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Kitten rambles

Poster: REAMESD1@westat.com (REAMESD1)

Halloo.  Caterina de Forza d'Agro here, throwing my tuppence about like water.
Please note that these funds are from my personal account, not my household
account, nor any other group funds (grin).

Re:  "Why don't you have _____ yet?"
    It doesn't just happen here, folks.  This morning, I was bemused to hear in
an interview with musician, Leon Russell, the question "Why haven't you been
nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yet?"  Mr. Russell, in his reply,
sounded just as uncomfortable and chagrined as any Scadian when faced with a
similar query.  

Re:  Principals, Premiers, and Atlantia  
    Once upon a time, Atlantia's Principals were the senior members and they
also handled all the administrative duties for the Order.  There was no tenure,
they were in for "life".  When Atlantia became a kingdom in 1981 part of the
lineup was:

Pelican  Mandarin Vuong Manh (8/78)
Golden Dolphin  Mandarin Vuong Manh (7/77)

In spring of 1986, while queen of Atlantia, I had a heart-to-heart talk over
dinner with Mandarin Vuong Manh.  We (the monarchs) felt that he was
overextended and it was starting to damage both orders.  We urged him to step
down from his administrative duties from one or the other.  He chose to step
down as Golden Dolphin Principal.  This was Atlantia's introduction to the idea
that someone could pass on that position without moving out of kingdom or
becoming inactive.

AT THAT TIME, Atlantia was unacquainted with the concept (or title) of
"Premier".  We (and our parent kingdom, the East) had always had "Principals." 
Since there were no specified activities for the senior-most member as opposed
to the administrator, Atlantia did not develop a distinguishing term.  The title
"Principal" of the Golden Dolphin was passed on to Vuong Manh's successor 
chosen by an ELECTION held within the Order.  

Every so often the idea of "Principal = Premier" rather than "Principal =
administrator" is raised.  It is usually raised by someone who has spent some
time living in other kingdoms where "Principal = Premier" and there is a
different term for the Administrator.  The last time (before this past Curia) I
heard it seriously argued was during Steffan and Twila's reign (1992) in the
Laurels.  Mistress Signy felt that the ceremonial/court activities at an event
should be the purview of the senior-most companion AT THAT EVENT.  King Steffan
pointed out that this would result in introductions along the line of "Hi,
Caterina, class of '91, Darn glad to meet'ya!"  The idea died a quick death
after that.  

My beloved, Baudoin, raised a valid point at Curia.  One I agree with
wholeheartedly.  This is Atlantia.  Atlantia is a sovereign nation with its own
customs and traditions.  For over 13 years our tradition has been to address the
administrators of our Orders by the title of "Principal" whether or not that
person is the senior-most active Companion.  I see no reason or compulsion to
change our tradition of over a decade to conform with the practices of some of
the other kingdoms.

Some thought-provoking questions for those who feel there should be a separate
title for the senior-most active Companion:  How do you define "active"?  How do
you convince a "Principal" or "Premier" that your definition is correct and his
or hers is not and that someone else now deserves the title?  What happens when
someone "comes out of retirement"?  For Peerages, does it change as soon as a
more senior member moves in from another kingdom?  Or is it the first person
inducted by Atlantia into that Order?  

Re:  Elections
    Yes, Virginia, we do have the Vote in the SCA, in this one circumstance. 
Principals of Atlantian Orders (Peerage and Merit) are not chosen by the Crown,
they are ELECTED by the Companions.  According to current Atlantian law, that
election is conducted by the Crown (Law 8.3.1).

Re:  Regalia, "Lauralia" and other restricted accessories
    Usually, customs come first, harden into traditions, and are then codified
into law/rule.  For example, there are no laws or rules about the color of
squires' belts or about red belts in general.  There are some traditions:  most
squires wear red belts, most Oldcastle squires wear blue belts.  There are some
customs:  many people feel that red belts are reserved for squires.  

I have a Pelican Cap of Maintenance (thanks Leslie!)  It is blue (for Atlantia)
velvet lined with white rabbit fur into which small red feather tufts have been
sewn (to make the "gouttes").  It is very warm, very comfy, and very impressive.
 It conforms to the general description given for such things in the Atlantian
Scribes handbook at the time of my induction.  It may not be in conformation
with SCA-wide or Heraldic customary description.  Pelican Caps of Maintenance as
dress accessories are still few and far between.  Their construction has not yet
codified into "this way and no other."

Currently there do not seem to be any laws regarding livery collars.  Obviously
from this discussion some customs are developing, such as the belief that
permission from the Crown is required for collars of "A for Atlantia", or that
only those below a particular rank are not entitled to wear livery collars. 
Whether these customs will become widespread Atlantian traditions, laws, or SCA
Heraldic rules remains to be seen.

The Laurels, being artsy folk, have quite a number of accessories specific to
the Order.  Very few of these are codified.  We picked up the idea of actual
wreaths from our Eastrealm neighbors.  Like all customs, it developed in the
tradition way  some Laurels from the East were seen wearing their spiffy brass
wreaths and the Atlantian Laurels said "Cool!  Where'd you get it?  I want one!"
 It progressed from a few fashion-conscious Atlantians showing off their newest
gear to a formal accessory including in most Atlantian Laurel induction
ceremonies.  Ditto belts  there are no "rules" about the color of Laurel belts.
 Custom has been that they are gold, just as apprentice belts are customarily
green.  But you see variations such as green belts with little gold laurel
wreaths woven in.  Due to our fashion-conscious nature and the fact that not all
styles use belts or the same type of belt, I doubt this will ever become as
widespread a Laurel accessory as wreaths.  (Whereas Knights will continue to
either choose their fashions based on the use of a belt or use belts whether the
fashion calls for it or not  on those occasions when they do not, they will be
viewed as being in "stealth mode".  Knights' belts are CODIFIED.)  Laurel
medallions are at the same codified level of use as the white Knight's belt.  

Cloaks  Master James explains the current custom and situation well.  Sometimes
friends make a cloak for an induction.  Those cloaks are the personal property
of the recipient.  Not all inductions involve ceremonial cloaks.  Currently the
Laurel Order has the kind loan of a Laurel Cloak from Master Vortigern (my
thanks to him and to Mistress Brenna who made the cloak for him).  After each
ceremony when it is used, I then explain to the new Laurel that the cloak is a
"loaner" and must be returned by the end of the event.  (So that it is available
for the next induction.)  Most of the ceremonial cloaks you see in Atlantia are
for the Pelicans or Laurels and have a large rendition of the Order's heraldy on
the back.  This is not particularly documentable for any of our periods, so far
as I can tell, but is useful from a theatrical viewpoint.

My purse is gone flat.  I've enjoyed my time holding the stage in front of the
fireplace here at the tavern.  God give you good day.

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