Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms
For the February 2019 meetings, printed April 28, 2019
To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Juliana Laurel, Alys Pelican, and Cormac Wreath, greetings.
We recently asked for commentary on whether we should change the requirement that only names from cultures with direct contact with medieval or Renaissance Western Europe should be registered. We made this request in light of the recent change in the Society's Mission Statement to omit express references to Western Europe.
There was a great deal of interesting discussion concerning the effects of the change in the Mission Statement and whether and how that change should affect the College. This discussion will not end with the decision on any one name. We will continue to consider whether and how to embrace cultures outside of Western Europe and those in direct contact with Western Europe prior to 1650.
Among other things, we will be undertaking a project to identify precisely which cultures and languages would be affected by removing the "direct contact with Western Europe" requirement. We have also put out a call for more specialists in non-European languages to come forward and assist Pelican and the College with names questions. That call has produced quite a lot of interesting volunteers and we hope, over the next several months, to make productive use of their services and create some new resources for submitters and heralds interested in non-Western European cultures.
Recently there has been much discussion in commentary about whether certain records from the FamilySearch Historical records are incorrectly transcribed from the original documents. A few commenters have access to the original source records being used by the creators of the FamilySearch Historical Records; however, this access is not generally available (Pelican does not have this access, for example). Moreover, reading original hand-written period documents is a very specific skill that we cannot reasonably expect every book herald to possess.
Therefore, starting with the items on this month's Letter of Acceptances and Returns, when a citation from FamilySearch is challenged in commentary or the Pelican decision meeting based on a possible mistaken transcription from the original source document, the submitted name element can be supported in one of two ways: (1) a total of three citations from reliable batches in FamilySearch showing the same spelling; or (2) a single citation to another reliable source showing the same spelling. For names or spellings documented through FamilySearch that are unusual, we suggest (but do not require) that submitters and consulting heralds provide more than a single citation if possible, in case the transcription is challenged in commentary.
This month we reconsidered the precedent that only "late period Korean names are registerable under the standards of SENA." [Jeong Cheongju Han, 2/2015 LoAR, A-Trimaris] Based on new evidence, we now overturn that precedent and rule that Korean names attested from the 13th century onwards may be registered.
New research was provided showing contact between Korea and Western Europe prior to the 16th century. The thirteenth-century European writer William of Rubruck encountered Koreans during his travels in the East and describes their distinctive dress and head-dresses. His writings refer to them as Caule, which appears to be a phonetic rendering of the Chinese term for Korea. At the end of the 13th century, Marco Polo writes of encountering Koreans in the Mongol Court, including military units from "Cauli" who pledged loyalty to Kubilai Khan. During the 13th and 14th centuries, while Korea was a vassal state of the Mongol Empire, there was extensive interaction between the Mongol Court and Korea, with personnel from both courts traveling between the two fairly regularly. Europeans living in the Mongol Court described interactions with Koreans to both William of Rubrick and Marco Polo. Economically, medieval Korea was considered part of the Silk Road and archeologists are uncovering more and more evidence of Mediterranean goods having been in medieval Korea (including a recent find of Mediterranean glass goods in a 5th century Korean tomb).
In short, rather than being isolated or unknown, medieval Korea was part of the lively culture and commerce of Asia. As part of that larger culture, and particularly through its integration into the Mongol Empire, Koreans and Korea were known to Western Europe from at least the 13th century onwards. Accordingly, based on this new evidence, Korean names attested from the 13th century and later are registerable.
In two submissions this month, questions were raised about whether the Japanese name element transliterated as -hito should be considered presumptuous. One of the kanji that is transliterated as -hito is used solely by the imperial family. However, there is also a second kanji that is transliterated as -hito that was and continues to be used in the names of ordinary people. For example, Name Construction in Medieval Japan identifies at least three persons whose names incorporated the element -hito but who were not part of the imperial family: Satake Yoshihito (a bushi, 1572), Toshihito (Heian era) and Arihito (uncertain, 1600). In addition, it is unclear whether the Nara-era poet Yamabe no Akahito had any affiliation to the imperial family. In modern Japan, names ending in -hito (using the kanji not associated with the imperial family) are fairly common. For example, Yoshihito is the given name of several notable Japanese sports figures.
Under PN4B2 of SENA, "[d]ynastic names used by both a royal family and normal people are acceptable." The examples of multiple names of ordinary people ending in -hito ordinarily would be sufficient to allow registration of a name using that element. However, the present issue is complicated by the fact that -hito is a transliteration of two distinctly different Japanese kanji. After consulting many people expert in Japanese and several native speakers of the language, we conclude that the transliteration -hito is not presumptuous because it is understood by native Japanese speakers as encompassing both the kanji used by the imperial family and the kanji used by ordinarily people. As concisely stated in commentary by Miura Suzume, "From a native (Japanese) perspective, if the name is not both spelled "[x][imperial kanji]" and pronounced "[x]hito", there is no presumption, period."
Accordingly, a given name ending in -hito is not in itself presumptuous. However, combining a given name using this ending with other allusions to the Japanese imperial family or other name elements strongly associated with the Japanese imperial family may still create an overall effect of presumption.
The question was raised this month whether a generic toponym - in this case, the Gaelic term for harbor or port - can be registered as a branch name. Several commenters asserted that we do not do so. However, no one was able to identify a precedent so stating. Further, we have in the past registered branch names such as Barony of the Bridge, Barony of the Steppes, and Barony of the Isles, all of which are based on generic toponyms. These past registrations suggest that there was not, in the past, a ban on branch names based on generic toponyms.
SENA does not prohibit the registration of generic toponyms as branch names. Nothing in the NPN sections of SENA addresses the question of generic toponyms for branch names. On the subject of genericness, GP2A of SENA states in relevant part:
Some items are considered too generic to be registered. This means that they may be used by anyone and may not be reserved to one person or group by registration. One such category is generic identifiers such as Brewer's Guild and Queen's Guard. These names may be used by any branch to identify the owner or association of a badge, but no group may register them. Another category that may not be registered is an armorial design consisting only of abstract charges such as letters, runes, Arabic script, astrological symbols, and the like. Such a registration might prevent someone from using a form of their name or monogram. These generic items are not restricted by the College of Arms, but may not be registered to anyone. Other such categories are a personal name consisting of only a single given name or armory consisting of only a plain tincture. Such registrations might prevent people from using those given names or colors.
Further, NPN2E states:
E. Generic Identifiers: As discussed in GP.2.A, some items are considered too generic to be registered; this means that they may be used by anyone and may not be reserved to one person or group by registration. One category of items that may not be registered is generic identifiers like Brewer's Guild and Queen's Guard; these names may be used to identify the owner of a badge or to designate its intended use, but no group may register it (and hence prevent others from registering it). These generic items may be used by anyone without registration, but may not be registered to anyone.
Naming a branch after a generic toponym such as the Field, the Port or the Wood does not have the same effect as registering a generic term such as Baronial Guard to a single group. Any group may have a field, wood or port. Most groups are not named after them, however. In addition, because we now focus only on sound and appearance for determining conflicts, registration of Canton of the Caladphort does not prevent registration of Shire of the Harbor. Therefore, the main reason for refusing to register generic terms does not exist when dealing with generic toponyms used as branch names. We are not giving a monopoly on a type of land or landmark by allowing the use of generic toponyms in branch names.
In addition, naming places based on generic toponyms was a period practice. Watts' Cambrige Dictionary of English Place Names provides several examples of such names, including (among others) period places named la Pool(e), Felda (field) and Hill(e). Ęlfwynn Leoflęde dohtor provided a number of examples of period German place name based on generic toponyms, such as Bruck/Brugge ("bridge") and Hof (farmstead). Therefore, allowing such place names in the Society promotes good recreation.
Starting with the publication of this letter, generic toponyms can be used as the substantive element of a local branch name in the form [Designator] of the [Generic Toponym] (or the same form in an appropriate language). Under NPN1A, the language of the designator determines the language for the preposition and article. Therefore, this month we are registering the branch name Canton of the Caladphort even though Caladphort is a Gaelic word.
The only generic toponyms that cannot be used as substantive elements are those which are already reserved by Corpora for use as local branch designators, which are listed in Appendix E of SENA. Thus, a group cannot be the Shire of the Shire, for example.
The November 8, 2018 Palimpsest Rules Letter proposed changes to the Jewish and Mongol tables in Appendix A. We are approving these changes as proposed. This allows for double given names in Ashkenazic Hebrew names without further documentation of the pattern. This also allows for Mongol tribe names, marked patronymics, descriptive bynames, and certain double bynames without further documentation of the patterns.
For the full text of the updated tables, see:
The August 2015 Cover Letter allowed maintained charges to count for difference. This removes the statement in SENA A.5.C.3 that they do not count for difference.
3. Some Changes Which Do Not Count for Difference: Changes that are smaller than a cadency step, as described below, do not contribute to difference between two armorial designs, no matter how many of them there are. These sorts of changes were often understood as artistic variation or details which could be included or omitted in display of the armory. This includes differences in artistic style and details such as arming and languing. It also includes minor variation in the placement of charges and changes in outline due to different artistic representations. Additionally, for certain charge types, all variants of that charge are considered equivalent for conflict purposes.
For example, a lion Or armed gules, where the claws and teeth are red, would not be different from a lion Or, where the lion is wholly gold, nor would either be different from a lion Or langued azure, where the mouth is open with a blue tongue. A moon in her plenitude, with a face on it, would not be different from either a moon or a roundel.
For example, a lion is not different from any other type of natural feline. This includes, but is not limited to: a domestic cat, a catamount, a mountain lion, an ounce, a tiger, and so on. However, a lion is different from a heraldic tyger, which is a heraldic monster. Other types which include many variants are dogs (variants include wolves and foxes) and swords/daggers.
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3. Some Changes Which Do Not Count for Difference: Changes that are smaller than a cadency step, as described below, do not contribute to difference between two armorial designs, no matter how many of them there are. These sorts of changes were often understood as artistic variation or details which could be included or omitted in display of the armory. This includes
differences in artistic maintained charges and details style, including arming and languing. It also includes minor variation in the placement of charges and changes in outline due to different artistic representations. Additionally, for certain charge types, all variants of that charge are considered equivalent for conflict purposes. like
For example, a lion Or armed gules, where the claws and teeth are red, would not be different from a lion Or, where the lion is wholly gold, nor would either be different from a lion Or langued azure, where the mouth is open with a blue tongue. A moon in her plenitude, with a face on it, would not be different from either a moon or a roundel
. . Similarly, a dragon maintaining a sword would not be different from either a dragon maintaining a mouse or a dragon and the exact positioning of the maintained sword would likewise not matter
For example, a lion is not different from any other type of natural feline. This includes, but is not limited to: a domestic cat, a catamount, a mountain lion, an ounce, a tiger, and so on. However,
is different from a heraldic tyger, which is a heraldic monster. Other types which include many variants are dogs it wolves and foxes) and swords/daggers. (which includes
On December 8, 2018, at Borealis Yule, Their Majesties of Avacal elevated Arwyn of Leicester, White Wyvern Herald, to the Order of the Pelican.
On March 2, in the final court of Their Royal Majesties of Artemesia Yuri and Sumayya, Their Majesties together with Juliana Laurel, elevated Conchobhar Golden Wing Principal Herald to the rank of Herald Extraordinary.
On March 14, at Ansteorran Royal Court at Gulf Wars, Their Royal Majesties Miguel and Conal did elevate Adelaide de Beaumont, Pympernell Herald, to the Order of the Laurel.
On March 17, at the Brendoken Baronial Investiture in the Middle Kingdom, Dmitrii Zhirov, northern Oaken Herald, was elevated to the Order of the Pelican for his heraldic work by Their Royal Majesties A'kos and Bella.
On March 23rd, at Defending the Gate in the Kingdom of Atlantia, Their Majesties Ragnarr and Lynette did invite Sara van Eerde, Steinmauer Pursuivant, into the Order of the Golden Dolphin. The Order of the Golden Dolphin is Atlantia's grant level award for service.
Please send information about happenings to major heralds and major happenings to all heralds to Laurel, so that it can be published here.
Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera are to be posted to the OSCAR online system. No paper copies need be sent. All submission forms plus documentation, including petitions, must be posted to the OSCAR online system. While black-and-white emblazons must be included in the Letter of Intent, only colored armory forms need to be posted in the forms area.
Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent to Stephanie Ray-Solum, Blue Bug Bookkeeping, 2144 Westlake Ave. North Suite F, Seattle, WA 98109.
Send roster changes and corrections to Laurel. College of Arms members may also request a copy of the current roster from Laurel.
For a paper copy of a LoAR, please contact Laurel, at the address above. The cost for one LoAR is $3. Please make all checks or money orders payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms". The electronic copy of the LoAR is available free of charge. To subscribe to the mailings of the electronic copy, please see the bottom of http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/lists.html#lists for more instructions.
For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.
Items listed below in square brackets have not been scheduled yet. For information about future scheduling, please review the status table located on the Web at http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=137.
The February Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, February 17, 2019 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, February 10, 2019. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Ęthelmearc (05 Nov, 2018), Calontir (05 Nov, 2018), Palimpsest Rules Letter (08 Nov, 2018), Palimpsest Rules Letter (13 Nov, 2018), Caid (20 Nov, 2018), Ealdormere (25 Nov, 2018), West (26 Nov, 2018), Lochac (27 Nov, 2018), An Tir (28 Nov, 2018), Atlantia (28 Nov, 2018), Avacal (29 Nov, 2018), Artemisia (30 Nov, 2018), Atenveldt (30 Nov, 2018), Drachenwald (30 Nov, 2018), Laurel LoPaD (30 Nov, 2018), Meridies (30 Nov, 2018), and Outlands (30 Nov, 2018). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, January 31, 2019.
The March Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, March 10, 2019 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, March 17, 2019. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Gleann Abhann (02 Dec, 2018), Palimpsest Other Letter (06 Dec, 2018), Calontir (07 Dec, 2018), Ęthelmearc (15 Dec, 2018), Avacal (19 Dec, 2018), West (23 Dec, 2018), Ealdormere (26 Dec, 2018), Laurel LoPaD (28 Dec, 2018), Outlands (28 Dec, 2018), Caid (29 Dec, 2018), Artemisia (30 Dec, 2018), East (30 Dec, 2018), Lochac (30 Dec, 2018), Ansteorra (31 Dec, 2018), Atenveldt (31 Dec, 2018), Atlantia (31 Dec, 2018), Drachenwald (31 Dec, 2018), Gleann Abhann (31 Dec, 2018), Meridies (31 Dec, 2018), Middle (31 Dec, 2018), Northshield (31 Dec, 2018), and Trimaris (31 Dec, 2018). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, February 28, 2019.
The April Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, April 28, 2019 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, April 14, 2019. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Lochac (03 Jan, 2019), Atlantia (05 Jan, 2019), Calontir (05 Jan, 2019), An Tir (14 Jan, 2019), Palimpsest (24 Jan, 2019), Ealdormere (25 Jan, 2019), Drachenwald (27 Jan, 2019), Laurel LoPaD (28 Jan, 2019), West (28 Jan, 2019), Avacal (29 Jan, 2019), Outlands (29 Jan, 2019), Ęthelmearc (30 Jan, 2019), Atenveldt (30 Jan, 2019), Middle (30 Jan, 2019), Ansteorra (31 Jan, 2019), Artemisia (31 Jan, 2019), Atlantia (31 Jan, 2019), Meridies (31 Jan, 2019), and Northshield (31 Jan, 2019). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Sunday, March 31, 2019.
Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The date of posting of the LoI, date of receipt of the Laurel packet, or other factors may delay consideration of certain letters of intent. Additionally, some letters of intent received may not have been scheduled because the administrative requirements (receipt of the forms packet, receipt of the necessary fees, et cetera) have not yet been met.
REMINDER: Until all administrative requirements are met, the letter may not be scheduled.
Pray know that I remain,
Juliana de Luna
Laurel Queen of Arms
Created at 2019-04-29T00:00:26