The Society for Creative Anachronism traces its origins to a May Day Celebration held in Berkeley, California in 1966. Several friends planned and organized a medieval tournament complete with mock weapons and appropriate costumes. A court was held at the day’s end and included the crowning of the champion’s lady. The event was so successful that another was soon being planned.
The current activities of the Society are as diverse and far-ranging as its members. There are groups in Europe, Japan, Australia and throughout the United States. The Known World is divided into seventeen Kingdoms and includes well over 500 local Branches.
The Society is incorporated under California law and operates under a set of by-laws interpreted and added to by the Board of Directors., known as the BOD. These interpretations are collected and published as Corpora. (These documents are somewhat analogous to the Constitution and its amendments). The Society is a non-profit educational organization; its members research and study pre-seventeenth century European history.
If you asked several members what the Society for Creative Anachronism was all about, you would probably receive a different answer from each individual. To one, the Society might mean learning a new craft such as spinning wool or making wine. To another it might mean spending a weekend in a “renaissance atmosphere” complete with clothing, feasting and dancing from that era. Yet, another might say he/she enjoys battling other armed warriors on the field of honor to win his/her consort’s favor.
The Society for Creative Anachronism, (or SCA to most), is a non-profit educational organization which is dedicated to the study and re-creation of crafts, customs and ideals of pre-seventeenth century European culture. Members try to re-create life not as it was, but as it should have been during those times. We attempt to embody those lost ideals of Chivalry, Courtesy, and Honor.
Members are encouraged to research a favorite period of history between 600 & 1600 ad. While most members study mainly European cultures, everyone is free to study any culture known to Europe during this era. Members put their research into practice by learning and performing period crafts and activities. In addition, an alter-ego, or Persona, is developed and members thus become noble lords and ladies during official Society events.
There are SCA groups in nearly every city and town across the continent. The United States is divided into Kingdoms and the cities and towns contained therein are known as Baronies, Shires, and Cantons. The Kingdoms are rules by a King and Queen who won their right to rule by besting all entrants in a tournament called a Crown List. Ruling a Kingdom is such a large task that the King and Queen have ministers and advisors to assist them with the responsibilities of administration. There are Seneschals which handle daily affairs, Marshals which supervise fighters and tournaments, Chroniclers which publish newsletters, and so on.
Members of the SCA come from all walks of life and educational backgrounds. There are families and single adults, young and young at heart, who are all brought together by a common interest in the middle ages. Members meet regularly to learn or practice “period” subjects. On weekends, members travel to campsites throughout the Kingdom to participate in such activities as Collegiums, Tournaments, Arts & Science Fairs, Revels, Mock Wars, and Quests.
There are as many different facets of the SCA as there are members. While Tournament Combat and period clothing are the most visible aspects of the Society, there are many things to do for those who prefer other pastimes. Archery, leather crafting, cooking, heraldry, calligraphy, music, dancing, brewing & vinting, spinning & weaving, are just a few of the arts and sciences researched, taught, and practiced by our members.
We invite you to share our interests and enthusiasm. Join us, have fun, and experience a part of the living history movement.
Participation in the SCA is open to anyone who shares the Society’s interests in historical re-creation, and who abides by its laws and customs. Simply show up at any of our meetings, tournaments or classes. There are no special fees or rituals to perform in order to join. If you give your name and address to the local Chronicler, you will often receive a copy of the local newsletter. It will provide you with a wealth of information concerning the names of your local Officers, upcoming activities, and more.
Membership in the Society is modest and entitles you to subscriptions to the local Kingdom news letter and a beautiful Arts & Sciences newsletter called Tournaments Illuminated which is the Society's newsletter.