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Trying to get involved with the SCA

I've emailed the chatelaine through the Barony of Hawkwood website. I only hope it was the right website/info, as all the links for the barony have a different address that *doesn't work*. I found this site through googling, but every reference I find for them lists a different site. Hopefully the 'contact' link still works, and I'll hear back from her.

I'm very excited! The more I read and hear about it, the more I want to become involved. I wish I knew more about history, so I at least had a vague idea of what I wanted to do as far as creating a persona. I know that I'd LOVE to learn fighting and I'm drawn to bad-ass warrior women. lol I also know that I really like fancy clothes & titles, chivalry, and codes of honor. LOL I'm torn between wanting to be a knight and wanting to be a fancy, frilly noblewoman.

I wish I could narrow down a time period or culture or something, but I'm so ignorant on the subject that I don't even know where to begin. I know that Eleanor of Aquitaine appeals to me, and I've been doing some extra reading about her. I'm still going through the Universal History of the World books (I'm working on the volume 'The West in the Middle Ages' right now). I want to read more about the Visigoths, the Mongols (Josh likes them), the Knights Templar, and William of Normandy. We're also interested in eastern societies, but very ignorant there and that's a whole different volume.

Anyway, I'd love to hear from any SCA folks (Scadians?) or historians here. Who or what are interesting things from the middle ages that I should definitely look into? If you have a persona (or a few), how did you come up with one? Did you have a time period you just adored, or did you just look into cool people in history that called to you? I know I have plenty of time to figure all this out, but I'm just curious and eager to learn. :)

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( 59 comments — Leave a comment )
st_andrews_girl
Aug. 23rd, 2006 03:59 am (UTC)
I'm not really a Scadian, but some of my best friends are:-)

It might be a while hearing back from people, just because the big deal SCA event just ended/may still be going on. My friend just got back from it, and he's got total brain drain from being so exhausted!
ahavah
Aug. 23rd, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
I bet! I know Pennsic was going on. I'm *almost* caught up on LJ after a day spent almost wholly on the computer. lol I saw some of the posts about it. And the pictures my friend in FL were showing me were all from Pennsic, too. That's when I thought 'Hey, this looks cool'. :) It does seem like a lot of folks are into this. I don't know what rock I've been living under. lol
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(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
a_treitell
Aug. 23rd, 2006 12:39 pm (UTC)
You're covering a really wide range here, and so I'll try to give some thoughts.. :)

History helps, I'd (honestly) recommend picking up a kids book of medieval and renaissance history (preferably one that uses extant artwork for the pictures rather than "kids drawings").. There's a huge range of costume potential and there is dramatic detail and extravagence throughout the whole 1000 years that the SCA covers. And a sense of what we're trying to do is always useful.. ;)

There is NO reason why you can't be a fighter and a noblewoman. LadyB is a fierce fighter, loves her time on the field, but when she dresses in her full Persian, there isn't a more stately, beautiful woman present (yes, I'm biased, but seriously, she looks fantastic when she dresses up).

I'll be REALLY honest with you here.. You use the term knight, and that's a worthwhile goal - but (I forget where you live), some places the chivalry (those men and few women who have earned the rank of Knight/Master of Arms) are very resistant to female members of the chiv. One kingdom in which I've lived (I'll not name it, because it's a fantastic kingdom in every other way) - there are members of the chiv that have said so long as they are on the council there will not be a female knight, ever, in the kingdom. Though fighting is not gender aligned, there is something of a boys club attitude about the higher ranks of fighting awards.. Just so you know what you're getting into potentially.

That being said, I grew up in the SCA and have always been a history buff, I was 9 and decided I wanted to be an archaeologist, and by 15 could converse with educated adults on European History, there was a lot I DIDN'T know, but, but I passed my World History courses in high school without cracking the book (well, the textbook) - ever. :D (Yeah, I'ma nerd, what's your point?)

My persona has been early 16th c. (1510 or so) Irish merchants daughter/Welsh sailor's wife (a_triath's persona is a welsh sailor ;)).. But I'm discovering that I REALLY love veils, and they weren't so popular in late period, so I'm considering shifting back a century or so. Earlier period is also easier/cheaper to buy well made stuff - Tudor garb is PRICEY (and I don't enjoy sewing - so won't do it except for tunics for Fi, which are easy).. But I want things moderately right (how picky I am is dependent on how expensive the garb is *laughs*).

I picked the initial period because I really love early tudor gowns, they're not quite as over the top as they were under Elizabeth I, but they're still beautiful and sexy and wonderful (and I get to wear CORSETS!), but.. There is something nice about the cleaner lines of kirtles that I also enjoy, so...
ahavah
Aug. 23rd, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you so much for sharing! The kids books are a good idea. I had forgotten about that (I did that when I was researching info for one of my Night Court RPG characters...lol). I'll definitely have to pay down my library fine enough to start checking out books again. *blush*

I'm glad to know I could be a fighter, too. That's one of the main reason I wanted to look into it. I've just heard wonderful things about the education everyone does, and that's SO what I need. I mean, I know big sweeping historical generalizations (if that makes sense), but I don't know about any one period *in detail*. Honestly, the learning is a major drawing point for me. And the dressing up - lol - I probably wouldn't do a good job making my own garb, either, but Josh is talented and in the process of learning how to make clothes. Now you have me really curious about LadyB (Persians are too cool, too).

And thanks for the warning about the knight thing. I'm in Atlantia, so I hope like hell that isn't the case here. I don't see the logic in that at all. Honestly, though, that kind of attitude would only fuel my desire more...Still, I hope I'm in a more open-minded area than that. Which kingdom are you in?

I'm going to have to go look up a lot of the stuff you mentioned. I feel pretty awful that I'm so ignorant on the subject. I mean, I passed World History, and history is actually one of my very favorite subjects. I've just tended towards fiction in my reading, I think, which is educational to an extent but definitely not enough that I don't feel overwhelming dumb. :P I mean, when I started RPing in Carey's universe, I actually had to do a google image search on 'doublet' (I did have a vague idea, honest!). *ducks and runs for shame*
(no subject) - a_treitell - Aug. 23rd, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_treitell - Aug. 25th, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
a_treitell
Aug. 23rd, 2006 12:40 pm (UTC)
I of course JUST noticed the fact that you are reading some of the more popular press history books - so ignore my book recommendation.. ;)
mrdixon
Aug. 23rd, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
You have got to be one of the best representatives of sca life that I have ever met.

dispite all the bull, you still love it! That is impressive!

good for you!!!

Dix, the blue friar
(no subject) - a_treitell - Aug. 23rd, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mrdixon - Aug. 23rd, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
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LOL - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mrdixon - Aug. 23rd, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
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ne_penthe
Aug. 23rd, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC)
One of my favorite historical figures is Mlle. de Maupin http://home.comcast.net/~brons/Maupin/MaupinSourcesDautheville.html

I'm not a big fan of the SCA, partly cuz of my involvement with combat for the stage. Fighting of any sort is kind of an old boys club mentality, sadly.

But its TONS of fun!!!
ahavah
Aug. 23rd, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, interesting! Thanks for the link. I'll have to do more reading about her. I think it's outside the SCA timeline, but she looks like one cool lady, nonetheless.
(no subject) - ne_penthe - Aug. 23rd, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
aliyna
Aug. 23rd, 2006 04:49 pm (UTC)
Are you at all proud of or interested in your own heritage? That's how I stumbled across MY persona. I'm really Dutch, a lot Dutch, and the Netherlands have a very cool Medieval background. They were one of the few territories that gave women power of their own. They were allowed to own property and businesses and were more involved in politics, finances and above all MEDICINE. My persona began as an Apothecaries daughter, until I really got into natural birth and midwifery. Now she's an apothecaries daughter who became a midwife. :) You might follow the same path, since you know so much in that field.

As for period, I still don't have that nailed down. I love cotehardies, so that makes me want to do 1400's, but then I really love Flemish peasant wear, so that makes me want to do 1500's. BUT THEN, I really love a good doublet, so that makes me want to do all the way up to 1600. Can't decide!

In the SCA, also, as far as persona goes, you're not allowed to be a person who actually existed, so use real people as inspiration, not law, as it were. Wasn't sure if you'd read that yet or not.

SCA newbies make me so happy inside. Yay!
ahavah
Aug. 23rd, 2006 05:36 pm (UTC)
SCA newbies make me so happy inside. Yay!

Whee! I'm glad everyone's so cool and willing to answer my silly questions (especially since I'm sure you guys hear them all the time!)

I am pleased with my heritage, but I don't know a whole lot about it. Genealogy was always beyond me. I'm a Mexican/Irish/Native American mutt, and I don't know a whole lot about any of it. I'm told that we're descended from the Irish King David and one of his concubines (although my cousin says it was really a faerie, lol), and I know that there's a town in Portugal near the Spanish border that has my last name.

I do like the idea of being a midwifey person, but I don't know, I do the birth thing in RL and I like the idea of being something really *opposite* of myself for a persona. That's why I like the idea of being a knight, I think. Or a barbarian warrior or something. lol I'll definitely have to explore it for a while before I settle on anything, I think. I may check out the Spanish & Irish more closely, though. I should at least learn more about it, anyway.

Thanks!
(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
berryhappy
Aug. 23rd, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
Do both!!!! :)

I have a noblewoman persona (I need a costume for) for part of the weekend and then a peasant/healer persona (who can fight) for the other part.

Do whatever you want to do!!!
ahavah
Aug. 23rd, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know you were into it too. (Or did I? ) I do like the idea of having a couple different ones, but I'd have to stop & devote my research energies to just one to start. I wouldn't mind being a badass, fighting noblewoman/barbarian warriorette. lol

So what period/country are your characters from?
(no subject) - berryhappy - Aug. 23rd, 2006 05:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - berryhappy - Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
*wink & hugs* - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: *wink & hugs* - berryhappy - Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
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berryhappy
Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
And sexy as all hell....

Just sayn.
(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - ahavah - Aug. 23rd, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Aug. 23rd, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
Getting involved in SCA
My persona is from early 14th century Northumberland - sort of between England & Scotland. I chose that time because it was before the Plague (ick) and before corsets (ouch + easier to sew), and chose that place because its relevant to my family history. Plus history there and then really was interesting (to me)!

Did you check out www.sca.org ? Lots of great links to follow.

The neat thing about SCA is that you can be whoever tickles your interest from wherever and whenever, and - as another comment here noted - you can be several different people if you want. But to get started, my advice would be to choose a kind of generic given name (mine is Emma), and get or make yourself some generic kind of medieval clothing (check out T-tunic advice at the SCA website), then attend a few SCA events. As you get to see and know other SCAdians, and as you explore SCA activities and real-life history a little more (library, etc), you'll gain a better idea for your persona.

Good luck developing your persona, and enjoy SCA!
ahavah
Aug. 24th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
Re: Getting involved in SCA
Thank you so much! I've been reading on the SCA.org website, although I haven't followed all the off-site links yet. I'll look for the T-tunic advice. I do like the idea of corsets, too, though. I want to handmake an outfit (maybe the generic T-tunic you mention, LoL), but I think my boyfriend could sew me a really nice outfit once the time comes.

So I'm not sure if you're a friend who forgot to sign in or someone new, but thanks for stopping by and sharing!
( 59 comments — Leave a comment )

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