The Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA)
The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe (and beyond). Our “Known World” consists of 20 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more.
Who doesn’t like to dress in funny clothing and hit each other with sticks?
Of course, the SCA is far more than just that, but it’s often the first impression people get. However, don’t be fooled. Most members of the SCA are involved in all kinds of other activities, from weaving and woodworking to knife throwing and calligraphy. Do you like beer? Learn how to brew it yourself in the many classes we hold and enter your best work in a contest. Like to dance? Learn how to shake it “Medieval Style”. Perhaps you would like to teach others how to blacksmith, while also selling your hand-crafted wares from a 1400s Italian-style pavilion on merchant’s row. Love to entertain? Throw huge feasts and invite the entire kingdom. Their Majesties may provide you with gracious appreciation at court, where everyone dresses in their finest garb, whether you are a Scottish warrior from 600 C.E. in little more than a loincloth and shirt or you are a flamboyant Lady from Elizabethan England, replete with corrugated collar and an impossibly complex, if beautiful dress. Perhaps you are a Venetian merchant from Renaissance Milan or a Japanese warrior with the world’s finest swords. You may choose any persona (or none) that you wish.
Drum circles and Middle Eastern belly dancing are common nightly fire-lit celebrations at the regular camping “wars” we attend. While all the events are family-friendly, a nighttime curfew for minors means that adults can party until the serfs come home. Completely volunteer-run, these events are a fun way to enjoy all these activities with others and live the Middle Ages the way it should have been (without leprosy and smallpox, but with reading glasses and propane stoves).
I have been active for over 10 years and my persona reflects a rather eclectic blend of the cultures that I have met during my travels as a merchant. That is to say, I haven’t focused on any one particular period of time or dress. That explains why I camp in a Mongolian yurt, while often wearing a Scottish kilt and a Moorish hat! Recently, I accepted the position of Arts and Sciences Minister for my local shire, which means that I’m responsible for coordinating classes and other events focusing on the fine arts, be it making period clothes, armor, or pottery. I’m also gearing up for combat archery, where I can stay safely away from the heavy battles and still shoot projectiles at people from a real crossbow, or even a catapult! Perhaps someday, I’ll also learn how to poke people with pointy metal objects and enter fencing tournaments and battles.