The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a group with many fannish links devoted to living the "Modern Middle-Ages."
Creation of the SCA
The SCA's roots can be traced to a backyard graduation party of a UC Berkeley medieval studies graduate, the fantasy author Diana Paxson, in Berkeley, California, on May Day in 1966. The party began with a "Grand Tournament" in which the participants wore motorcycle helmets, fencing masks, and usually some semblance of a costume, and whacked away at each other with weapons including plywood swords, padded maces, and even a fencing foil. It ended with a parade down Telegraph Avenue with everyone singing "Greensleeves". It was styled as a "protest against the 20th century". The SCA still measures dates within the society from the date of that party, calling the system Anno Societatis. For example, 2009 May 1 to 2010 April 30 is A.S. XLIV (44). The name "Society for Creative Anachronism" was coined by science fiction author Marion Zimmer Bradley, an early participant, when the nascent group needed an official name in order to reserve a park for a tournament.
In 1968, Bradley moved to Staten Island, New York and founded the Kingdom of the East, holding a tournament that summer to determine the first Eastern King of the SCA. That September, a tournament was held at Baycon the Worldcon, which was in Berkeley that year. The SCA had produced a book for the convention called A Handbook for the Current Middle Ages, which was a how-to book for people wanting to start their own SCA chapters. Convention goers purchased the book and the idea spread.
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