Authenticity is a term derived from authentic meaning genuine. The term has come to refer to objects or practises that are historically accurate.
Authenticity is a goal sought by some recreationists, the majority of re-enactors and is the stated purpose of living historians and is actively despised, feared and criticised by others. The way it was actually done "back then". People who try to pursue this goal are often referred to as "Authenticity Mavins" or "Authenticity Nazis", or "Authenticity Police", or some other such insulting terms by members of groups who's goals aren't primarily concerned with this state.
In the SCA (as stated in Corpora), you must make an attempt at pre-16th century garb, although it's always nice to see people making an effort beyond this. There are several ways the SCA encourage authenticity, although the attitudes of some members (which are given the labels above) unfortunately can give the rest of the group a bad name.
How is authenticity encouraged in the SCA?
- College of Heralds - Full documentation is required to register your SCA name and device.
- Arts & Sciences - Authenticity is a criteria when judging A&S competitions. Normally documentation is required.
- Fighters - Well, although duct tape may still be used as strap substitutes, bike helmets are no longer permitted as legal armour, and most people wear a tabard over their pickle barrel armour bits.
- Dancing - Most SCA dance practices mostly teach period dances these days.
- Camping - More and more period pavilions are being seen at camping events.
- Feasts - Most feastocrats serve period food at events, and avoid using new world foods. (Yes, it's true: not all SCA food has to involve sultanas or cloves, and period food can taste good. Mmm.. what's better than a side of marinated roast lamb?!)