Monday, August 11, 2008

What is the SCA?

Wondering why I suddenly stopped blogging? I've been ambushed by a throat and sinus infection and feel awful. Fear not, dear readers (all two of you)! My dear friend Bronwyn will be filling in as a quest blogger, but first I need to explain something.

We are active in a living history group called The Society for Creative Anachronism (the SCA, pronounced "S-C-A" or "skah"). To quote the SCA web site:
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 may feature tournaments, arts exhibits, classes, workshops, dancing, feasts, and more. Our "royalty" hold courts at which they recognize and honor members for their contributions to the group.
We live in the Middle Kingdom of the SCA and 10,000+ members around the world just returned home from the 37th Pennsic War. Pennsic is a huge "war" between the Middle Kingdom and East Kingdom, held annual in Pennsylvania. There are daily battles, archery competitions, fencing, classes, and shopping in an area the size of a Medieval city. Participants wear historical clothing ("garb") the entire time and attempt to camp in authentic conditions (minus food poisoning, of course). Pennsic is so large that non-SCA people also attend, so not everyone is 100% authentic. Still, it's a wonder to behold and experience, even if you dislike camping.

I was feeling rather sorry for myself last week for missing Pennsic (which is not the place to camp if you are allergic to dust, mold, and ragweed), then I got sick and was really glad I was home. I've been enjoying Pennsic vicariously through the daily newspaper, the Pennsic Independent, and the stories of my friends who did attend, including Lady Bronwyn our guest blogger. As you'll see in her post, she had some funny shopping adventures.

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