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Re: Question about Favors
Hello Deoca, and whomever else is listening.
>I have a question about favors, or tokens of favor, whichever is the
>more correct way of saying it. My impression from my readings is that,
>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?
Maybe yes, maybe no. The chivalric epic poems usually have it as a
sign of the warrior being inspired by the favor-giver, being the
champion of the favor-giver, being in service to the favor-giver or
fighting to proclaim the honor/beauty/excellence etc of the
>My real question is about the SCA tradition of favors. First, what is
>the true significance of a favor?
Depends. Whatever you want it to be. In the SCA there have been
several 'flavors' of favors, including:
those for households (such as the head of the household might give to
all members, or that the lady of a knight would give to his squires,
those for championship (as a senior noble might wear for the young,
unattached ladies in his household or Barony),
those for friendship (such as one might give to a 'buddy' that you had
great liking for),
those for one's beloved,
as well as ones 'for the day' or 'for the next bout' or ones that
senior ladies might give to the young, unattached, newer fighters in
their area. Plus ones such as the Queen gives at Pennsic or that a
Baroness might give to all her Baronial fighters.
>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 something pretty?
Again, depends. I personally *strongly* favor a return to more
'period-style' favors: sleeves, ribbons, veils, handkerchiefs, wreaths
of flowers, garters, stockings, etc. Perhaps, the more intimate the
item, the more intimate the relationship. If you want to do something
to 'personalize' the item, why not a monogrammed handkerchief, or one
of a pair of tie-on sleeves with your arms thereon.
Or make him something useful for fighting, such as a woven belt, or a
tooled belt, or a mantling for his helm or a surcoat or something, and
personalize it somehow. How about a finger woven sword lanyard? Or a
There are many options, even for those who are embroidery-impaired
(such as I!).
In one story (Tirant Lo Blanc, I think) the knight wears his lady's
chemise over his armor as a token!!!
I have read somewhere that in Middle Eastern cultures it was a
particular sign of intimacy if the lady gave the woven drawstring from
her pants. [Now, how she kept her pants on the rest of the day is
another matter! :-)]
I am in the midst of trying to discover from whence came what I refer
to (rudely, I'm sure) as 'dishtowel favors' - the things that look
like a dishtowel over someone's belt. I haven't seen anything in MS
illustrations or descriptions that sound like these objects. Anyone
with information on their existence in period or their evolution in
the Society is asked to contact me. (Except Ianthe - we already had
this part of this discussion :-)
>Any help will be appreciated. This might be a good subject to write
>up and submit for the known world handbook. I checked there and
>couldn't find any info.
I don't know when they are doing another edition.
>Maybe I'll do that. Any references to sources of info on favors in
>period will be appreciated too.
I have a bunch of references (at home) for an article I'm writing for
an upcoming Compleat Anachronist. Will that do?
I hope this helps, and would be glad to discuss this further as anyone