West Kingdom

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Arms of the West Kingdom

The West Kingdom (also known as The Kingdom of the West) is the oldest Kingdom (or branch) of the historical re-enactment Society, Society for Creative Anachronism. It comprises Northern California (including the San Francisco area), Nevada, Alaska, Japan, Korea and the Pacific Rim. [1][2]


The Kingdom of the West was the first SCA group, founded in 1966. An initial party with David Thewlis, Steve Henderson, Ken de Maiffe, and author Diana Paxson (at the time a medieval history major at the University of California, Berkeley) and others was held in Paxson's backyard. Many of the attendees were at Berkeley, and were history buffs and science fiction fantasy fans. They held the first party as an outdoor sword fighting tournament using leather armour with some steel.[3] Everyone enjoyed the event, and another was planned. From this first event, the group began to expand. After three years, part of this new group on the east coast split off and the East Kingdom was founded, distinguishing it from the West Kingdom. [4][5] In subsequent years other regions previously operating under the auspices of the West Kingdom have also split off to form their own Kingdoms, generally when the population is deemed large enough and the local culture distinct enough to warrant the split.


The main activities within the West Kingdom include, Tournaments, Feasts & Revels, Universities and Collegiums (classes on subjects dealing with modern living history issues, or straight history is taught). The group is also active with the "Arts and Sciences" these events emphasize the exhibition and /or competition of various artistic skills and research of SCA members. The kingdom has guilds and other groups, which regularly hold meetings to teach such subjects as dance, cooking, armourmaking, needlework, music and other interests.[6]

Like other parts of the SCA, the Kingdom of the west uses rattan weapons, generally of a standard authentic weight. The combat blows deal a heavy, though not an edged, attack. Members also make armour. [7]

The kingdom has a wide range of Heraldic devices, and has even had a book published dedicated to them. [8]

In Japan (in the SCA known as the "Palatine Barony of the Far West"), its members combine to create larger scale combat with another group, the realm of Avalon, an independent Tokyo-based group of re-creationists and fighters and with a number of Japanese among its members. In Japan, the SCA, having largely been imported from the US, has long tended to revolve around U.S. military bases. [9]


  1. ^ Dubin, Murray "Local Lancelots Medieval battles and culture are kept alive by the Society for Creative Anachronism." The Philadelphia Inquirer 1 August 2001
  2. ^ James, Victoria "Let's fight!" The Japan Times 4 May 2003
  3. ^ The history of the kingdom of the West - Pre History" http://history.westkingdom.org/Year0/index.htm
  4. ^ Cramer, Michael A. " Medieval fantasy as performance: the Society for Creative Anachronism and the current Middle Ages" G - Reference, Information and Interdisciplinary Subjects Series Scarecrow Press, 2010 p 176
  5. ^ http://www.westkingdom.org/ West Kingdom Website
  6. ^ http://www.westkingdom.org/
  7. ^ James, Victoria "Let's fight!" The Japan Times 4 May 2003
  8. ^ Greyhand, Sarre "The Kingdom of the West: A Territorial Heraldry Coloring Book of the First Kingdom, Circa AS XLVI" CreateSpace 2011 146634119X, 9781466341197
  9. ^ James, Victoria "Let's fight!" The Japan Times 4 May 2003