The Society for Creative Anachronism is a historical recreational society devoted to living the Middle Ages the way they should have been. There are many things to do at an SCA Event, including fighting, cooking, dancing, singing, storytelling, craftmaking, partying till you puke, and various and sundry unprintables.
When you begin participating in the SCA, you adopt a new persona, that is, you take on the name and character of someone who _might_ have lived in whatever historical period which holds your interest and is covered by the SCA's charter (essentially any period from late antiquity to the year 1600). Depending on your level of involvement and commitment, you may be seriously devoted to living, dressing, and behaving the way your persona would have in his time period, or you may act pretty much the way you normally do, just in funny clothes.
Speaking of funny clothes, this is one of the more obvious signs that you are in the SCA. You really start thinking about clothes. A lot. Because people dressed differently back then than they do now, and we expect you to do likewise. Depending on your persona's period and your personal interest, inclination, and income, your clothes (or "garb" as it is sometimes called) can range from the simple:
There are two basic sorts of fighting in the SCA. There is Heavy (or Chivalric) Fighting and Light Fighting. Light Fighting closely resembles modern day fencing with a few twists.
As you can see, this is some serious protective gear! The reason you need armor like this is that A. It makes SCA fighting more true-to-life and B. We use quite hard wooden weapons. SCA weapons are made from a sort of wood/reed known as rattan. You might have sat in a chair made from it, or seen a rattan basket. Anyway, the weapon is shaped and then wrapped in a few layers of duct tape as minimal padding, a protective layer over the wood, and for appearance's sake. Here's a couple of fighters going at it (With a Marshall looking on to make sure the rules are all followed).
But as I said before, there is lots more to do in the SCA. There are various office to occupy, chores to do, games to play, roles to fulfill, and people to party with. As those who know me and my Household would be able to guess, that last is probably what I spend most of my time thinking about as far as the SCA is concerned. On the other hand, I have been known to sing a song or two, drum a few drums, and I'm always there to help out if the Barony needs me.
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