The Middle Ages are here again!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

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Clang! Shning! Whist!

The sounds of combat doth approach. On July 30th the Pennsic Wars shall begin, where ye noble fighters and archers shall commence in tourneys and other competitions to bring glory back to their Kingdoms. And bring on the next remove!

History has been selectively recreated by members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, otherwise known as the SCA. From their homepage: "The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our 'Known World' consists of 19 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." It's good fun for the whole family, from the little kids to the elderly, and a valuable writing resource.

One of the first sites I'd been directed to when I started hanging out with a nearby chapter, called a Shire, had been the newcomers' page. It is still just as handy for quick reference to get you started or just to know a little bit more about "those strange folk who beat on each other with weapons in funny clothes." Another useful page is the overview, also linked on the newcomers' page, describing what the SCA is about, the group's history, its structure, and more. If you would like to discover your closest Shire, check out How to Find Your Local SCA Group.

I didn't hang out with my closest group when I started. Some of my friends in another town had been attending meetings at a group halfway between us. My husband and I got curious and decided to check them out. It wasn't until several meetings later that we discovered that there was a closer one, but we were happy with the group we'd joined. They didn't care if we were officially members; instead, they freely made us welcome and answered all our questions to the best of their abilities. Now, I live far from my home Shire, having moved far enough away that I'm not even in the same Kingdom. But the members of my new Shire are also friendly. Though it's disconcerting to think of Pennsic and know that I'm not on the same side anymore, even though I've been reassured that I can consider myself still of my former Shire and Kingdom. Glory to Middle Kingdom!

Since I want to get this post out before I head to work, I have to wrap up now (booo), but if you have any questions about my experiences with the SCA, feel free to ask. I will write more about them next week and answer any questions (that I can). And I will also be sharing some of my favorite resource links for things such sewing and costuming.


Emily White said...

How fun! I love stuff like that. Part of me wishes I had been born during that era, then I remember it would only have been cool if I were queen. :)

Brad said...

Thank you very much for the information!
I'm off to research and see where my local group is!

Jaleh D said...

@Emily That's what is so much fun about the SCA. We recreate the fun parts. "The Middle Ages as they ought to be." You can create a persona and study whatever part of history fascinates you. There are soapmakers, spinners, weavers, blacksmiths, leather workers, and so much more. If it was done in the old days, chances are that someone has taken it up.

Events are great places to meet folks and check out their crafts as well as watching how they do the combat. But I'm more about the crafts. Although I do want to learn archery. They have both target archery and combat archery. (Target for me, thanks.)

@Brad I hope you can track it down. I think you'll have a lot of fun. Even if you can't do much, you'll make some contacts for history questions.

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