Wednesday, March 11, 2015

History of the SCA

We in the Society for Creative Anachronism are very good at teaching others how to play our game.  We teach people how to dress, how to prepare for camping trips, how to make garb, armor, feasts, trim, etc...  We teach people how to fight, dance, and behave in formal settings (comportment).  We even teach how to run events, and how to run the organization itself to anyone willing to learn.  There are hundreds, even thousands of things we teach to those who are receptive.  

Ours is a club based on studying and re-creating history.  We talk to each other about our time periods, and how things were done by the Vikings, Saxons, Greeks, Mongols, and more.  Tales of Agincourt and peaceful ships full of Viking merchants are often heard around our campfires.  We love history!

By now, in its 50th year, the SCA has had time to establish its own history, myths and legends.  We have stories of epic deeds of arms, glorious battles, lavish feasts, shires with stolen treasuries, and even fallen Kings.  Every few months, I am notified, or read about the passing of a longtime member, or SCA—legend.  And with the passing of each one, we lose the SCA-history and stories known and witnessed by that good gentle.  These stories are important— all of them!  They are part of what has shaped our collective culture.  

It is paramount that we learn and pass on those stories before they become completely lost.  Just because a story about Duke So-and-so is not your story does not mean that you shouldn't learn it, and retell it.  We must keep those stories alive.  The bad/hard stories must be kept alive as well.  Think about the old axiom of those that do not study history being doomed to repeat it.

So, my charge to you all is this:  Learn the oral history of this organization.  Gather every story you can, and retell it often.  Tell it at combat practice; tell it around the campfire; tell it whenever you find an audience who hasn't heard it before.  And while doing that, encourage others to do the same.  I will tell you the stories of Albert at Pennsic V, if you promise to tell them to two more people on your own.  If the members of the Order of Chivalry are the guardians of the SCA, then it is incumbent on all of us to guard its history as well.  

Keep the history of the SCA alive!