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Aranwen's Chatelaine Notes - a Chatelaine's journal of notes geared towards the newcomer who is seeking information on topics such as how to pack or plan for a first event, what to expect at court, what is the Peerage, and what sort of activities can you get involved with in the SCA?

About the SCA

What is the 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. 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.

When you think of the SCA, if you think of Civil War reenacting, you're somewhat close. Civil War reenators work to reproduce the look and the feel of that time and place. Other than the obvious time period difference, one other difference where these two groups varies is in battle re-enacting, because the SCA re-creates styles of combat rather than re-enact specific battles.

If you think of LARP (which stands for Live Action Role Playing) when you watch SCA members practicing combat or other activities, you might also see a similar look and feel. But a difference is that LARP is not as focused on historical accuracy, persay, because some elements of fantasy are included. The SCA organization is specifically dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts, skills, and traditions of pre-17th-century Europe. So it is based on history, without fantasy or magic included such as what you'll find in role playing games. LARPing involves acting out a role-playing game type of scene. Many fans of each love the other, too!

When you think of the SCA, Renaissance Faires may also come to mind, and again if they do you might be somewhat close. Where it differs, however, is that if you attend a ren faire, chances are you went to look and watch. In the SCA, members not only study but also take part in a variety of activities, including combat, archery, equestrian activities, costuming, cooking, metalwork, woodworking, music, dance, calligraphy, fiber arts, and much more. If it was done in the Middle Ages or Renaissance, odds are you'll find someone in the SCA interested in recreating it.

You will frequently hear SCA participants describe the SCA as recreating the Middle Ages "as they should have been." In some ways this is true - we choose to use indoor plumbing, heated halls, and sewing machines. In the dead of winter we have more to eat than King's venison, salt pork and dried tubers. However, a better description is that we selectively recreate the culture, choosing elements of the culture that interest and attract us.

Read more here! What is the SCA?

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