Here are some fun Medieval Activities you can do right now:
Medieval Games: Print out this page to play the medieval game of Nine Men’s Morris. It includes a game board and instructions (you will also need 9 tokens for each player). For more information on this and other medieval board games, check out the YouTube channel The Raven’s Table. This channel is hosted by an SCA member in the Dallas area.
Medieval Cooking: Here are a couple of recipes (and a little bit of history) for delicious and approachable medieval dishes that you can make at home. They are reminiscent of a modern-day macaroni and cheese (Roman macaroni – an epic history – Historical Italian Cooking — The Eternal Table) and apple pie (Medieval Apple Pie – Historical Italian Cooking ). The most flavorful part of recreating the middle ages is enjoying a proper feast at one of our events! For more information on medieval cooking, check out Welcome to Gode Cookery. It is a compilation of medieval recipes from authentic sources adapted for the 21st century kitchen, along with diverse facts on food & feasting in the Middle Ages & Renaissance and other historical culinary items.
Bayeux Tapestry: The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered cloth nearly 230 feet long and 20 inches tall that depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy, and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings. It is thought to date to the 11th century, within a few years after the battle. You can see the tapestry and learn more about it on the Bayeux Museum website: Explore the Bayeux Tapestry online – Bayeux Museum Bayeux Museum or you can create your own version using the Historic Tale Construction Kit – Bayeux.
Bardic Arts: A Bard in the SCA is a performer who strives for excellence in solo performance of songs, stories, and poetry. This runs from SCA favorites to period documented pieces. Enjoy these pieces performed by two local bards or download the Ansteorran song book “Voices of the Star” to try it yourself.
Calligraphy: Scribes and illuminators created many of the documents we have to learn about the past. Today’s scribes and illuminators in the SCA create award scrolls and other beautiful works of art! Locally, our scribes and illuminators are members of a guild called Firestorm Ink and are currently meeting weekly in a virtual setting. For more information on Firestorm Ink and the scribal arts in the SCA, please reach out to our Hospitaler, whose contact information is at the bottom of the page.
Uncial is one of the easiest types of calligraphy to learn. It dates back to the 2nd century, but was more commonly used in the 4th through 8th centuries. It is recognizable by its rounded, open, non-connecting style and uses only capital letters. Here is a YouTube video and PDF Lettering guide so that you can try your hand at Uncial calligraphy. For more on Uncial calligraphy, you can check out this guide for letters A-P and letters Q-Z.
Waxed Linen: There are references to waxed cloth both in writings and artworks from the Middle Ages. It is a simple item to make and can be used to cover a cup or jar, or to wrap and carry dry goods. Check out this video on how you can make your own waxed linen.
Fiber Arts: From costuming to spinning to weaving, the fiber arts play a large role in the SCA. One such fiber art is Kumihimo braiding. This can be used as cords and ties for clothing and armour and cords to hold award regalia. The art of Kumihimo braiding dates back to 6th and 7th century Japan. Kumihimo roughly translates to “braided cord” and these strong cords were used to string together Samurai armour and used in traditional dress.
Are you ready to start braiding? You will need a kumihimo disc and yarn or satin cord. Kumihimo discs are available online and from many craft and box-store retailers. You can make your own kumihimo disc from cardboard or craft foam. Here are several patterns to get you started as well.
Heraldry: Heraldry is in use everywhere in the SCA – from brightly colored pennons & banners flying in the breeze, to tabards and painted shields borne by fighters on the field. We use a set of defined rules based on medieval examples to ensure that each design is easily recognized and that no two designs are the same. Here is a worksheet overview of some of the basic rules so you can design your own coat of arms!