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. Below is a map indicating
groups and the areas they encompass.
Map used with permission granted by master Bran Trefonnen (Scot Myers), and the Canton of Charlesbury Crossing
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
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.