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Do-not-Wear-art - 6/19/12


"SCA – What Not To Wear – Belts, Baldrics and Scarves, Oh My!" by Lord Ian the Green.


NOTE: See also the files: SCA-Housholds-art, 4-newcomers-msg, smptuary-laws-lnks, Earng-Your-AoA-art, p-sumpt-laws-msg, SCA-courtesy-art, favors-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



SCA – What Not To Wear – Belts, Baldrics and Scarves, Oh My!

by Lord Ian the Green

Unlike in the modern world, "SCA – What Not To Wear," has more to do with certain things being reserved for people who have achieved certain honors. The actual list is very short, but then there is SCA culture that gets a bit confusing

Belts, Baldric and Arm Scarves

When picking out what to wear for yourself, you will probably find the choices of what you can wear to be exciting, overwhelming and even fun or a bit intimidating. There are after all so very many choices.

Don't wear white belts or baldrics or white scarves on your arms.  The white belt is reserved for Knights.  The White Baldric is reserved for Masters of Arms and in 17 Kingdoms the White Scarf is reserved for their highest Rapier Order.  In the Middle Kingdom their highest Rapier Order wears a Bronze Colored Scarf.

Everything else, clothing wise, is pretty much fair game.  There are some things that are culturally thought of as belonging to a certain kind of person, but it is only cultural, not restricted by oficial rules.

In the SCA we have Knights who take on Squires, Laurels who take on Apprentices, Pelicans who take on Protégés, and White Scarves/Bronze Rings who take on Cadets/Wards.

Squire = Red Belt

Apprentice = Green Belt

Protege = Yellow Belt

Cadet/Ward = Red Scarf

Here's the trick.  Squires, Apprentices, Proteges and Cadets/Wards are not officially recognized by SCA, Inc.  Not a one of them.  They are however firmly entrenched in SCA culture, and in my opinion they should be.  However, since they are not officially recognized, they have no protections.  Anyone, including you, is allowed to wear those colors of belts and scarves.

A story was once told to me was about a new lady who got dressed up, did a fine job and attended her first event in the Kingdom of An Tir.  She wore a red belt because that was what went well with the outfit.  Well a couple of squires happened upon this lady and started questioning her and telling her she couldn't wear the red belt.  A Laurel walked up and saw these two squires and asked them who their Knight was.  This is a question you answer when asked but they hemmed and hawed about it.

The Laurel asked them if they were ashamed of their Knight to which they responded "No," and gave the name of their Knight.  The Laurel went and spoke with that Knight about how his Squires were treating the lady. The new lady had two men-at-arms who did her every bidding for the rest of that event.  And if the Knight saw the lady do anything for herself the Knight insisted his Squires do it for the lady. Though any of us can make mistakes, Chivalry is alive and well in the SCA and such rudeness as displayed by the Squires will be handily dealt with.

There is no reason not to be wearing a red (or any other non-white color) baldric that I can think of.  Not one.  "Oh you could be mistaken for a squire," I doubt it, they wear red belts not baldrics.  And you know what?  Squire is not a rank. Similar to being an apprentice or protege these titles have no more meaning than the person has a formal attachment (is a "dependent" of) to the requisite peer.  It only has meaning between those who have that relationship and for the rest of us it means that if we catch the "dependent," doing something good or wrong we have someone to go talk to about it.

Now, I'm not belittling those relationships in the slightest. They are important to those who have them.  And the rest of us should give all due respect to those relationships.  I myself am an apprentice.  I have asked people who were wearing a green belt whom they were apprenticed to.  I have been given names of their Laurels and I have been told, "I'm not an apprentice."  My response either way is, "Okay, that's cool."  And that should be the response, in their own way, of everyone else.

When I was a Chatelain I told my newcomers that if they chose to wear those color belts, red, green and yellow to be ready to explain that they weren't whatever the belt color might be thought to indicate, but they shouldn't be harassed about it at all. And if they were, to get that person's name and _I_ would deal with it.

It is getting to the point in the SCA that if we reserved by rules all culturally accepted things that it would be utterly ridiculous in my mind.  Belt colors could not be red, yellow, green or blue.  Scarves could not be red or black.  And I’m sure there are other tings as well.

Or we can all just take a chill pill, ask if we are curious and once getting our answer, move on just as one with chivalrous behavior should do.

Of course that's just my opinion.

Ian the Green


Copyright 2012 David Roland. <ianthegreen01 at gmail.com> All Rights Reserved.  Permission for use and reproduction for personal use to members of the Society for Creative Anachronism granted.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org