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Re: Question about Favors
Greetings to all gathered here at Cheapside!
Deoca of Elvegast asks about favours:
>...in period, at favor was merely a piece of personal clothing, a scarf
>or sleeve or whatever, that was given to a warrior before battle. This
>was carried into battle as a good luck charm. Correct?
Well, close. Battle is not tournament. Battle means war, and favours
are used as a token of fighting for a particular lady in a tournament.
Plus the phrase "good luck charm" is not precisely accurate--there was
no real sense of the favour bringing luck.
>My real question is about the SCA tradition of favors. First, what is
>the true significance of a favor? Secondly, if I wanted to make a
>favor, what would be most appropriate to put on it? Should I do it in
>his color or mine or both? Should it be one of our arms or just
If you ask this question ("true significance") in 10 places, you will
get 10 answers. However, I will represent what I believe to be true,
and you can take it as one of the 10 answers.
A favour means whatever you and the recipient believe it to mean.
Favours do NOT necessarily betoken romance, although they may be used
in that way. They NEVER imply sexual contact or commitment. They may
be used for friendship, or for a myriad other reasons. You may wear
more than one favour at a time.
I myself almost always wear the favour of my lady and one true love,
Countess Elizabeth Beaufort. At various times I have worn the favour
of the Queen of Atlantia (many times as a part of the Atlantian army,
and a few times as Queen's Champion). I have worn the favour of the
Princess of Atlantia (Alexis, for those who remember the time of the
invention of Stew) as part of the Princess' Guard. I have worn the
favour of the Baron of Storvik as Baronial Champion of Storvik, while
I held that office. I have worn the favour of my Knight's lady, Duchess
Anne, while I was a squire. I have worn the favour of many female
friends (without romantic attachment) at various times and places,
in token of friendship and esteem.
I once wore the favour of a lady I esteemed because I was fighting as
her champion for her Barony, and her lord (and romantic interest) was
fighting for the other side (without her favour). Even though she had
no romantic interest in me, and still was romantically interested in
the other gentleman, she would not allow him to carry her favour into
battle against her barony, and gave it to me to carry instead.
As for what to put on a favour, there is no limitation. Countess
Cyffaith, when she fought, wore the favour of her lord, Graf Klaus.
In this case it was a glove, marked with his badge. I'm not sure
what favour of Cyffaith's he wore in return. Common favours in
period were veils, gloves, and sleeves (really!). In the SCA, the
most common favour is a strip of cloth, embroidered with some design.
It need not be your badge, or arms, or colours, although it should
be something important to you (if it is your favour). Initials are
sometimes used--when Elizabeth was Queen of Atlantia, her favours
to the Atlantian Army were composed of her initials (EB). More
recently, when Eorann was Queen at Pointless War last winter, her
favours were marked with a celtic "E". Duchess Melisande uses a
bumblebee as her badge, and her favours to her lord, Duke Gyrth,
are usually her badge sewn to his sleeve (which also helps to remind
him which is the inside and which the outside of his tunics, a
useful aid :^). The favours my lady makes for my squires are
usually a strip of purple velvet with green beads, as her colours
are purple and green.
I hope that this is helpful to you.
Dafydd ap Gwystl