A regional fighter practice will be held by the Shire of Loch Bais, a chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Saturday, June 10 at 10 am on the old Magnet School campus (3757 University Parkway in Natchitoches). There will be armored combat and an archery range, along with demonstrations of embroidery, tablet weaving, spinning, and calligraphy.
The Society for Creative Anachronism, or the SCA, is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts, skills, and traditions of pre-17th-century Europe.
Members of the SCA study and take part in a variety of activities, including combat, archery, costuming, cooking, metalwork, woodworking, music, dance, calligraphy, fiber arts, silk painting, equestrian activities, and much more. If it was done in the Middle Ages or Renaissance, odds are you’ll find someone in the SCA interested in recreating it.
What makes the SCA different from a Humanities 101 class is the active participation in the learning process. To learn about the clothing of the period, you research it, then sew and wear it yourself. To learn about combat, you put on armor (which you may have built yourself) and learn how to defeat your opponent. There are those who love cooking, calligraphy, or weaving. Classes are available at many events in different fields.
You will frequently hear SCA participants describe our events as recreating the Middle Ages “as they ought to have been.” In some ways this is true – we choose to use indoor plumbing, heated halls, and sewing machines. In the dead of winter we have more to eat than King’s venison, salt pork and dried tubers. However, a better description is that we selectively recreate the culture, choosing elements of the culture that interest and attract us.
The SCA started in 1966, when a few friends who were history buffs and science fiction/fantasy fans hosted a big outdoor party in Berkeley, California. Since then, the Society has grown to 20 kingdoms, which cover the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa, and Australia. There are over 30,000 paid members of the corporation, and the total number of participants is around 60,000 people.
The Shire of Loch Bais meets the first Tuesday of each month at 6 pm in the Parish Hall of Trinity Episcopal Church (533 Second St.) and anyone is welcome to attend and get to know them. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or go online to www.lochbais.org.