SCA news sites

Pennsic Newcomer Guides Updated for Pennsic 46

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-06-28 17:22

Are you a Pennsic “virgin” wondering what you are getting yourself into and how to prepare?

Wonder no more! Our series on Pennsic has been updated for Pennsic 46! Click the links below to access each article.

Enjoy, and have fun at Pennsic!

Photo Credit: Lord Darter the Chronicler

Categories: SCA news sites

Æthelmearc Family Party at Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-06-26 16:51

The children preparing to chase the toy box. Photo by Lady Mary Christina Lowe, aka Jinx.

Duchess Ilish O’Donovan and Dame Hrefna Ulfvarinnsdottir send fond greetings!

Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle, have once again charged us to create a wonderful party for the kingdom’s families and children, which is scheduled on Sunday, August 6 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in AE Royal. It is Their Majesties wish to have games, face painting, crafts, prizes, treats, and snacks for all who attend. 

As organizers, we are reaching out to you for support to help make the Æthelmearc Family/Children’s Party a wonderful and great time for all!

With that, we are looking for donations toward the party to help support and defray the cost so all who attend may enjoy themselves. We are planning for 75 children. Below are some of the items we are currently looking for and hope some of you will be willing to donate:

  • Prizes for the games (ideas are necklaces, containers of bubbles, little things you might get at a carnival game or fair) – The Dollar Tree is a good brick and mortar source for inexpensive items. Oriental Trading Company is a good online source.
  • Donations of snacks (gummy treats, cookies, pretzels, chips, etc….)
  • Setting up a game or craft sponsored by you or your group.
  • Items for a prize table – suggestions include books, notebooks, small toys, small stuffed animals, period games, etc.
  • Volunteers to help run games, crafts, and entertainment for the children and their families.

These are just a few ways that you and your group can help. If you have any questions or are willing to donate or volunteer to help make this year’s Family party a huge success, please contact us. We thank you, and I know Their Majesties thank you as well.

More information and updates are available on Facebook.

For Æthelmearc!

Duchess Ilish and Dame Hrefna

Duchess Ilish:
Dame Hrefna:

Categories: SCA news sites

Eastern Results From the April 2017 LoAR

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2017-06-22 21:58

The Society College of Arms runs on monthly cycles and letters. Each month, the College processes name and armory submissions from all of the Kingdoms. Final decisions on submissions are made at the monthly meetings of the Pelican Queen of Arms (names) and the Wreath Queen of Arms (armory). Pelican and Wreath then write up their decisions in a Letter of Acceptances and Return (LoAR). After review and proofreading, LoARs generally are released two months after the meeting where the decisions are made.

An “acceptance” indicates that the item(s) listed are now registered with the Society. A “return” indicates that the item is returned to the submitter for additional work. Most items are registered without comments. Sometimes, the LoAR will address specific issues about the name or armory or will praise the submitter/herald on putting together a very nice historically accurate item.

The following results are from the April 2017 Wreath and Pelican meetings. The submissions in this letter are from Herald’s Point at Pennsic 2016.

EAST acceptances

Áine Dhána. Name and device. Per chevron sable and vert, three triskelions of spirals counterchanged argent and Or.

Submitted as Áine Dhánae, we have corrected the byname to Dhána_ to make the orthography internally consistent for post-1200 Gaelic.

There is a step from period practice for the use of a triskelion of spirals.

Alaxandair Mórda mac Matha. Name and device. Sable, an escutcheon within an orle Or.

Alton Hewes. Badge. Per chevron throughout sable and azure, in base an annulet Or surmounted by a sword proper.

Artist’s note: Please draw the annulet more centered on the sable portion of the field.

Anne Forneau. Name.

Ato no Sumime. Name.

Brian of Stonemarche. Name and device. Argent, a chevron inverted sable between a chabot gules and two chabots azure.

Stonemarche is the registered name of an SCA branch.

The submitter requested authenticity for “English.” Although Stonemarche is an SCA branch name, it can also be constructed as an English place name from attested elements.

Thus, while the name is not “authentic” as the College defines that term, the construction is consistent with 13th-14th century English naming practices.

This is the defining instance of the chabot in SCA heraldry. The chabot is a fresh-water flatfish, a species of bullhead, found in period armory in the canting arms of Cabos or Cabot, c.1400 [Wapenboek Beyeren, folio 25v]. Unlike most fish in heraldry, the chabot is tergiant by default.

Brien MacShane. Name.

Nice 16th century Anglicized Irish name!

Dagobert Gerhardt von Hohensee. Name and device. Or, three seeblätter one and two, a trimount gules.

Dash of Distant Shore. Holding name and device (see PENDS for name). Per pale Or and gules, a chevron embattled and in chief two mullets of eight points counterchanged.

Submitted under the name Dash Altan.

Fernando de Rivera. Name.

Nice late 15th century Spanish name!

Janna von Guggisberg. Name change from Janna von Guggenberg.

The submitter’s prior name, Janna von Guggenberg, is released.

Joscelyn de Villeroi. Device. Per bend purpure and vert, a falcon striking within an orle of escarbuncles argent.

Artist’s note: Please draw fewer and larger escarbuncles to improve their identifiability.

Madlena Malacky. Name and device. Sable, a crescent pendant and on a point pointed argent a crescent sable, a chief wavy argent.

Madlena Malacky. Badge. Sable, a crescent pendant and on a triangle issuant from base argent a crescent sable.

This was originally blazoned as a point pointed. However, on a badge form, a point pointed would look similar to a chief triangular, with the edges of the point issuant from the lower corners. As this charge originates well away from the corners of the form, we have reblazoned it as a triangle.

Máirghréad Huntley. Name and device. Vert, a winged dog couchant and on a chief argent three square weaver’s tablets vert.

This name combines a Gaelic given name and an English byname, an acceptable lingual mix under Appendix C.

The submitter requested a given name that sounds like “Molly.” The given name Máirghréad does not have that sound; it is closer “Moy-red.” However, Molly is a documented English given name, dated to 1596 in the FamilySearch Historical Records.

If she prefers Molly Huntley, she may make a request for consideration.

Michiel Césaire. Name.

Nice French name for circa 1500!

Nergis bint Mustafa. Device. Per chevron purpure and vert, on a chevron argent three bunches of grapes palewise slipped and leaved proper, in base a bird migrant to chief argent.

A bird migrant to chief is a step from period practice.

Pádraig Ó Brádaig. Name and device. Argent, a bear statant and on a chief sable three shamrocks Or.

Nice 16th century Gaelic name!

Pádraig Ó Brádaig. Badge. Argent, on a saltire sable four shamrocks palewise Or.

Artist’s note: Please draw the shamrocks more centered on each arm of the saltire.

Quintus Lucius Fortunatus. Name and device. Gules, in bend two lion’s heads cabossed and a chief argent.

The submitter requested authenticity for “Roman.” Using evidence from the Epigraphic Database from the University of Heidelberg, Alisoun Metron Ariston confirmed that this name is authentic for “at least the Roman provinces (Baetica in particular) in the first century A.D.”

Rowan Auley. Name.

Nice late 16th century English name!

Suke Arslajin. Name.

Taichleach an Chomhraic mac Ualghairg. Name and device. Per chevron inverted vert and argent, a skull and a serpent nowed counterchanged.

Artist’s note: Please draw the skull so that the field doesn’t show through the eyes and nasal cavity.

Therion Sean Storie. Badge. Azure, on a saltire argent, a lemming statant sable, a bordure Or.

Artist’s note: Please draw the lemming centered on the saltire.

Tristan of Northern Outpost. Holding name and device (see RETURNS for name). Or, within a torii gate a fox’s mask gules.

There is a step from period practice for use of a torii gate.

Submitted under the name Kurama Kitsutarou Makoto.

EAST returns

Gunnvor hausakljúfr. Badge for Raina Hausakljufr. (Fieldless) Two axes in saltire gules each blade charged with a plate.

This must be returned for conflict with Uðr bloðøx: Argent, in saltire two axes embrued gules. There is one DC for the field and nothing for the gouttes. Commentary was mixed, but leaned heavily towards the tertiary charges being too small to count for difference.

When resubmitting, we recommend that the submitter draw the axe heads wider, to give more room for the plates. This will help with recognizability.

Kalos Dumas. Badge. Argent, a tree split, blasted and eradicated, in chief a sword inverted gules.

This badge must be returned for conflict with Tala al-Zahra: Argent, an olive tree fructed and eradicated and a bordure gules, with only one DC for changing the type of secondary charge.

The depiction of the tree as being split has not been registered since 1987, and we have not seen evidence of the motif in period heraldry. Upon resubmission, if the submitter wants to retain this motif, they should supply documentation for it.

Kurama Kitsutarou Makoto. Name.

Although Kurama was documented as a place in Japan that existed in period, not all period place names were used as family names in Japanese. No evidence was provided showing that this particular place name or place names like it were used as a family name prior to the 19th century. Therefore, we are forced to return this name for lack of documentation supporting Kurama as a family name.

His device is registered under the holding name Tristan of Northern Outpost.

EAST pends

Dash Altan. Name.

The submitter requested authenticity for mid-13th century Mongol. This request was not summarized on the Letter of Intent. As this issue was not addressed in commentary and we did not receive sufficient information from which to analyze authenticity, we are pending the name for additional commentary on this issue.

His device is registered under the holding name Dash of Distant Shore.

This was item 9 on the East letter of January 31, 2017.

Filed under: Announcements, Heraldry Tagged: heraldry, LoAR

Cooks Collegium: Dim Sum, Pie Crust, and Live Fire!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2017-06-22 21:20

Cooking over coals in period-style ceramic pots

Do you like to cook? Are you a new cook? An experienced one? Do you just like to help in kitchens?

Æthelmearc’s Cooks Collegium this weekend (June 24, 2017) has something for all of you!

If creating modern, workable recipes from period texts is baffling, Mistress Rowan de la Garnison will guide you through Basic Redacting.

For first-time head cooks who want to learn the whole process of planning a meal and running a kitchen — or experienced cooks who want a refresher or learn another cook’s methods — Master Jamal Damien Marcus is teaching The Feast – Kitchen management to Clean Up.

Those who want to focus on keeping their feasts and lunches on budget will want to go to  Baroness Oddkatla Jonsdottir’s class on How to Make a Period Dayboard for $2. Afterward, check out the roundtable discussion Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina is leading on Saving Feast Costs

Need to improve some cooking or baking skills? Mistress Rowan will show you how to make and roll out Pie Crust! Lady Ragna Feilan walks you through Cleaning and Cooking with Cast Iron 101. Lord Bovvi will teach you How to Clean Fish. And if you’re interested in Cheesemaking, wander outside so Master Gille MacDhnouill can show you how to make a simple soft cheese over the firepit.

Speaking of outside…Master Gille is running an Open Fire Cooking throughout the morning for anyone who wants to play with the fire and cooking equipment available. Master Mezaros Janos is making the Medieval Food Lab available all day to teach live fire skills (including maintaining a stable temperature). There are also plans to cook various dishes, starting with simple pottages, baking, and possibly some roasting.

Inside, hands-on cooking classes include Baroness Oddkatla’s Introduction to Medieval Spanish Cooking, where you’ll make macrones, figs in the French manner, and roasted almond-stuffed dates, and Mistress Mathilde des Pyrenees demonstration on making Sambocade: An Early Cheesecake.

And if you haven’t taken Baroness Sadira bint Wassouf’s always-popular incredibly delicious Dim Sum class… go, don’t question it, just go!

Are you a bread baker? Lady Ragna will lead you on A Journey into Viking Bread, while Lady Katerin Starcke will show you how to make Bread From Beer.

We didn’t forget about the brewers; Wentliana Verch Meuric and Meuric ap Gwillim will explain how Soda Pop Is Period or the Basics of Fermentation.

If you’re trying to figure out what books to add to your personal library, Mistress Alicia Langland has organized a cookbook and food resource library for you to peruse. The books will not leave the library area, but gentles are welcome to use the copier/scanner or snap photos of pages.

Mistress Alicia is also leading a roundtable discussion on Medieval Gardens for those who like to grow food as much as cook it!

By the way, both lunch and dinner are included in your event registration and all of the food cooked in the morning’s classes will be served for lunch. Yes, everything cooked in the afternoon classes will be served for dinner. Don’t worry — there will be a break to eat, so you won’t miss any classes.

See Facebook event group here for the latest updates.

See official announcement here.

(By Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina (Chris Adler-France))

Categories: SCA news sites

Compte Bancaire de Tir Mara pour les Soumissions Héraldiques

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2017-06-22 19:45

À la population de l’Est, moi, Malcom Brigantia, Héraut Principal, envoie mes salutations.

Il est de mon plus grand plaisir d’annoncer que le Collège des Hérauts peut maintenant recevoir les paiements pour les soumissions héraldiques venant de Tir Mara à partir de comptes chèques canadiens !
Ce projet est l’aboutissement de trois ans d’efforts; je souhaiterais remercier pour leur travail acharné les hérauts de Tir Mara, le Royaume, les échiquiers  régionnaux et du Royaume, ainsi que mon prédécesseur pour que ce projet voie enfin le jour.
À cause des différences entre les devises, les soumissions payées en fonds canadiens seront au prix de 10$ CAD par item, alors que ceux en fonds US resteront au prix de 9$ USD par item.
Cette nouvelle structure de prix prendra effet à partir du 1er juillet.
Veuillez diriger vos questions à moi-même, ou au député héraut de soumissions de Tir Mara, Jeanne Blue Alaunt.
En Service,



Filed under: Uncategorized

New Kingdom Equestrian Champions Chosen

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2017-06-22 16:03

photo by Jennifer Jenkins Benke

Sunny skies, balmy weather and a huge arena made for a wonderful day for the Æthelmearc Kingdom Equestrian Championships, held at Melee Madness in Endless Hills on June 3.

Lady Gesa von Wellenstein on Freya. Photo by Jinx.

Outgoing King’s Champion and Kingdom Equestrian Officer, THL Aaliz de Gant, ran a fierce competition for the riders, including the new Ride Before a Prince portion.

To Ride Before a Prince, which debuted as a War Point at Gulf Wars this year, incorporates historic research into period riding techniques to put together a performance to show off both rider and horse to the best of their abilities. The name comes from Grisone and Markham, two of the late 16th century riding masters, who included in their riding manuals instructions on how to perform before a prince. Modern day dressage stems from this art form, which began to supersede jousts and melees during the 1500s.

The driving force behind this new activity was THL Bridget Rede of Dunvegan, who was just given a writ of summons for a Laurel in Ansteorra for her historic equestrian research. Just as the fencing community is delving more into historic research and combat manuals, the equestrian community is starting to move beyond the normal “games” seen at most horse events.

THL Maeve ni Siurtain on Lexi, and AE Head Groundsman THL Rhiannon Elandris of Glyndyfrdwy. Photo by Jinx.

We had many new riders this year from Endless Hills thanks to outreach by Master TTigernach mac Cathail and Lady Rhiannon le Meke from Endless Hills – the local group fielded six feisty Paso Fino horses, including the stallion ridden by Master Tigernach.

The first part of the competition was the Ride Before a Prince. The rides were performed to period music. and emphasis was placed on pageantry and the comportment and unity of horse and rider.

The second half of the competition was a traditional games course with reeds, Saracen heads, quintain, a “water” hazard, and several maneuvers to show command of the horse, such as turn on the haunches and backing through an obstacle.

Scores were tallied and the new King’s and Queen’s Champions were announced in court, much to the surprise of Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin, who was named King’s Champion. Her score of 142 bested Master Tigernach in a close race with his score of 132.75, and he was named Queen’s Champion.

Mistress Tiercelin on Freya. Photo by Jinx.

“Although our son was an active rider in the modern world,” says Tiercelin, “I decided to start riding because of the chance to do equestrian within an SCA context. It has taken 8 years of practice, and I’m just now starting to feel confident on my horse. I challenged myself to a Spark goal (and His Majesty Timothy, that he would ride in the procession if I met it) of cantering this year in the Championships, and we did it – it was a truly wonderful feeling! Plus, who can say no to getting to make cool barding!”

The Champions serve the Kingdom through two reigns due to weather constraints in our Kingdom. Everyone is looking forward to next year!


Categories: SCA news sites

Pennsic Fighters: Check Your Authorization Expiration Date Today

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2017-06-22 10:06

Unto the Armored and Rapier fighters of the East, the Kingdom Minister of the Lists sends greetings.

If you plan on fighting at Pennsic, please check your authorization card right now an make sure that your authorization doesn’t expire before the end of Pennsic. It’s easy to forget the paperwork in the midst of drilling and training. The cutoff date for mailing your authorization renewal to the East Kingdom Ministry of Lists in order to get your new card in time for Pennsic is Friday, July 7th. Authorization forms postmarked after that date will not get processed in time for you to have a new card by Pennsic. I will be collecting authorization forms directly from Great Northeastern War, so forms filled out at that event will also make the deadline, but please, if you don’t have to, don’t wait until that last minute.

Make it easier on the Marshals and MoL’s who volunteer at Pennsic as well as yourself. Get your authorization renewal forms filled out and mailed in ASAP.

Mail forms to:
PO Box 1168
Westbrook, ME 04098

Download the appropriate forms below:
Armored Combat New/Renewal Authorization
Armored Combat Additional Weapons Form
Rapier Combat New/Renewal Authorization
Rapier Combat Additional Weapons Form

Filed under: Announcements, Heavy List, Pennsic, Rapier

Teen/Tween Party at Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-06-21 08:29

Duchess Ilish O’Donovan and Dame Hrefna Ulfvarinnsdottir send fond greetings!

We are excited to announce that the Kingdom of AEthelmearc will be hosting the 2nd Annual Tween/Teen party at Pennsic on Saturday, August 5th, 2017 from 6-9pm in Æthelmearc Royal.

The evening will feature a roaring fire, a variety of games, a gourmet s’mores bar, and light refreshments. This party is intended for those 10 and up so brings your friends and family for an evening of s’more fun!

****Gourmet S’mores Menu****

The Nutty Buddy
Graham Cracker /Peanut Butter Cup / Marshmallow

The Right Stuff
Oreo Cookies take the place of graham crackers /Milk Chocolate / Marshmallow

The Fudge Stripe
Fudge Stripe Cookies take the place of Graham Crackers / Milk Chocolate / Marshmallow

The Classic
Graham Cracker / Milk Chocolate / Marshmallow

If you can donate any of the ingredients for our Gourmet S’mores Bar or any other light refreshments such as chips, fruit, or other fun teen foods, let us know. If you would to volunteer to help serve the kids during the party, please contact us. Duchess Ilish can be reached at at and Dame Hrefna can be reached at

Updates and more information is available on Facebook.

Categories: SCA news sites

Recommendation Deadline

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-06-20 19:40

Their Highnesses Ivan and Matilde will be accepting award recommendations for their 1st polling through July 4th.

Recommendations can be submitted here.

Their Highnesses thank you all in advance for your hard work in noting and commending the good works of the people of the East.

En français Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Leurs Altesses Ivan et Matilde accepteront les recommendations pour les différentes reconnaissances jusqu’au 4 juillet, pour leur 1er vote.

Les recommendations peuvent être soumises ici.

Leurs Altesses vous remercient d’avance de votre travail acharné a noter et saluer les excellents travaux des gens du Royaume de l’Est.

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: award recommendations

A Blending of the Past and Present – This Month’s Florilegium Article

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-06-19 21:48

Over the past twenty-seven years in an ongoing effort, I have been collecting bits of useful information from various newsgroups, mail lists, facebook groups, and articles whose authors have given me permission to publish. In order to make this information available to others, I have placed this information in a collection of files called Stefan’s Florilegium.

The Florilegium is on the web at:

I am always interested in new articles. If you have written an article that would be of interest to others in the SCA, please send it to me for possible inclusion in the Florilegium. A&S documentation and class handouts will also often work well. I am especially interested in research papers submitted as A&S entries.

If you see someone’s A&S documentation or perhaps an article in a local newsletter that you think deserves a wider audience, please let me know. I won’t publish anything without the author’s permission, but many authors are too reserved to send me their articles on their own.

THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at

Here are the new files for this month:

In the COMMERCE section:
Charcoal-Ashs-art “Of Charcoal and Ashes” by Unnr in elska á Fjárfella.

In the CRAFTS section:
feathers-msg (8K)  4/19/17  Use of feathers in the Middle Ages and today.

In the FEASTS section:
Pik-Fst-Menus-art  (8K)  4/29/17  “On Rules for Feast Menus or Why No One Ever Says ‘Let Them Eat Tripe'” by Ld. Daniel Raoul Le Vascon du Navarre’.

In the FOOD-DAIRY section:
N-Whey-Y-Whey-art (22K)  4/15/17  “No Whey! Yes Whey! – Lacto-Fermentation as a Method of Preservation” by Baroness Ailleagan nas Seolta, OL, OP.

In the FOOD-MEATS section:
caul-fat-msg   (5K)  3/22/17  Medieval use of caul fat. What it is.

Salmon-n-Beer-art  (4K)  4/9/17  “Salmon Poached in Beer” by Mistress Leoba of Lecelade.

In the FOOD-VEGETABLES section:
Pkld-Mushroms-art  (5K)  4/22/17  “Pickled Mushrooms” by Mistress Leoba of Lecelade.

In the SCA-CAMPING section:
Handy-Knots-art  (39K)  4/1/17  “Handy Knots for Reenactors” by Master William de Wyke.

In the TEXTILE ARTS section:
Tub-Card-Weav-art (12K)  3/29/17  “Tubular Card/Tablet Weaving: Making Period Cord” by Lady Elena Hylton.

In the TRAVEL section:
Shipbrd-Meal-art  (95K)  4/ 4/17  “A Meal Onboard Ship in the 16th Century” by The Honorable Tomas de Coucy.

Updated files:
parchment-msg      Making and buying parchment. substitutes.
root-veg-msg      Medieval and period root vegetables.
taro-msg          Use of the taro plant in period.


Copyright 2017, Mark S. Harris. Permission to reprint in SCA-related publications is hereby granted if the file descriptions are left unchanged. Removing any of the updated files listed in order to fit the article into limited publication space is allowed.  The article introduction may also be edited, provided the web address and contact info are retained.

Categories: SCA news sites

Tir Mara Bank Account for Heraldic Submissions

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-06-19 17:56

Unto the populace of the East does Malcolm Brigantia, Principal Herald, send greetings.

I am deeply pleased to announce that the College of Heralds can now receive submission payments from Tir Mara drawn on Canadian chequing accounts!

This project has been three years in the making, and I would like to thank the hard work of the Tir Maran heralds, the Kingdom, the regional and Kingdom exchequers, and my predecessor in making this finally happen.

Due to the difference in currencies, submissions paid in Canadian funds will be charged $10 CAN per item, while those in US fund will remain $9 per submission.

This new fee structure shall go into effect as of July 1.

Please direct any questions to myself, or the Tir Mara submissions deputy, Jeanne Blue Alaunt.


French Translation:

Filed under: Uncategorized

Arts & Sciences Research Paper #19: Tequila: Is it a Period Beverage? A Brief History of Agave Based Fermented and Distilled Beverages and the Origins of Distillation in West-Central Mexico

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-06-19 11:31

Our nineteenth A&S Research Paper comes to us from Lord John Kelton of Greyhorn, Guildmaster of the Honourable Company of Fermenters of the Barony of Concordia of the Snows. He considers the fascinating question of distilled spirits within our historical period – specifically the possibility of such spirits in SCA-period Mexico. (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

Tequila: Is it a Period Beverage? A Brief History of Agave Based Fermented and Distilled Beverages and the Origins of Distillation in West-Central Mexico

Mayahuel, the Aztec goddess of the maguey. From the Rios Codex via Wikimedia Commons.

Table of Contents
The Players
Beverages from the Maguey
When was distillation introduced to Mexico and the Americas?
Distillation prior to European contact


Tequila. There is no other drink that conjures up the mystique and history of Mexico as well as this legendary elixir of the gods. A drink, which comes from a plant, the agave. A plant which has its own goddess and pantheon of drinking gods. Over the past 400 years, tequila has become a symbol of Mexican nationality, pride and culture (Chadwick). However, as Shakespeare would say, aye, there’s the rub – it’s modern. As members of the SCA, we’re not really interested in modern, are we? The question for us then is, could it be period?

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a “practical history society, recreating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe” ( Over the years I have heard arguments for more specific dates such as 400/450/600 CE – 1600/1650 CE. Further, although the Society’s definition of period refers to Europe, it is common and accepted for members to have personae which are not of European origin. I would have liked to limit this discussion by not considering awareness or accessibility of the product in Europe but it turns out that that is impossible. Spaniards, Mexicans and even Filipinos are intricately bound together in the origins of this beverage (Colunga-GarcíaMarín 1654; Zizumbo-Villarreal 289)

To properly answer the question posed above we need to know when tequila was first produced and who would have been drinking it. Let’s explore then the origins of this beverage. To do this, we need to understand the plant, its related beverages and the peoples involved.

[Back to top]

The Players

The Aztec empire existed from 1345 CE to 1521 CE when it was conquered by the conquistadores. At its greatest extent, it covered most of northern Mesoamerica (modern Mexico). The empire’s date of origin is somewhat flexible depending on one’s definition of empire. It is often dated from 1428 AD with the triple alliance between the cities of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan. Nahuatl was the language of the empire and modern versions are still spoken in Mexico. (“Aztec Empire” 2016)

Hernán Cortés, marqués del Valle de Oaxaca (1485-1547) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador. In February 1519, Cortés arrived in Mexico with about 500 soldiers and 100 sailors. By 1524 he had conquered the Aztec empire. He was appointed governor of New Spain by King Charles I of Spain the following year (Bandelier; James).

Surprisingly, Filipinos were also involved. They came to Central America with the Spanish and works as laborers on the palm plantations (Colunga-GarcíaMarín 1654-1655).

[Back to top]


The maguey plant, Agave atrovirens. Photo by the Rodale Institute.

As mentioned, tequila and its close relative mescal are derived from the agave (Chadwick). The agave also known as the maguey is a member of the botanical family Agavaceae which includes over 400 species; it resembles a cactus but is related to the families Amaryllidaceae and Liliceae which includes the amaryllis and lily. The agave is a perennial, native to the hot and arid regions of Mexico, South America and the southern United States. Agaves have thick, succulent, often thorn-edged leaves clustered close to the ground and surrounding a single stout base. The plant can range in size from a few inches to over 12 ft. tall and wide. The Blue agave (A. tequilana Weber var. azul), is the variety specifically used for tequila (Chadwick; Colunga-GarcíaMarín 1653-1654, 1656; Maestri).

Blue agave plant. Photo courtesy of

There is extensive archaeological evidence dating back over 12,000 years that foraging groups made extensive use of the maguey for food and fiber. It has also been used for making string and cordage (for nets, hammocks, and rugs), shoes, textiles, paper (for codices), thatching, food, fuel, soap, bandages and snakebite cures (Maestri 1; Zizumbo-Villarreal 289).

Before corn [(maize) (Zea mays subsp. mays)] became a staple crop, agave was the main source of carbohydrates for the indigenous peoples of western Mexico and the southeast United States. Agave was prepared by cooking the stems and floral peduncles (quiotes) in stone lined pit ovens. This is critically important, to the subject of tequila, as baking the agave body (piña or pineapple) is a necessary step in the manufacture of tequila. We do know that pit ovens used for food preparation are identical to those used for producing mescal (Colunga-GarcíaMarín 1654; Zizumbo-Villarreal1 289).

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Beverages from the Maguey

Two culturally significant alcoholic beverages are produced from the maguey: pulque and mescal.

Pulque, was characteristic of central Mexico. The Spanish described the Otomi Indians (thought by some to have discovered the process of making pulque) as a tribe of half -naked barbarians who went about in an intoxicated state brought on by drinking the liquor made from the maguey. Cortes described pulque in his first letter to King Carlos V: “They sell honey emanated from corn that are as sweet as the sugar obtained from a plant they call maguey and from these plants they make wine and sugar which they sell” (Kolendo).

Pulque is the fermented, but not distilled sap (aquamiel, “honey water”) of the maguey plant. It is a milky white, somewhat thick, slightly foamy beverage with a sour yeasty flavor of 4-8% alcohol by volume (ABV). Pulque played a significant and complex role in the religious practices of Mesoamerican cultures. There is extensive archaeological, pictorial and written evidence that pulque was known to the Maya and central to their religious beliefs long before their empire rose to power. (“Aztec Empire” 2016; Correa-Ascencio; Lappe-Oliveras).

The original name for pulque was iztāc octli, white pulque. The term pulque was probably mistakenly derived by the Spanish from octli poliuhqu(i), which meant “spoiled pulque”. This term may have originated because of pulque’s rapid rate of spoilage. There is debate over the terms linguistic origin. It may derive from the Náhuatl or Mexica languages (“Pulque” 2016, 2013).

An illustration from Codex Mendoza depicting elderly Aztecs smoking and drinking pulque. By en:User:Billycuts [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the past, Pulque was reserved for the priesthood and religious ceremonies. Over time, it spread to the general population. It became the dominant fermented drink of Mexico until displaced by beer in the 20th century. Pulque also provided an important and inexpensive source of carbohydrates, amino acids, and vitamins (Chadwick).

The fermented liquid extracted by roasting the plant’s body (piña or pineapple) was characteristic of western Mexico. Once distilled this beverage becomes mescal. However, it may have also been known as mescal prior to distillation. Indeed, mescal can also refer to the plant and to food made from roasting the plant. The etymology of mescal is from the Nahuatl metl plus ixcalli for cooked-agave and so is not a beverage specific term. We do know that a fermented beverage made from the liquid extracted from the cooked plant was in use by the time of the Spanish conquest, but it is not clear if this beverage always had a separate name. Beginning with our (SCA) period the pre-distillation fermented liquid has been known as mescal-crudo and Tubo. (Tubo was a term also used by the Filipinos for coconut spirits). Other than originating from the same plant, mescal and pulque are not related; as noted above, mescal comes from the roasted plant, while pulque is made from the maguey’s sap (Maestri; Valenzuela-Zapata1).

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To brew pulque, the nascent flower stalk is scooped out of the ripe piña before it begins to grow. This procedure is known by the unfortunate term “castration.” Castration creates a reservoir in which the sweet liquid sap (aguamiel) collects. The aguamiel is harvested by hand using a long necked gourd (an acocote) and placed in large wooden barrels. Natural fermentation turns it into alcoholic pulque in just a few days. A maguey may produce 5-8 liters of sap per day for about 3-4 months (Lotter; Maestri).

Aquamiel collecting in the cavity where the plant was castrated. Photo by Rodale Institute.

Pulque does not have a long shelf life. This is commented on in this wonderful quotation from a Spanish traveler in 1552. “There are no dead dogs, nor a bomb, that can clear a path as well as the smell of…. (putrified pulq)” (Carey; Lotter). We can presume from this that the Spanish were certainly familiar with pulque.

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When I started this project, I was under the mistaken assumption that pulque is distilled to produce Tequila and Mescal. Mescal, also mezcal, is quite likely the first distilled spirit of the Americas. The word derives from the Nahuatl mexcalli ‎(cooked maguey; mezcal) from metl ‎(“maguey”) + a derivation of ixca ‎meaning “to cook, bake, roast” (Chadwick, Colunga-GarcíaMarín). Mezcal is if you will a Spanish-Aztec fusion drink; a mestizo, from the Spanish for mixed, implying that it is a combination of European, Filipino and indigenous traditions; distillation from Europe and the Philippines and maguey from the Aztec (Pint).

Mescal can be made from several maguey varieties, whereas tequila is specifically from the Agave tequilana [blue agave (agave azul)]. The cultivars used for pulque are different from those used for either mescal or tequila. Those used to produce pulque, agave pulquero and Agave salmiana (Yetman) are enormous with leaves large enough to cradle an adult (Lotter; Valenzuela-Zapata1).

In mezcal and tequila production, the sugary liquid is extracted from the piñas (or hearts) by roasting and then crushing them. This gives rise to a different liquid base than that used for pulque. Thus if one were to distill pulque, it would not be a form of mezcal, but rather a different drink. I have not come across any references to distilled pulque (Chadwick).

Stone baking pit with trimmed piñas. Photo by Ian Chadwick.

Today name Mescal, like the name Tequila is a protected denominación de orígen. Its production methods, much like Cognac or champagne must meet certain legal requirements. Naturally, this protection and current nomenclature is a modern invention dating to the 19th century (Huhn; “Norma” 2016).

To produce mezcal, the sugar-rich heart of the agave, the piña, is placed in a rock-lined pit oven, covered with layers of moist agave-fiber mats and earth and then steam-baked over charcoal for several days. The charcoal is from a wood fire used to heat the pit and helps gives mezcal its distinctive smoky flavor. Baking the agave in a pit oven is one of the primary differences between tequila and mescal. The baking process caramelizes sugars in the plant which contributes to the flavor (Chadwick, Huhn).

Piñas baking under a large mat. Photo by David Driscoll.

The cooked plants are then cut into pieces and milled into a fibrous pulp (bagazo) with a traditional stone mill (tahona, molino egipcio or molino chileno). The mill may be powered by draft animals, or a machine. In some regions, the baked agave are pounded with wooden mallets rather than processed in a mill. Some feel this produces a better flavor (Huhn).

The pulp along with sufficient water is mashed in open air tanks to allow for natural yeast and bacteria to begin the fermentation process (Lappe-Oliveras). The bagazo is sometimes allowed to dry ferment for several days before water is added. According to regional tradition, the vats may be dugout logs, stone pits or wooden vats. Another traditional method was to ferment in cowhide. The end product, musto, is about 5% alcohol. This fermented beverage is also referred to as tubo, a Filipino term referring to distilled coconut spirits. Interestingly, this is an historic anachronism which hints at the origins of distillation in Mexico. I’ll discuss this further in the section on the history of distillation in Mexico below (Huhn; “Mezcal” 2016, Pint).

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The term tequila derives from the town of Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico, famous for producing this style of mescal. The word itself derives from Nahuatl Tequillan, Tecuila meaning place of tribute (James). Tequila is a type of mescal, but mescal is not tequila. The term is a protected Appellation of Origin in accordance with the Norma Oficial Mexicana and the Tequila Regulatory Council (“Norma” 2016).

As with the relationship of cognac to brandy or champagne to sparkling wine, the term is region, species and technique specific. Tequila is a modern term first used in 1875. Previously, tequila was simply vino-mescal de tequila (Chadwick; Colunga-GarcíaMarín).

Agave processing for tequila is similar to mescal production. There are however some differences. The agave are split then baked in above ground ovens rather than left whole and cooked in stone pits under wet fiber mats and charcoal. Modern ovens use pressurized steam. Before the late 19th century this process was similar to the pit cooking used for mescal; deforestation from the increasing demand for tequila led to the innovation of above ground gas and coal fired heating. A low heat is used to prevent caramelization of the sugars (Chadwick; James). Traditional ovens (horno) are stone or brick-lined. Modern ovens are stainless steel autoclaves. Cooking the agave is a required step for both tequila and mescal. The heat transforms the agave’s natural carbohydrates and starches into fermentable sugars. This is analogous to mashing barley grains in order to brew beer.

As with mescal, initial fermentation takes place in open air vats exposing the musto to natural yeasts and the bacteria Zymomonas mobilis which lives on the skin of the agave plants (Correa-Ascencio; Lappe-Oliveras). Zymomonas species are perhaps the most important alcoholic fermenters of the bacterial world. They are found in sugar rich plant saps and juices, and are integral to the fermentation of agave (Correa-Ascencio; Lappe-Oliveras).

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When was distillation introduced to Mexico and the Americas?

Tequila is a distilled beverage. To answer our question we need to know when distillation began in this area. There is no archaeological or written evidence of distillation in West Central Mexico or the Americas prior to European contact in the 16th Century. Mexican wines made from maguey (not pulque), hog-plum, maize, and cactus pears are documented by the Spanish by 1580 (Zizumbo-Villareal2 414).

The prevailing thought is that distillation was introduced by Filipino sailors and workers who arrived in West Central Mexico with the Spanish via the “Manila Galleon” trade (1565–1815). Other researchers suggest agave distillation began in the 17th century through adaptation of the sugarcane rum model using the Arab style still introduced by the Spanish. Finally, there is a hypothesis for pre-Spanish distillation of agave (Colunga-GarcíaMarín 1654-1655; Valenzuela-Zapata2; Zizumbo-Villareal3 494, 499).

Filipinos were brought in by the Spaniards around 1570 and were primarily occupied with coconut cultivation and production of vino de cocos. This term is somewhat vague and may refer to a fermented coconut wine. However, in addition to the quote above, there is a 1612 reference to vino de cocos which states “ it is incorrect to call it vino de cocos because in reality it is spirits … and to obtain it requires skill, a still and lots of work.” Another source from 1612 notes that large quantities of coconut spirits (232,000 liters annually by 1612) had been made for the past twelve years, whereas before that, very little was made (Colunga-GarcíaMarín 1654-1655, 1665; Zizumbo-Villareal3 499-500).

A clay pot still. Photo by Alvin Starkman.

The stills used today to produce mescal remain similar to the stills used in Mexico and the Philippines by 16th and 17th century Filipinos to produce coconut spirits. Historically the stills were made from hollow tree trunks or pottery and were quite primitive in construction (Bourke). Today of course some producers use more modern stainless steel stills or copper alembics. The type used will affect the final flavor (Pint; Valenzuela-Zapata2, Zizumbo-Villarreal3).

Initially distillation was limited to coconut spirits. This is understandable given that this is what was familiar to the Filipinos. Coconuts were introduced to western Mexico in 1569 although it may also have been brought in as early as 1539. The first documentation for a producing coconut plantation occurs in 1577. In that year Francisco Hernández records that there are two types of palm, one for fruit and one good for spirits (Zizumbo-Villareal3 499-500). Coconut cultivation expanded rapidly which necessitated the incorporation of native Mexican workers (Zizumbo-Villareal3 500).

The Filipino still technology was more easily adapted to local resources than the more elaborate and difficult to reproduce Spanish style alembic (of Arabic origin, also introduced by the Spanish). The Filipino still was also more easily disassembled which in turn kept mescal alive during the following centuries despite the prohibitions, fines and persecution enacted by the authorities. The Spanish did not want the domestic product competing with imported wines. This type of still continues to be used for mescal production (Bourke; Colunga-GarcíaMarín 1664-1665; Zizumbo-Villareal3 500-501).

Because of competition with imported Spanish spirits, prohibitions and restrictions on the sale of coconut spirits were enacted as early as 1603. In 1612 coconut, plantations in Colima were ordered destroyed for the same reasons. This could be taken as a hint as to how productive this industry had become. Interestingly there is speculation that the combination of legal restrictions and prohibitions of coconut spirits combined with increased demand in growing mining areas may have promoted production of agave spirits, i.e. mescal, through adaptation of the Filipino coconut distillation technique (Colunga-GarcíaMarín 1660; Zizumbo-Villareal3 501, 506-507).

Although the first written documentation of mescal appears in 1619, there is ethnohistoric and archaeological evidence that both coconut and agave spirits may have developed simultaneously near Ixtalhuacán, Comala, and Nahualapa Mexico around 1580-1600 (Zizumbo-Villareal3 498-499, 501-502).

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Distillation prior to European contact

At this time distillation in western Mesoamerica prior to European contact remains conjectural and controversial. There is extensive documentation of various fermented beverages in Pre-contact codices. There is no evidence however for distillation. The hypothesis is based on the physical similarity of early Chinese stills to early Capacha era bean pots and steamers (c1500-1000 BCE) from Colima (western Mexico). It does not appear that researchers are proposing cross cultural technology transfer in that period. Rather, they are noting the similarity of the Colima vessels to the Chinese still. This could simply be a case of similar needs resulting in independent development of similar technologies. They do suggest that the native Chinese bean pot/steamer vessel which were characteristic cooking vessels during the Shang and Zhou periods (1600-221 BCE) was the probable origin for the Chinese still as well (Zizumbo-Villareal2 414-415).

(A) Trifid vessel and miniature pot from the Capacha cultural phase (1500–1000 BCE) of Colima, Mexico that could be used as a recipient, on display in the Regional Museum of Guadalajara. (B) Gourd-shape vessel from El Pantano culture (1000–800 BCE) of Jalisco, that could be used as a steamer, on display in the Archaeological Museum of Mascota. Photos by the respective museums.

Distilling requires a means for separating ethanol from water by exploiting ethanol ’ s lower boiling point (78.4°C vs. water’s 100°C). Thus setting a small catch basin on the grating of a Chinese steamer or in the center of the upper portion of a Capacha vessel with a bowl of cold water over the mouth of the vessel above it would mimics the arrangement of a Chinese still. The alcohol containing steam from the heated low alcohol liquid rises condenses on the undersurface of the cool water filled bowl and drips into the catch bowl below. Alcohol having a lower boiling point than water, this process will produce a higher alcohol distillate. Interestingly, researchers in Mexico were able to distill agave spirits with an ABV of 12-32% using reproduction bean pots and steamer pots. Although plausible, the reality of Pre-contact distillation remains an intriguing but unproven hypothesis (Zizumbo-Villareal3 419-422).

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So then, what are we to say our faithful Scadian who wishes to remain in period? He may certainly enjoy a frothy mug of Pulque. This was a drink well known to and often commented on by the Spanish. Our faithful Spanish cleric can slake his thirst on coconut spirits as we have evidence that this was in production as early as 1577 and causing trouble for the authorities by 1603. Unfortunately, the earliest written evidence for agave distillation dates to 1619. However, there is hope. There is always hope. First, some say our period ends in 1650 in which case, mescal is comfortably late period. Others can place their hopes on the supposition that agave distillation quite plausibly occurred simultaneously with coconut distillation as early as 1577. In this case mescal falls into standard definition for SCA period. Tequila however did not arrive on the scene until the mid nineteenth century. Granted, it is a subdivision of mescal, but it cannot be considered as an SCA period beverage.

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Aztec Empire.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 21 July 2016. Web July 2016.

Bandelier, Adolph Francis. “Hernando Cortés.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. Web. 27 July 2016 from New Advent. Accessed July 2016.

Bourke, John G. Primitive Distillation Among The Tarascoes. American Anthropologist
Vol. 6, No. 1 (Jan., 1893), pp. 65-70

Carey jr, David. Alcohol in the Atlantic. Latin American History. Oxford Research Encyclopedias. April 2015. Web. July 2016

Chadwick, Ian. An introduction to the spirits of the agave. In Search of the Blue Agave. Tequila and the Heart of Mexico. Ian Chadwick. May 2011. Web. July 2016

Colunga-GarcíaMarín, Patricia; Zizumbo-Villarreal, Daniel. Tequila and other Agave spirits from west-central Mexico: current germplasm diversity, conservation and origin. Biodiversity and Conservation 2007, Volume 16, Number 6

Correa-Ascencio, Marisol. Pulque production from fermented agave sap as a dietary supplement in Prehispanic Mesoamerica. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 111 no. 39. 2014

Huhn, Axll; Dallman, Nils. Production. Mezcaleria. Web. July 2016.

James, Josh. Tequila. Trade, Culture, & Environment. TED Case Studies #629. (2001)

Kolendo, Jan. The Agave: a plant and its story, part 1. 2002. Web. July 2016.

Lappe-Oliveras, P., Moreno-Terrazas, R., Arrizón-Gaviño, J., Herrera-Suárez, T., García-Mendoza, A. and Gschaedler-Mathis, A. (2008). Yeasts associated with the production of Mexican alcoholic nondistilled and distilled Agave beverages. FEMS Yeast Research, 8: 1037–1052. doi:10.1111/j.1567-1364.2008.00430.x

Lotter, Don. Pulque: Mexico’s unique and vanishing drink. PAN-AMERICAN ADVENTURE: Tepotzotlán, Mexico. Rodale Institute.

Maestri, Nicoletta. The Domestication History of Agave Americana or Maguey. Plant of Ancient Mesoamerica. Updated June 2015

Mezcal.” Memidex. Free Online Dictionary/Thesaurus 2013 . Web. December 2016.

Norma Oficial Mexicana.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 5 November 2015. Web. July 2016.

Pint, John. Did Tequila Originate in Colima. 2016. Web. July 2016.

Pulque. Memidex. Free Online Dictionary/Thesaurus. 2013. Web. July 2016

(1) Valenzuela-Zapata, Ana G.; Nabhan, Gary Paul. (2004) Tequila: A Natural and Cultural History.  The University of Arizona Press.

(2) Valenzuela-Zapata, A. G., Buell, P. D., “Huichol” Stills: A Century of Anthropology – Technology Transfer and Innovation (2013) Crossroads, 8, 157-191.

What is the SCA.” Society for Creative Anachronism Newcomers Portal. Society for Creative Anachronism. Web. June 2016.

Yetman, David. “Pulque: A Pre-Columbian Alcoholic Beverage of Mexico.” Latin American History. June 2016. Web 25 Dec 2016

(1) Zizumbo-Villarreal, Daniel; González-Zozaya, Fernando. Archaeological Evidence of the Cultural Importance of Agave spp. in Pre-Hispanic Colima, Mexico. Economic Botany September 2009, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 288–302

(2) Zizumbo-Villarreal, Daniel; González-Zozaya, Fernando. Distillation in Western Mesoamerica before European Contact. Economic Botany December 2009, 63:413

(3) Zizumbo-Villarreal, Daniel; Colunga-GarcíaMarín, Patricia. Early coconut distillation and the origins of mezcal and tequila spirits in west-central Mexico. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (2008) 55:493-510

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Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences

Pennsic Preregistration Extended!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-06-17 16:51

Thought you waited too long? This just in….

Due to high demand, Pennsic Preregistration will stay open an extra week! Registration will now close on Saturday, June 24th 2017 at 11:59 PM EST*. Having an issue getting registered? Feel free to e-mail with any questions. Have a great day and we will see you in a few short weeks. 

*Please note: The date provided in the update conflicts with the date on the official website. The website lists the end date as Friday, June 23rd 2017 at 11:59 PM EST. Please check the official website for details and updates. A request for clarification has been sent, and we will update that info when available.

Preregistration information!

Categories: SCA news sites

New Deadline for Pennsic PreRegistration

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2017-06-17 14:29

Photography by Baroness Cateline la Broderesse

The deadline for paid pre-registration for Pennsic has been extended until 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on Fri, Jun 23, 2017. The deadline for unpaid pre-registration is 11:59 pm July 7th.

Filed under: Announcements, Pennsic

Q and A with the New East Kingdom Tyger Clerk

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2017-06-17 10:25

En français

Master Nataliia, Tyger Clerk of the Signet.
Photo by Duchess Caoilfhionn.

The Gazette had the pleasure of chatting with Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova, the new Tyger Clerk of the Signet for the East, who took over the position in February of this year.  Nataliia has been in the SCA since around 1994 and resides in the Barony of the Bridge.  Prior to discovering the Society, she studied art and competed in USFA fencing competitions.  Her love of fencing brought her to an SCA fencing practice in the Barony Beyond the Mountain.  While fencing provided an entry to the SCA, and remains one of her biggest passions, she discovered an outlet for her artistic aspirations in the scribal community. Her first scroll was produced in 2001, and she was encouraged to continue by Duchess Katherine Stanhope, the Tyger Clerk of the Signet at the time.   Her favorite artistic medium is painting, particularly with period pigments, and in the early years Nataliia was very fond of pen and ink renderings for representations of period rapier manuals.   She finds calligraphy challenging, but is never one to back down from a challenge.  


What does the Tyger Clerk of the Signet do?

The Tyger Clerk of the Signet (known as the Tyger Clerk or The Signet) is the head of the East Kingdom College of Scribes.  The Tyger Clerk of the Signet:

  1. Coordinates the production of scrolls requested by The Crown;
  2. Promotes the development of calligraphers and illuminators in the East Kingdom and warrants said scribes to perform Signet Office work, and;
  3. Maintains accurate records of scroll assignments.

Close to 150-200 scrolls go out every six months (per reign), approximately 25 – 34 each month.  In my role as Signet I manage approximately 100 scribes who do calligraphy and illumination and wordsmiths who write the words, as well as scribes who do less traditional scrolls such as stained glass, embroidered scrolls, and carved rocks, to name a few.  The artists in the East Kingdom are exemplary and have a reputation of excellence across the Known World, and I am honored to be working with them.

How do people get awards?

That is a longer story, but the short answer is that a member of the populace recommends an individual for an award.  This recommendation is sent to the royals.  Their Majesties then decide whether to give the award.  For many awards a scroll is produced to commemorate the occasion.

Gazette articles on the award process can be found here:
How the Award Process Works, by Duchess Avelina

How to Write an Award Recommendation, by Duchess Avelina

On the Scheduling of Awards, by Duke Brennan

East Kingdom Awards Overview, by Lady Tola knitýr

How is the Signet involved with that?

When the Royalty decide to give an award, they tell their Royal Scheduler, who keeps tracks of their awards. The Royal Scheduler does their best to contact those close to the recipient to schedule the Award. Once the award has been scheduled, the Royal Scheduler contacts the Signet, me, with the list of awards and dates. I then arrange for the scroll by contacting an artist who will make the scroll and deliver it to the Royalty before it needs to be given out.

What do you do once you have the list of scrolls to be done?

Each award with the date, event, award and individual’s name, and the contact information for the person who recommended the individual is emailed from the Scheduler to the Signet.

Each Signet is different in how they manage the office, however, I add the assignments to a worksheet that contains all the events for that reign  The Signet will then choose a scribe from the list of over 100 scribes in the East Kingdom. I prepare an assignment sheet that will be sent to the artist asking them to take the assignment.  The scribe accepts the assignment and starts work on the beautiful pieces of artwork that you see in court.  The scribe makes arrangements for the scroll to get to the event, Their Majesties sign the scroll prior to court and then present the scroll to the worthy individual.  I work with a lot of amazing scribes who also have wonderful management skills to help track the life of the scroll from request to arrival in the hands of a worthy recipient.

How do I join the College of Scribes?

The College of Scribes is always looking for new scribes and wordsmiths!  We love creative people.  No experience is necessary, and all levels of artistic ability are welcome.  You can become a scribe by contacting me or Vettorio, who is the New Scribes Deputy.  We can introduce you to other scribes and point you in the direction of supplies.  No one is required to join the College of Scribes in order to be a scribe, nor is that the only way to explore this type of art.

How can I find other scribes to speak to?

There are a variety of ways to get in touch with the Scribal community.  Many local groups have Scribal get togethers.  Contacting your local Seneschal is a good first place to start.  There are also Scribal regional deputies that are listed on the East Kingdom College of Scribes Webpage under officers.  The EKCoS Webpage also has loads of information for new or returning scribes.  There is a Facebook page for the East Kingdom scribes, as well as a Google Plus group for the East Kingdom Scribes.

What are some of your suggestions that help the scribes with their scrolls?

One of the best things that anyone can do is to make a wiki page in the East Kingdom wiki.  In fact, my East Kingdom wiki page is here. Even if it is no more than a picture and your arms, that is really helpful to a scribe.   If you already have a wiki page, please consider updating it.  If you are aware of an upcoming award for a friend please feel free to contact me and I’ll help in whatever way I can.  Communication is absolutely welcome as more information makes for better art.  I can’t always honor every request, and not everything is possible, but I do my best to arrange our Kingdom’s artists to make beautiful art for someone’s special day. Another way to help is to give a wish list to a loved one on preferences for a certain type of scroll or a particular artist should there be a scroll in your future!  There is no guarantee, but again, more information makes it easier to line up a piece of artwork that will memorialize your special day.   I will be trying to have office hours at events so that you can come see me in person if you have questions.   I’m looking forward to meeting many people in my job as the East Kingdom Tyger Clerk of the Signet.

En français
Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova est la nouvelle Greffière des Sceaux du Royaume, ayant pris la position en février de cette année. Nataliia fait partie de la SCA depuis environ 1994 et réside dans la Baronnie of the Bridge. Avant de découvrir la Société, elle a étudié les arts et compétitionné à l’escrime au sein de la USFA. Son amour de l’escrime l’a amenée à une pratique d’escrime de la Baronnie Beyond the Mountain. Bien que l’escrime lui aie fournie une porte d’entrée dans la SCA, et demeure une de ses plus grandes passions, elle s’est découvert un exutoire pour ses aspirations artistiques dans la communauté des scribes. Son premier parchemin a été produit en 2001, et elle a été encouragée a continuer par Duchesse Katherine Stanhope, la Greffière des Sceaux du Royaume à ce moment. Son médium préféré est la peinture, particulièrement avec des pigments d’époque, et dans ses années formatrices, Nataliia était appréciait beaucoup les rendus au crayon et à l’encre  de représentations de manuels d’escrime d’époque. Elle trouve la l’art de la calligraphie ardu, mais elle n’est pas connue pour reculer devant un défi.

Qu’est-ce que la Greffière des Sceaux du Royaume fait ?

La Greffière des Sceaux du Royaume (connue comme Tyger Clerk ou le Signet) est à la tête du Collège des Scribes du Royaume de l’Est. La Greffière des Sceaux du Royaume:

  1. Coordonne la production des parchemins demandés par La Couronne;
  2. Promeut le développement des calligraphes et enlumineurs dans le Royaume de l’Est et certifie ces scribes afin d’accomplir les tâches de l’Office des Sceaux, et;
  3. Maintiens un registre rigoureux des assignations de parchemins.

Près de 150 à 200 parchemins sont distribués chaque six mois (par règne), approximativement 25 à 34 chaque mois. Dans mon rôle comme Greffière, je gère approximativement une centaine de scribes qui procèdent à la calligraphie et à l’illumination, des écrivains qui composent les textes, ainsi que des scribes qui font des parchemins moins conventionnels, comme en vitrail, brodé ou taillé dans la pierre, pour n’en nommer que quelques uns. Les artistes du Royaume de l’Est sont exemplaires et ont une réputation d’excellence dans tout le Monde Connu, et je suis honorée de travailler avec eux.

Comment recevoir une reconnaissance ?

Ceci est une plus longue histoire, mais la réponse courte est qu’un membre de la population recommende un individu pour une reconnaissance. Cette recommendation est envoyés à la royauté. Leurs Majestés décident alors de donner ou non la reconnaissance. Pour plusieurs reconnaissances, un parchemin est produit afin de commémorer l’occasion.

Un article de la Gazette sur le processus menant aux reconnaissances peut être consulté ici:
Comment le Processus de Reconnaissance fonctionne, par Duchesse Avelina

Comment Écrire une Recommendation pour une Reconnaissance, par Duchesse Avelina

Sur la Planification des Reconnaissances, par Duc Brennan

Survol des Reconnaissances du Royaume de l’Est, par Dame Tola Knitýr

Quelle est l’implication de la Greffière dans le processus ?

Quand la Royauté décide de d’accorder une reconnaissance, ils en avisent leur Planificateur Royal, qui garde trace de leurs reconnaissances. Le Planificateur Royal fait de son mieux afin de contacter les proches du récipiendaire afin de planifier la Reconnaissance. Une fois que la reconnaissance a été planifiée, le Planificateur Royal contacte la Greffière, moi, avec une liste des reconnaissances et les dates. J’organise alors la fabrication du parchemin en contactant un artiste qui s’occupera de créer celui-ci, et de le livrer à la Royauté avant qu’il soit remis à la cour.

Qu’est-ce qui se passe une fois que la liste des parchemins à faire est complète ?

Chaque reconnaissance avec la date, l’événement, la reconnaissance et le nom du récipiendaire, ainsi que l’information de contact de la personne ayant recommandé le récipiendaire est envoyée par courriel du Planificateur à la Greffière.

Chaque Greffier gère son office différemment, cependant, j’ajoute les tâches dans une feuille de travail qui contient tous les événements de ce règne. Le Greffier choisira ensuite un scribe d’une liste de plus d’une centaine de noms dans le Royaume de l’Est. Je prépare une feuille de travail qui sera envoyée à l’artiste, lui demandant d’accepter la tâche. Le scribe accepte le travail et commence à produire les magnifiques oeuvres d’art que vous pouvez admirer à la cour. Le scribe s’occupe d’organiser un transport pour que le parchemin parvienne à l’événement, Leurs Majestés signent le parchemin avant la cour, et ensuite présentent le parchemin au digne récipiendaire. Je travaille avec de nombreux scribes extraordinaires qui ont d’excellentes aptitudes de gestion afin d’aider à garder trace du processus de création d’un parchemin, de la demande initiale, à son arrivée dans les mains d’un récipiendaire méritant.

Comment joindre le Collège des Scribes ?

Le Collège des Scribes est toujours à la recherche de nouveaux scribes et écrivains ! Nous adorons les gens créatifs. Aucune expérience n’est nécessaire, et tous les niveaux d’habiletés artistiques sont bienvenus. Il est possible de devenir un scribe en me contactant ou Vettorio, qui est le Député des Nouveaux Scribes. Nul n’es tenu de joindre le Collège des Scribes afin d’être un scribe, et cela ne représente certainement pas la seule manière d’explorer ce type d’art.

Comment puis-je trouver d’autres scribes à qui parler ?

Il y a une variété de façons d’entrer en contact avec la communauté des Scribes. Plusieurs groupes locaux tiennent des rencontres de scribes. Contacter votre Sénéchal local est un bon point de départ. Il y a aussi des Députés Scribes Régionnaux, listés sur la page internet du Collège des Scribes du Royaume de l’Est, sous la catégorie “officiers”. La page du Collège des Scribes du Royaume de l’Est regorge d’informations autant pour les nouveaux scribes que ceux étant plus expérimentés ici.

Il existe aussi une page Facebook pour les scribes du Royaume de l’Est ici.

Ainsi qu’un groupe Google Plus pour les Scribes du Royaume de l’est ici.

Avez-vous des suggestions afin de faciliter la tâche des scribes créant des parchemins ?

Une des choses les plus aidantes que tout le monde peut faire, est de créer une page sur le wiki du Royaume de l’Est. En fait, ma page Wiki est disponible ici. Même si ce n’est rien de plus qu’une image de vos armes, c’est quelque chose de vraiment utile pour un scribe. Si vous avez déjà une page wiki, considérez la mettre à jour. Si vous savez qu’un de vos amis recevra une reconnaissance, sentez-vous libre de me contacter et je vous aiderai autant qu’il me sera possible. La communication est absolument bienvenue compte tenu que plus nous avons d’informations, meilleur est le résultat artistique final. Il ne m’est pas toujours possible d’honorer chaque demande, et certaines choses ne sont pas toujours possibles, cependant, je fais tout en mon pouvoir afin d’organiserla création de fantastiques pièces artistiques pour commémorer une journée spéciale. Une autre manière d’aider est de fournir une liste de souhaits sur les préférences de vos proches pour un certain type de parchemin ou de requérir un artiste en particulier, si un parchemin est dans votre futur ! Nous ne pouvons pas donner de garanties, mais encore une fois, le plus d’informations dont nous disposons, le plus aisé il est pour nous de produire une oeuvre qui immortalisera votre journée spéciale. J’essaierai d’avoir des heures de bureau aux événements pour que vous puissiez me rencontrer en personne si vous avez des questions. J’espère avoir la chance de rencontrer de nombreuses personnes pendant mon mandat en tant que Greffière des Sceaux du Royaume de l’Est.




Filed under: Interviews Tagged: officers, Q&A

Unofficial Court Report – Southern Region War Camp

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2017-06-16 07:25

On a bright and sunny day, being the 10th of June, A.S. 52, or 2017 Gregorian, Their Majesties Ioannes and Honig traveled to Their Barony of Carillion, there to observe the Southern Region War Camp.

In the morning, before the day’s battles began, Their Majesties held a brief Court.

They called for Duchess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain and spoke of her fierceness on the rapier lists and her command of the Southern Region Rapier army. Their Majesties called for Their Order of the Silver Rapier and gave her that honour, presenting her with a scroll with calligraphy by Baroness Mari Clock van Hoorne, illumination by Mistress Elizabeth Eleanor Lovell, and words by Banfili Aife ingen Chonchobair in Derthaige and Laerifadir Magnus hvalmagi.

Next the Crown called for Lady Jane of Milford. They praised her work as a marshal and her effectiveness at both tourney and melee fencing and bade her join the Order of the Silver Rapier. She was given a scroll crafted by Lady Charis Accipiter.

Master Aaron the Arrowsmith, Southern Region Archery Commander, came before Their Majesties. He called for Lord Eanraig the Bonesetter and Edmund Harper and presented them to The Crown as the newest Master Bowmen of the East. They were given tokens in recognition of their accomplishments.

Their Majesties called for the Order of the Silver Tyger and found the Order incomplete. They called for Lady Vasia von Königsberg and spoke of her skill with sword and shield and how well she performed in Crown Tourney and asked that she take her place with the Order. She was given a scroll created by Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova, with words by Marguerite ingen Lachlainn.

Chiba Touta Yoshitaki was summoned next. Their Majesties spoke of his skill with great weapons and told him to take his place with the Order of the Silver Tyger. He was given a scroll crafted by Lord Ryouko’Jin of Iron Skies.

The Crown called for Baron Joseph Hartcourt of Serpentius. They spoke of his skill with sword and shield and with polearm, and his work as a knight marshal. Then They made him a Companion of the Order of the Tygers Combatant, backlogged to Bhakail Investiture on the 3rd of June, 2017. He was given a scroll to remember the event, with calligraphy by Master Jonathan Blaecstan, illumination by Mistress Kis Marika, and words by Lord Mithgiladan the Herald.

Next, Their Majesties called for Lord Hashiji Morikatsu. They spoke of his skill with glaive and other weapons, and his chivalry, and had him join the Order of the Tygers Combatant. A scroll, made by Lady Svea the Shortsighted, was presented to him.

His Majesty requested the presence of the Company of St. Adrian and asked that they bring forth Luthor von Eisenfaust. His work as a fighter on the unbelted team was praised and he, too, was inducted into the Order of the Tygers Combatant. He was given a scroll with calligraphy by Master Jonathan Blaecstan and illumination by Baroness Ellesbeth Donofrey.

Their Majesties then called for Baron Rory MacLellan. They praised his skill at armoured combat and his comportment and courtesy, and called forth the Order of Chivalry. Their Majesties gave Baron Rory a Writ to be answered at a later date, to declare whether he would join that Order. The Writ was prepared by Mistress Eleanor Catlyng.

As the last piece of business in morning Court, Their Majesties called Baroness Tysha z Kieva. They praised her work running kitchens, running gate, stewarding events, working as a royal guard, and her work with Pennsic tech services. They then called for the Order of the Pelican and set Baroness Ty to Vigil, to answer that evening if she would join that Order.

Court was then adjourned until the evening. When Their Majesties’ Court reconvened, They called for Conchobar mac Óengusa. They spoke of his work as the Herald for the Barony of Carillion and his enthusiasm and Awarded him Arms. He was given a scroll created by Lady Mariette de Bretagne.

They next called for Erin inghean Chonchobhair. They spoke of her work as an archer and crafter, that she helps at events and is the Baronial Archery Champion for Carillion. They then called for the Order of the Tyger’s Cub and had her join that company. They gave her a scroll made by Mistress Leonete d’Angely, with words by Mistress Alys Mackyntoich. But Their Majesties felt that the Tyger’s Cub was not all Erin deserved, and so They named her a Lady and Awarded her Arms. A scroll will be forthcoming.

Their Majesties called for the children of the East. They then asked that the Queen’s Armored Champion, Lord Klaus Winterhalter von Walachey, bring the toy chest forward. The children ran after him, excited to each find a toy.

The Crown called for Allaster del Blair and spoke of his fencing and time on the thrown weapons range. They found his deeds worthy and Awarded him Arms, commemorated in a scroll illuminated by Lady Lorita deSiena, with words and calligraphy by Lord Faolan an Sccreccain.

Next, Their Majesties called for Mistress Juliana von Altenfeld. They spoke of her work as cook for the Bhakail Investiture and K&Q Champions at Arms event the previous weekend. They praised the menu and quality of the food. They also mentioned how good the meal was even though it had been significantly delayed by the events of the day. Their Majesties then gave her the token of the Award of the Burdened Tyger.

Emperor Ioannes and Empress Honig then called for Baron Jonathan Miles and spoke of his skill at the art of defense and his steady improvement at that skill and called for him to join the Order of the Silver Rapier. He was given a scroll created by Lady Magdalena Lantfarerin, with words by Kay Leigh Mac Whyte.

The Crown also called Lord Matteo Cole Amici, a fencer and marshal who loves rapier and dagger. They bade him join the Order of the Silver Rapier and gave him a scroll to remember the day, with calligraphy by Lady Tola Knityr, illumination by Lady Mýrún Leifsdóttir, and words by Master Frasier MacLeod and Mistress Alys Mackyntoich.

Their Majesties called for Sir Antonio Patrasso and praised his work as a maker of silk banners, pointing out several banners around the court that he had made. They then called for Their Order of the Silver Brooch and had him join that Order. He was given a scroll to acknowledge this, with calligraphy by Lady Tola Knityr, illumination by Mistress Elizabeth Eleanor Lovell and Lady Mýrún Leifsdóttir, and words by Baroness Charitye Dale.

Timothy of Serpentius was called before the Crown and they spoke of his skill at fencing and his development of his persona. Feeling him worthy, they Awarded him Arms and gave him a scroll to remember the day, created by Baron Wulfgar Silfraharr and with words by Baroness Theodora Bryennissa called Treannah.

Guillaume of House Carpathia was summoned next. Their Majesties spoke of his skill as a fighter, particularly with sword and shield and with spear, and called for Their Order of the Silver Tyger and made him a member of that Order. He was given a scroll with illumination by Mistress Melisande of the Gryphon Wood and calligraphy by Master Jonathan Blaecstan.

Her Majesty then called for Lady Yasemin bint al-Hajjar. She spoke of Yasemin’s comportment, of her service as a retainer to Queen Anna and Herself. Then Empress Honig presented her with the glove of the Queen’s Order of Courtesy.

Next, Their Majesties called for Maeve O’Morain. They spoke of her service as a water-bearer and her help in the kitchens. Recognising this worthy service, They called for Their Order of the Silver Wheel and had Maeve take her place among them and further Awarded her Arms. She was given a scroll with calligraphy by Baroness Mari Clock van Hoorne, illumination by Lady Mairi Crawford, and words by Lord Sean O’Morain.

Finding the Order of the Silver Wheel incomplete, The Crown called for Lord Martin Wasser Speier. They spoke of his helpfulness, how he aids in getting people to events, and how he now writes words for scrolls, and They named him a Companion of the Order. He was given a scroll created by Lady Magdalena Lantfarerin, with words by Mistress Kay Leigh Mac Whyte.

The Order of the Silver Wheel still incomplete, Their Majesties called for Oodachi Jirou Tsu’neyasu. They spoke of his work as chronicler, web minister, and exchequer and Awarded him Arms and bade him take his place with the Order. A scroll was presented, created by Lord Ian Douglas.

Their Majesties then called for Lord Lorenzo Gorla. They spoke of his skill as a fencer, his bearing, his teaching, and his research into period forms of rapier, and They summoned forth Their Order of the Golden Rapier and had him join that Order. He was given a scroll to remember the day, crafted by Mistress Eva Woderose, with words by Mistress Alys Mackyntoich.

Those new to the Society, attending their first Royal Progress, were called forward by the Crown and given tokens that they might remember their first days among us.

Baroness Charitye Dale was summoned by the Crown. They spoke of her research into personal hygiene and her practice of other arts, including pottery, lace-making, calligraphy, and cooking, and found these studies worthy of recognition. They called for Their Order of the Maunche and named her a Companion, presenting her a scroll calligraphed by Lady Tola Knityr, illuminated by Mistress Elizabeth Eleanor Lovell and Lady Mýrún Leifsdóttir, and authored by Master Malcolm Bowman.

Master Dietrich Schwelgengräber announced the winner of the handpie competition. Meave Macintosh won and was given a token from the Crown in recognition of her culinary skill.

Master Aaron the Arrowsmith, the event steward, was called forward and thanked by the Crown for a wonderful event, and he in turn thanked his staff for their efforts.

Emperor Ioannes and Empress Honig then called for the Tyger Clerk of the Signet, Master Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova. They praised her work as a calligrapher and illuminator and felt her exemplary skills were worthy of recognition. They called for Their Order of the Laurel and gave Nataliia a Writ, to be answered at Northern Region War Camp, as to whether she would accept a place among that Order. The Writ was created by her daughters, with illumination by Mistress Leonete d’Angely, calligraphy by Lady Tola Knityr, and words by both.

Their Majesties then requested the answer to the question asked of Baroness Tysha z Kieva. Would she accept a place in the Order of the Pelican. She agreed that she would and was then released from her service as protoge to Master Rupert the Unbalanced. Duke Brennan mac Fearghus spoke on her behalf for the Order of Chivalry. Master Dietrich Schwelgengräber spoke as a member of the Order of the Laurel. The Order of Defense was represented by Master Pascual de la Mar. Duchess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain gave words from the Order of the Rose. Tysha was then vested with the regalia of her Order. She was given two medallions, a hood, a pin, and a hat. A document recording her peerage was presented, calligraphed by Lord Vettorio Antonello, with illumination and words by Mistress Kay Leigh Mac Whyte. Mistress Tysha then gave her fealty to the Crown.

The Order still assembled, The Crown called for Mistress Kis Marieka called Mika. They spoke of her long service to her Barony and her Kingdom, her penchant for helping newcomers, her many scrolls produced for the Signet, and They asked if she would take a place among the Order of the Pelican. His Highness, Prince Ivan Ivanov Syn Dimitriov Vynuk Tzardikov, then spoke of her character for the Order of Chivalry. Master Jonathan Blaecstan represented the Order of the Laurel. Master Thomas de Castellan read the words of Master Jean Paul Ducasse. Duchess Etheldreda Ivelchyld spoke on behalf of the Order of the Rose. And Master Uilliam Twit of Witlow represented the Order of the Pelican. Mistress Mika was then draped in the regalia of the Order. She was given a sari, two medallions, earrings and bracelets, a veil and a tiara, and socks. A scroll, with illumination by Mistress Melisande of the Gryphon Wood, and calligraphy by Master Jonathan Blaecstan, with words by Lady Maria Charriez, was presented. Mistress Mika then offered fealty to the Crown.

There being no further business, the Court of Their Majesties Ioannes and Honig was closed. These are the events of the day as I recall them. My thanks to the Barony of Carillion, all the heralds, guards, retainers, Champions, scribes, and all those who attended the event and made it a joyful day.

For Crown and College,
Pray know I remain,

Master Rowen Cloteworthy

Filed under: Court Tagged: court report

On Target: Moving Targets

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2017-06-15 19:27

A moving target will add fun to your outdoor shoot. Imagine a pig or a deer running across your field.

Take two 4 foot long 2 x 4’s, drill two holes in the bottom of each board, and hammer in two very long nails. Next, take a set of bolt cutters and cut the heads off the nails. This turns them in the spikes. The spikes hold the boards up right so you can set this target up by yourself.

Next, run guy wires off the boards. Take a 50 foot piece of rope, double it and twist it to make the rope stronger so it will not sag when you pull the target across it.

Next, take a hard cardboard tube and cover it in camo duct tape. This’ll make the tube disappear into the background. Next, zip tie the wings to the tube and then zip tie the tube to the top of the pig. Then, take the twisted clothesline and run it through the tube and tie it to the upright 2x4s.

Run a guy wire from the nose of the pig back behind the firing line to the marshal. Pull the pig across the range to give the illusion of flight. The guy wire is over 100 feet long, allowing the marshal to call the line and pull the target at the same time.

At Hornwood’s Scarlet Guard Inn earlier this month, I ran a range just for fun with these targets. I made a flying pig, and everybody enjoyed the pun all day long.

THLord Deryk demonstrates the moving pig target

This month’s safety tip: check out the land around your range. I found a hole in the ground that was well over a foot and a half long and almost 10 inches deep. The hole was full of dead grass and leaves; it was deceptive how deep it really was. If someone had stepped in it, they would’ve twisted an ankle. I marked it with some fluorescent orange tape to make sure no one was hurt.

Until next month, in service,

THLord Deryk Archer

Categories: SCA news sites

Help Create Their Highnesses’ Wardrobe!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-06-14 20:02

Greetings to all the talented and generous Gentles of our Glorious Kingdom from Elisabeth Johanna von der Flossenburg

Good Gentles:

Our Royalty represents our Kingdom, both at home and abroad. Pageantry is a large part of our game. So is showcasing the talents of our artisans. This is why I am coming to you today requesting your help.

Their Highnesses have honored me by appointing me Mistress of the Wardrobe. But I cannot do this by myself; nobody can. However, if the work is divided out into small parts it becomes easy and manageable.

My thoughts are as follows: I would like to have groups of artisans work together on this project. Please let me explain

In period, there were workshops, where a master and his apprentices and journeymen worked together. If a garment was embroidered, an embroiderer did that work, while the tailor or seamstress only sewed the garment. There were Modelbooks that had the designs in them for the embroiderer, etc. etc.

I hope you see what I am trying to say: I think our Illuminators could be the designers of the embroidery design, which our embroiderers then execute, the weavers make the trim and the seamstresses or tailors put the garment together. Someone else casts the buttons and so on. You see many hands make light work.

It is my hope that all over this Kingdom artisans will get together to form teams so we can all together make our Royalty look fabulous and showcase the talents this Kingdom is so blessed with.  

I will be at Æcademy this weekend. Please find me and talk to me if you are interested in participating in this project. Their Highnesses have expressed that they are willing to wear many different styles of clothing, so everybody in this Kingdom can get involved, and no one person has to do all the work.

If you are not coming to Æcademy but are interested in getting involved, please contact me via email or Facebook messenger under Elisabeth von Hahn.

And please do not worry, I am not expecting anyone to start working on this until after Pennsic unless you want to and have time before then.

Looking forward to speaking to and hearing from many of you. I remain in Service to our Glorious Kingdom and our Royalty



Categories: SCA news sites

Leatherworking Demo at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2017-06-13 11:04

The MAKESHOP leather working demo poster (The items on the poster were made by Lord Robert of Ferness, from the Dominion of Myrkfaellin -picture taken by Luceta at Æ A&S Faire, used with his permission)

Lady Luceta Di Cosimo reported the following: On June 4th, the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands conducted another medieval skills demo at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. This time the museum asked the members of the Barony to do a demo on medieval leatherworking. So, once again we were invited to the MAKESHOP which is a partnership between the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space dedicated to making, reusing and designing things, using everyday materials and real tools. It has regular programs and special guests. Readers may recall that the Barony did a weaving workshop there a few months ago.

THL Sumayya al-Ghaziyyaa, head of the BMDL Leatherworking Guild, graciously agreed to share her skills and knowledge of period leatherworking with the museum visitors. She was assisted by Luceta di Cosimo and Medea da Venexia. Our goal was to convey to the visitors just how widely leather was used in period. Kids know that nowadays leather is used for shoes, clothing, and accessories, but most are not aware that its uses in period were much broader. Therefore, we had a display of period leather items (reproductions, of course). In addition to shoes, boots and belts, we had things like books, armor, and paintings on parchment. The kids were so surprised to see that you can have armor made out of leather. Some were not sure leather could ever work as armor. So we set up an ornate cuir bouilli chestplate on the back of a chair, and invited the kids and their grownups to hit it with mallets, so they could see how just tough it was. It proved to be their favorite display item. (Cuir bouilli is the process of hardening leather through the application of heat and/or wax.)

Leather items display, including a Turkish shoe and pouch, men’s boots and pouch, small messenger bag, and miniatures on parchment.

THL Sumayya helps a MAKESHOP visitor choose designs for the key fob

In addition to the display, THL Sumayya put together a make and take activity. In period, tooled leather was primarily carved, but to make sure even the littlest visitors could safely participate, we had children and their adults make stamped leather key fobs, even though stamped leather was less common in period. We had a number of stamps available, and the Museum loaned their own sets of leather punches. The kids came up with many really neat designs, and many key fobs were made as father’s day gifts. We had dozens and dozens of people come through the MAKESHOP that day, and even after the demo was officially over, we still had people working on their key fobs. Overall we probably had about 150 people visit the MAKESHOP that day.

Luceta, Medea, and Sumayya in the MAKESHOP

It was a pleasure to be back at the WORKSHOP. The Children’s Museum is a wonderful resource for local families. It promotes a “play with real stuff” philosophy, which is dedicated to inspire curiosity and creativity in kids and allows them to learn through play. We are very proud to be a part of this experience. The Society is full of talented and skilled people, who do amazing and rare and beautiful things, and we are glad to share these skills and knowledge with our Museum neighbors.

A sample key fob made by Luceta at the demo


Categories: SCA news sites

Signet Quiz Begins

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-06-12 16:44

The new Signets and their deputies are appointed. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

The 2017-2018 Signet’s Quiz has begun!

Anyone may participate. You do not have to be a scribe but you DO have to send your answers to the Signet email.

If you are one of our winners and not a scribe, you may opt to gift your prize to a scribe that you know! All participants who take all 50 quizzes over the next year will receive a unique item, made by the hand of our very own Mistress Honoria and I guarantee that you do not own this item.

Each Sunday, please visit the Signet’s page where our Web-Goddess Juliana will post the questions *and the address where you may send your answers*. We encourage you to Google for your answers, this is an open-tech quiz. This week’s questions have been brought to you by Mistress Hrefna fruiþkona Þorgrímsdóttir. Don’t wait! Go now! Have fun! Antoinette & Shirin, Sylvan Signets
Categories: SCA news sites