Corvallis is a city of roughly 55,000 people nestled within the heart of the Willamette Valley. What most people don’t know is that it’s also part of the Kingdom of An Tir. An Tir is one of 19 kingdoms created by the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), an international organization committed to recreating cultures from pre 17th century Europe. An Tir stretches from Oregon, Washington, all the way up to British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.
The SCA was created in 1966 by a group of friends interested in historical reenactment. These days the same is true, only the total members is approximately 30,000 people worldwide. Our local Corvallis chapter holds classes/events on historical dancing, food preparation, and various forms of fighting. Local SCA member Sally McCallum says her experience has been extremely positive,
“I have never been part of an organization that allows me to recreate an era. At the events we go to, we are surrounded by people who share our interest for history and bring it into our lives. I’ve learned so many things, like how to make clothing, and cooking on an open fire that I would have never needed to know if I had not joined the SCA.”
The fighting and swordplay is particularly popular. Members must come equipped with a minimum of protective armor, and many choose to recreate intricate armor and clothing from their chosen period. These skills are then put to the test at huge events, sometimes upwards for 3,000 people, where members will wage epic battles in full regalia. Camping is also a big part of being in the SCA, and many will sleep in authentic tents made from canvas or skins.
If you would like to join the kingdom of An Tir, you need only show up. Weekly fighter practice is Troop 3 Boyscout lodge, Tuesdays at 7pm. If you’re interested in being becoming a full member you can register with at www.sca.org. The SCA has a full hierarchy from officers and marshals to a complete royal court. The King and Queen change every 6 months. You can move up the ranks by mastering particular skills like heraldry and weaving, or best an opponent in combat. One of the more enormous events, An Tir/West War will be July 4th -8th in Gold Beach, Oregon. Check out the An-Tir website for more information at http://www.antir.sca.org/.
by Magdalen O’Reilly