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Re: Favours, tokens and largesse

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  • David Roland
    SCA inter-kingdom anthropology is such a fun thing. Different Kingdoms look at the same things different ways and inside those kingdoms, local groups look at
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 1 7:46 AM
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      SCA inter-kingdom anthropology is such a fun thing. Different
      Kingdoms look at the same things different ways and inside those
      kingdoms, local groups look at the same thing different ways.


      When I was a Chatelain I would get this question regularly from my
      newcomers. So much so that I made a permanent explanation about it on
      my webpage.

      http://ianthegreen01.googlepages.com/favorsandtokens

      I currently have the great honor of carrying the favors of three people.

      The first favor that I received was from my calligraphy instructor who
      eventually apprenticed me.

      The second favor that I received was that of the love of my life, my
      girlfriends, now my fiancee.

      The third favor that I carry is that if a friend whom I have fenced
      with for some time. I was leaving to move up to be around my fiancee
      and in my departing he gave me his favor.

      I also wear upon my belt the Token of the Thieves of Hearts the
      fencing group that I am a member of. I also have the queens token
      from Pennsic 35 for those who fought in the rapier army where I was a
      line commander.

      I have also received another token from a landed Baroness and member
      of the Great Dark Horde. Essentially it is a pewter ring given to me
      for seeing someone in medical distress and getting the Chiurgeons and
      ambulance moving in quick order.

      To _me_ a token is given to someone for any reason the person handing
      them out wishes. I've received many other tokens at A&S competitions
      because it was a token tourney. If someone likes your work, they left
      behind a token of some kind. And of course I have lots of different
      site tokens.

      To _me_ a favor is much much much more significant. Not only do I
      have my honor to keep and to keep clean, for every favor I bear, I
      carry that person's honor as well. My behavior has a direct impact on
      their honor. Should I ever be asked whose favor I bear I wish for the
      requester to be able to tell my fiance, my Laurel and my friend, only
      how well I represent their honor.

      Should any of them request their favor back, I would of course
      immediately return it and ask if there was anything I had done to
      dishonor them. I would expect the answer to be no, but I would
      greatly fear the answer of yes.

      Can or should someone give out a favor to more than one person as a
      personal favor, not a queens favor or some such? Depends on your
      kingdom and local thoughts on the matter. Where I started, the answer
      to that would be an emphatic NO. Other place find it weird that there
      would be any such restrictions put on it.

      Me? Personally, there is ONLY ONE person who bears my favor, my love
      and inspiration who is my fiance. That said, I had out tokens of
      esteem in the form of green glass tokens to people who I see having
      made things FUN for others at events, meeting and/or practices.

      Just my humble thoughts and experiences on the subject.

      Ian the Green
    • Ann Franchi
      Your Excellency, I really appreciate you taking the time to explain how things are done in your Kingdom. This truly shows that there is no one right way ,
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 1 7:48 AM
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        Your Excellency,

        I really appreciate you taking the time to explain 'how things are
        done' in your Kingdom. This truly shows that there is no one 'right
        way', but that through co-operation, we can all learn from one
        another.

        This is one of the many things that I like about the SCA, that we are
        all, regardless of 'rank' or 'station', willing to take the time to
        explain and discuss, without acrimony, the things we personally love
        and enjoy.

        Again, my thanks,

        Anitra

        On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 4:08 PM, Vicki Hyde <vicki@...> wrote:
        >>Anitra:
        >> The Personal Favor is one that is given from Self to Significant Other
        >> - such as the ones that have already been discussed, or perhaps a
        >> hand-carved plate or cup meant solely for display, not use.
        >
        > In our part of the Known Worlde, the SCAdian favour tends to be
        > specifically for a Significant Other (almost as a form of marking
        > territory!); the concept of friendship favours, in terms of the belt
        > favour, is highly uncommon. I guess you could see the use of belts for
        > proteges/apprentices/squires as a favour of sorts (certainly a mark of
        > favour!).
        >
        >> The Noble Favor is given from 'on high'. This would include the
        >> Queen's Favors discussed earlier, or something given by the Head of a
        >> Group (Barony, Household, etc.) to designate retainers.
        >
        > We'd call that a token, reserving favour for the more personal
        > relationship. Thus our baronial court members have a court token (a red
        > ribbon with a tower medallion on it) which they wear to show they serve
        > our court. They hand it back at the end of their term and receive a
        > personal token from us (a heart-shaped finding with a red teardrop --
        > heart's blood shed in service) as thanks.
        >
        > We've just had personal ciphers (bearing representations of our heraldry)
        > made in preparation for our step-down (2.5 days and counting!), and these
        > will go to those who have rendered particular service to us during our
        > tenure. So there's another word used in a specific context to help make
        > the distinction between what and how it's used :-)
        >
        >> Favor. I might give something as a token of appreciation to a friend
        >> who has taught me or encouraged me, or to an Autocrat of an Event I
        >> particularly enjoyed, but these would in no way be considered Favors.
        >
        > We'd not call them favours -- not because you aren't enobled (which you
        > are in an SCA context anyway), but because it's not in the context of a
        > personal, on-going relationship.
        >
        > Rather that would be "largesse". In period that was considered a virtue,
        > regardless of your status, and was something that a knight was expected
        > to undertake. But even poorer folk attempted it as part of their role in
        > the chain of being -- if you could give something, even if only the
        > scraps from your table to alms-seekers, that would build you heavenly
        > credit.
        >
        > And it's great that you do this, as people remember even the smallest
        > things for a looong time. It doesn't have to be the fanciest embroidery
        > or most stunning reproduction jewel, so long as it's accompanied by a
        > sincere desire to acknowledge the recipient.
        >
        > As B&B we give out a lot of largesse in thanks, trying to match it to the
        > service -- oil or massage bars for cooks, bags of mail for marshals,
        > sweets for stewards. When we have the opportunity to give out largesse
        > made or donated by someone else, we try to ensure that we note that "this
        > has come from the hand of Lord wossname" so that two people get a buzz
        > from it (and hopefuly plus encouragez les autres!).
        >
        > I spend a lot of time figuring out what to stock the largesse chest with
        > and how to apply it -- a chance find of bee-shaped beads, for example,
        > gave us the opportunity to use them as a means of saying thank you to
        > people who'd been busy, but who already had been recognised by Crown or
        > wasn't going to have the opportunity to be recognised in the short-term.
        >
        > So it's not what you give, it's the way you give it and the context you
        > give it in that makes it special. And that's one of the things I really
        > like about the SCA, that we make such efforts, as they are all to few and
        > far between in our modern lives.
        >
        > Cheers,
        > katherine
        >
        > =====================================
        > katherine kerr of the Hermitage, in the Crescent Isles,
        > Baroness of Southron Gaard, Kingdom of Lochac
        > mka Vicki Hyde, Webwright, wordsmith
        > bardic arts, maps, children: http://webcentre.co.nz/kk
        > Barony of Southron Gaard: http://sg.sca.org.nz
        >
        >
      • ursula.widow
        ... Your Excellency and friends -- Thanks for the discussion of Lochacian favour customs. It is always interesting to see the variations across our world. Here
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 1 9:25 AM
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          > In our part of the Known Worlde, the SCAdian favour tends to be
          > specifically for a Significant Other (almost as a form of marking
          > territory!); the concept of friendship favours, in terms of the belt
          > favour, is highly uncommon. I guess you could see the use of belts for
          > proteges/apprentices/squires as a favour of sorts

          Your Excellency and friends --

          Thanks for the discussion of Lochacian favour customs. It is always
          interesting to see the variations across our world.

          Here in the Midrealm, belt favours are employed in a considerable
          variety of roles. In addition to indicating a romantic relationship,
          they can also carry an award badge, denote membership in a household or
          fighting unit, or be related to a specific occasion or task.

          For example, my shire held a glorified fight/melee practice as a
          benefit for a lady we know who suffers from cancer. Somebody made a
          whole bunch of tokens with her colours and initial, and one could
          purchase them and fight on her team in the melee.

          I actually made myself one when I received a baronial award with no
          token. (The award would normally have some with a medallion, but there
          were none on hand.) The award was sufficiently special to me that I
          wanted to carry its badge. I made a simple square mini-flag out of silk
          and appliqued on the device.

          Will others share the customs of their kingdoms?

          Yours in art,
          Ursula the Widow
        • AlbredaA@aol.com
          What a fascinating conversation! I have never worn anyone s favour, and have only ever given one to someone else; a dear friend and household sister who needed
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 1 6:01 PM
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            What a fascinating conversation!

            I have never worn anyone's favour, and have only ever given one to someone
            else; a dear friend and household sister who needed the boost of being able to
            look down at her belt and know that she was loved.

            I have not given out tokens before either, although I plan to find/create
            some that I can give out at A&S events.

            I have worn (and made) household favors, but don't wear one at this point,
            since that household dissolved.

            I DO tablet-weave, and LOVE the idea of making trim or something for folks.
            Thanks!

            I tend to make things for folks I care about (sort of like favor level, but
            not - mostly garb), and I pay compliments to folks where others might offer
            tokens; I told one a complete stranger yesterday how much I loved her very
            simple garb, and how stunning she looked, yet another woman gave me a token (a
            golden tassel) because she loved seeing my baby son so beautifully dressed (he
            was wearing the embroidered tunic I made for his sister's first event).

            I DO like the ideas of all sorts of favors and tokens, as they are physical
            reminders of nice things people feel for us, or have congratulated us on, or
            the groups we call family. Good things are nice to be reminded of, eh?

            Thanks to everyone who has so eloquently contributed to this conversation!
            Albreda
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