An Introduction to the SCA
The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a non-profit educational organization which is dedicated to researching, teaching, and recreating the lifestyles, trades, crafts, sciences, arts, traditions, literature, clothing, and other aspects of the cultures of the Middle Ages. The time period in which the SCA focuses in primarily pre-17th century (prior ot 1600 AD) Western civilization with a strong focus on the Western European High Middle Ages. In the name of the SCA, we recreate as many aspects of the Middle Ages as is possible in modern times. Individuals in the SCA research and learn about the aspects of the Middle Ages which are of interest to them, selectively recreating various elements of medieval culture. Basically, if they did it back then, we either have or know somebody who does it now.
To make our learning process more exciting than a class at the local university, we take an active role by doing what we learn about the many aspects of the Middle Ages. When we research and learn about clothing of the Middle Ages, we go out and buy fabric and trim, and design and make clothing for us to wear. When we learn about the combat and militia of the Middle Ages, we build armor, weapons and shields; then we put them on and swing rattan swords at each other. In addition to the practices of the Middle Ages, we try to embody some of the ideals, such as honor, chivalry, and courtesy, which made the Middle Ages such a prevalent part of history. Some say that the SCA is the ultimate Middle Ages learning experience. All in all, the SCA is many different things to many different people.
The SCA got its start at a May Day celebration which was held in Berkeley, California in 1966. Several science fiction and fantasy fans held a medieval tournament using mock weapons and wearing appropriate clothing. At the end of the day, a court was held and the tournament victor's lady was crowned queen. They had so much fun; and it was so successful that they soon began planning another one. They formed a group, and incorporated it under California law. The SCA operates under a set of by-laws, known as Corpora, which are interpreted and managed by the Board of Directors (BOD). Now, the SCA, which is similar in concept to Civil War Revolutionary War re-enactment groups, is a world wide organization with tens of thousands of active participants.