The Society For Creative Anachronism is a medieval recreation society. It is often stated that members live out “The Middle Ages as it should have been”, for the society seeks to emulate a romantic view of the middle ages with pageantry and chivalry - and none of those pesky plagues or religious pogroms.
In Corpora, it states the following:
“The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (SCA, Society) is a nonprofit educational organization devoted to study of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Most of its activities take place in the context of a social structure adapted from the forms of the European Middle Ages, which allows participants to take a first-hand look at various aspects of the life, culture and technology of the times under study. As a living history group, the Society provides an environment in which members can recreate various aspects of the culture and technology of the period, as well as doing more traditional historical research. We sponsor events such as tournaments and feasts where members dress in clothing styles worn in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and participate in activities based on the civil and martial skills of the period. These activities recreate aspects of the life and culture of the landed nobility in Europe prior to 1600 CE. The dress, pastimes, and above all the chivalric ideals of the period serve to unify our events and activities.”
The SCA started with a back yard party held by UC Berkley graduate students on May 1st, 1966. Participants came in costume, and there was a tournament where men fought with wooden swords and shields for the honour of crowning their lady queen for the day. It was supposed to be a one-time event, but it was so enjoyable it's participants wanted to hold another tourney and eventually the Society was formed.
The SCA was not originally a purely historical society, with early personas pulling from fantasy as much as history. As the SCA evolved, however, it settled into a focus on historical recreation.
The area where branches of the SCA exist is known as the Knowne World. The Knowne World is divided into twenty kingdoms. Eighteen of these kingdoms are in North America, with Australia and New Zealand forming a Kingdom and Europe forming a Kingdom.
Within the SCA, one can find people recreating almost every part of the Middle Ages. Activities can be broadly classified into martial activities, such as armored combat and archery; arts and sciences, such as sewing, bardic, and illumination; and service to the society. Regular events are held, where members gather, enter tournaments, and share their knowledge.