University student group celebrates medieval times

For some, the University is not a university at all.

Rather, it’s the Baronial College of Tor Aerie. And Minneapolis and St. Paul are no longer the Twin Cities, but part of the Barony of Nordskogen.

Such terms are common to members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, an organization that meets weekly at the University and around the world.

Founded in 1966, the society is an international organization dedicated to the research and recreation of medieval Europe. Members learn about and participate in medieval activities that vary from dressmaking to jousting.

“Being part of (the society) is an interesting break from modern life,” said Amanda Aanerud, a member of the society’s University chapter.

She said the society allows people to escape the constant high-tech atmosphere that surrounds life in the modern United States.

The group has thousands of members worldwide, including South Africa and Japan. Members have backgrounds that vary from housewives, to computer engineers, to University students.

“I joined because I wanted to meet people with my own interests,” group member John Tiller said.

Not just a hobby, but an education

Members of the society said they believe that remembering the Middle Ages is a meaningful endeavor. Not only do they learn how to make their own medieval garb, but they also practice medieval social skills.

Group member Margaret Broz said she thinks today’s culture is lacking several basic skills. Broz said chivalry is one of the most important ideas from the past those in the present should learn.

“Here at (the Society for Creative Anachronism) we greet each other even if we don’t know each other,” Broz said.

The group not only gives people a chance to socialize with others who share a similar interest in medieval times, but also helps students with their University studies.

Group members extensively research medieval topics that interest them. Some said these skills help them with class research papers and bring history to life.

Students and nonstudents alike are invited to attend the meetings and take part in the group’s rituals.

Freelance editor Steven Snyder welcomes comments at [email protected]