Medieval folk gather in Sooke

by Pirjo Raits

This past weekend medieval battles raged between the Barony of Seagirt and the Barony of Lions Gate.

The damp rainy weather didn’t hamper the soldiers in the field as they entered into war games at Camp Bernard. Each year the Barony population gathers for a camp-out and mock battles. About 300 regular members of the Barony of Seagirt, a Victoria branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism (S.C.A.), a non-profit educational group, learn about the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by assuming a character from those times, wearing the costume appropriate to their character, and participating in period activities such as dance, arts and sciences, medieval games, warfare, cooking, and others.

Fanciful and perhaps over the top for some regular folks, the SCA members dedicate themselves to the age of chivalry, honest family values and a little make-believe fun. Not only do they dress in period-costume they also learn many of the skills a person of that era would have known. Along with the battle, there were workshops (Ithra) in such things as; Medieval engineering, as evident in the catapault being built; Norse wire weaving, an ancient way to show wealth; spinning, leather work, recorder playing, knotwork, embroidery and dyalling. They also learned about persona development and basic war marshaling.

The Barony of Seagirt meets regularly in Victoria and two campouts at Camp Bernard are held each year, one in the spring and one in the fall.

The local events culminate in early August for a massive gathering in Clinton where huge battles take place emcompassing kingdoms from across the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The three-day event is the largest SCA gathering in British Columbia.

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