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Identity

Identity! Also known as Persona - Constanzia Moralez y de Zamora.

WHO ARE YOU?

Everyone has a name, because when you were born, your mother or father chose it for you. Current naming conventions dictate what your surname is. The SCA, however, provides you with the opportunity to build your own! if you were born prior to the C17th. This means that if you always had a fondness for the name Myrtle or Ignatius, this could be the opportunity for you to be known as that name!

SO WHO WOULD YOU BE IF YOU WERE BORN PRIOR TO THE C17TH?

That's a good question! There are bunch of elements that make up who you are now, just like there's a bunch of elements that would have built up who you would have been if you were born prior to the C17th. That's called �Persona�.

The every day things that make you who you are today are the same sorts of questions you could ask yourself to develop the persona story. Things like:

  • Where were you born?
  • What did your parents do?
  • What do you do to earn a living?
  • How do you spend your days?

You can spend as much time or as little time deciding that as you like. Some people don't get much further than deciding upon their name and device. Others find persona research a part of the pleasure of being a member of the SCA and the research uncovers all sorts of decisions from clothing to the type of shoes that they wear. It's all up to you how deeply you wish to pursue it.

NAMES IN THE SCA

Names used in the SCA do have restrictions, particularly for registration. Simply put:

  • They need to be possibly in use prior to C17th
  • They can't be of any important historic or literature figure during period, or currently. (EG Malcolm Fraser is a perfectly period name but you wouldn't be able to use that name because Malcolm Fraser was a previous Prime Minister of Australia)
  • To be registered with the College of Heralds, they need to be unique.

Tricky? Don't worry; we have people here to help! They're called Heralds.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Different time periods/locations/cultures all have different naming convention so this can take a bit of research. The SCA covers such a broad time period and locations, which means that the options are almost endless! So, it's a lot easier if you narrow down your search.

Possible areas to inspire your decision could be:

  • Style of clothing or armour worn by various cultures and time periods
  • Activities or crafts popular in a particular time/location/cultures
  • Personal lineage and family heritage
  • Historical interests

Take a little time to think this through. As soon as you are able to narrow down a time period and location, it will make choosing much simpler! It's now time to visit the Academy of St Gabriel

This will have everything that you need to know including lists of popular names in various different locations and times used during the SCA period. There are also articles on naming conventions too. Why would you go anywhere else! If you're still stuck, it's time to call in a friend!

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY

You've probably got a few first names, surnames or combinations to play with. There are a few tests to help you narrow it down.

  • Chat to the local herald and check that you're heading in the right direction.
  • Ask if there are any other local SCAdians known as Ignatius or Myrtle to avoid confusion. (Do you really want to be known as Myrtle the newbie? Or the other Ignatius!?)
  • Write out the various name combinations and put them on your fridge or on the inside of the loo door. This gives you a chance to consider which you like the best or the least on a semi regular basis. At the end of week one (or earlier) drop the one you like the least until you are left with the final option.
  • Ask a friend to see if they can pronounce the name or get a second opinion.

When you think you've got the one let everyone know about it. We will try, as much as possible, to learn your SCA name and use it. It takes while for everyone (including you) to learn your new name but with a little effort we'll all get there together.