Keeping the dark ages alive: Tisdale resident involved in Society for Creative Anachronism

TISDALE — Despite living in the year 2019, Samantha Chimko participates in medieval activities across the province.

“I’m part of the armored combat, I go to feasts, I’m learning blacksmithing, make my own garb,” Chimko said.

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She does this through the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). The SCA states that their mission is the research and re-creation of pre-17th century skills, arts, combat, culture, and employing knowledge of history.

Chimko first found the SCA at the Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo about a year ago.

“I went there, I talked to them doing a demo, and they invited me to come out to one of their events,” she said.

Her first event was a medieval feast. She said rather than nervous, she was excited.

“It was in a hall in Saskatoon, we had fighters outside because the weather was still nice enough.”

The fighters included armor combat and rapier.

Inside was a bardic competition with singing, music and poetry.

“A lot of people came up, because I was new, right? So they asked me what I wanted to know, what I like. And if there’s anything I wanted to know they offered to help.”

Today, Chimko attends an event every month or so.

“I like the aesthetic and I like learning how to make things and how things were made. I was very interested to find out how they were doing all of this.”

While she confesses she hasn’t been doing much blacksmithing this summer, she has made a spoon and a couple of forks with the knowledge she gained from the group.

She said armored combat is the first sport she ever enjoyed.

“I love being outside and being active, I’m just not a sportsy person, I guess,” she said.

With armored combat, she finds it has the thrill that other sports never gave.

“It is fun, you get to try to beat somebody up but you know you’re not actually going to injure them, you know? A few bruises or something.”

Any attempt at wearing medieval attire is encouraged at these events.

“If your best attempt is a store bought Halloween costume, then that’s what it is,” Chimko said. “If it’s a baggy t-shirt with a belt and sweatpants just to make it look like a tunic – that’s great too. If you want to go all out and do all the research and everything, there are people there to help you with that.”

Chimko said her outfits are average, if not below average.

“I would like to do more research and put more effort in to, say an Italian Renaissance garb or something like that.”

If the person doesn’t appear to make any attempt to wear age-appropriate garb, the participants will treat them as if they are nude.

“They won’t kick you out or anything, but they will pretend you’re naked. They pretend not to see the ‘mundane things’ as we call them.”

She said for people who are interested in learning about the hobby they can go tosca.org.

“I hope to stay with them for a long time.”

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