What is the SCA?

It stands for the Society for Creative Anachronism. Anachronism literally means anything out of its proper time. You might call the SCA “the society for people who like to creatively do lots of things from a long time ago” but SCA is much easier to say.

Who are these people in Costumes?

The people you see in “costumes” are in the clothing that would have been worn anywhere from 500 AD to 1600. That is a very broad time span and can be from anywhere on the globe where people would have lived, though peoples from Europe are most widely represented within most SCA groups. At an event you could easily see someone dressed much like Queen Elizabeth, though you could just as easily see someone dressed as a Native American. It all depends on what bit of history and geography interests you. Costume is also a bit of a misrepresentation of what we wear at events since the word tends to suggest a made-up fantasy outfit. In fact, our garb, as
it is usually called in the SCA, is based on real clothing of real people from some point in history pre-1600.

What is with all the weird names?

Every person in the SCA picks a name to go by in the Society. It could be something simple and familiar (Mary of London or Thomas the Smith) or something elaborate and exotic-sounding (Oisin Dubh mac Lochlainn). However, no one may use the name of an actual person from history or legend (such as “Richard the Lionheart”). Some SCA members try to create an entire “persona” for themselves, as someone who could have lived in a specific time and place within the scope of the SCA, fitting their clothing and activities to that persona. Some dedicated people try to behave at events as if they actually were their persona. Others simply pick a name and go ahead with life in the “Current Middle Ages.” When in doubt call people by a name you can pronounce until you become familiar enough with people that you know them by SCA name or regular name. For more inquiries into names in the SCA contact the baronial herald.

Why is the group called a Barony?

The USA is divided into Kingdoms usually encompassing several states. The group, Barony of Black Diamond is a small portion of the Kingdom of Atlantia which takes in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and part of Maryland. It is much like how the US has states and each State has counties.

What can you do in the SCA?

SCA participants are just plain folks who enjoy doing something more with their weekends. Many are people who enjoy sports, which is why fighting of different kinds is quite popular in the group. Many enjoy some sort of art, craft, or skill practiced in a different period. People from all walks of life join the SCA – students, teachers, historians, writers, secretaries, law enforcement personnel, chemists, and insurance agents. If it was done in the Middle Ages or Renaissance, odds are you’ll find someone in the SCA interested in recreating it. For more information on the arts and sciences practiced in the middle ages and how you can find the others in our area that are involved with this aspect of the society please ask the Minister of Arts and Sciences. For more information on the various types of fighting, including heavy weapons, rapier and archery please contact the Knight’s Marshal.

How do I get involved?

We welcome you to come to our local meetings and events. You are not required to buy a membership before you start attending, although you may wish to join if you decide to be with us regularly. Members do pay
lower entry fees to events though many participate in the group for several years without being paid members. Please visit the Baronial Calendar to see what is going on. For more information for newcomers please visit the
Kingdom of Atlantia Chatelain’s page.

This article is based on one originally written in 1996 by Mistress Siobhan Medhbh O’Roarke with additional content from Francesca di Corso in 2011.