a chosen consort. Some of the Kingdoms include Principalities ruled by Princes and Princesses also chosen by combat. These regional organizations are responsible for the smaller branches based in individual towns, cities or counties. Often the branches will sponsor events ranging from one-day fighting tournaments and feasts to overnight camping weekends.
Feasts and revels are usually held indoors and may be potluck and members are encouraged to bring dishes as authentic as possible. There is usually dancing, music and medieval games to participate in before and/or after the feast.
Members are encouraged to create a persona, a person you would like to have been had you lived in the Society's time period. Your persona can be as simple as your SCA name and the time and place you are from. There is lots of helpful information for beginners on the Society's web page, www.sca.org. Just log in and follow the links to where you want to go. There is a link for membership and the yearly fee is $35.
The SCA was incorporated in the United States in 1968, but counts its years from the first tournament (actually a medieval-theme party with no thought of starting an ongoing club) held on May 1st, 1966.
The corporation maintains a central membership registry, publishes a quarterly magazine, Tournaments Illuminated, and provides mailing lists for the monthly regional newsletters published by the Kingdoms for all subscribing members. It also sets overall standards for safety and organizational structure, with which each Kingdom works as an independent unity.
Welcome to the Current Middle Ages!