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The Current Middle Ages

Chivalry is alive and well on Maui.

September 23, 2010
Cindy Schumacher

The call of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) pledges bouts of fierce fighting and blissful festivities from the historical era of knights and chivalry.

This international group, which has over 600 branches around the world, includes a kingdom on Maui and throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

This most interesting assemblage of people strives to re-create the days of yore—the customs, courtesy and combat of the Middle Ages (pre-1600 A.D.).

Article Photos

In the Canton of Valley Azure (Maui), Keith and Lara Demain are known as the Honorable Lord Edward of Castleguard and the Honorable Lady Kyrstyan de la Poole.
Photo: Steve Rhody

“The SCA is an organization that focuses on research and re-creation of medieval and Renaissance arts, sciences and cultures,” said Keith Demain of Upcountry Maui, known in the SCA as the Honorable Lord Edward of Castleguard.

The SCA’s “Known World” in “The Current Middle Ages” boasts 19 kingdoms and over 30,000 members residing in countries around the globe who take on characteristics of persons from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. They organize events that feature tournaments, arts, exhibits, classes, workshops, dancing, feasts and more.

Knighthood is attained through recognition and voting by the other knights of the kingdom. Then the king and queen hold court where they honor “subjects” for their accomplishment and contribution to the group. Females can attain just as high a rank as the males, because it is all about skill.

“Everyone has the same opportunity, no matter their gender,” said Demain.

Members of the SCA study and take part in a variety of activities, including combat, archery, equestrian activities, costuming, cooking, metalwork, woodworking, music, calligraphy, fiber arts 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,” said Demain.

What makes this group so special is their active hands-on participation in the learning process. To learn about the clothing of the period, you research it, sew it and wear it yourself. To learn about combat, you don armor (which you may have built yourself) and learn how to defeat your opponent. To learn about brewing, you make and sample your own wines, meads and beer.

“We selectively re-create the culture choosing elements of it that interest and attract us,” Demain said.

“Whatever your hobby or craft is, you can convert it to SCA and be recognized and rewarded for your talent,” said Demain’s wife, Lara, also known as the Honorable Lady Kyrstyan de la Poole. “It is a place where you can craft superior objects and be acknowledged for making them historically accurate,” she said.

As a child, Demain first became curious about the medieval fighting he witnessed in Rainbow Park in Pā‘ia. About 10 years ago while attending the University of Hawai‘i on O‘ahu, he and his wife, Lara, saw a glimpse of the Middle Ages at the Highland Games, a grand Scottish festival.

“SCA had a demonstration at the festival, so we inquired about the organization and really liked it,” he said.

“It’s a nice getaway from everyday life,” Demain said. “You become more tolerant and better at handling stressful situations” in your regular life, he said.

“SCA started in 1966 when a few friends who were history buffs and science fiction/fantasy fans hosted a big outdoor costume party in Berkeley, California,” said Demain. Everyone enjoyed the first tournament so much that they agreed a second should be held, but in a larger setting.

The Honorable Lord Edward of Castleguard and the Honorable Lady Kyrstyan de la Poole cordially invite you to participate on Maui, the Canton of Valley Azure, division of the Barony of the Western Seas in the Kingdom of Caid, sixth kingdom of 19 in the SCA.



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