Museum Visit: Bronze Age Balkans

Today we visited the “Ritual and Memory” exhibit at the
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World.

Although I’ve been summarizing the exhibit as focusing on the “Bronze Age Balkans,” the artifacts on display covered a wider range of time, from the Copper Age through the Iron Age, and of space, from the Balkan mountains to the Carpathian mountains. Continue reading Museum Visit: Bronze Age Balkans

Museum Visit: Pattern Books

Alienor and I ventured out today to see the “Threads of Power” exhibit at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery, exploring the development and social significance of lace, including examples of needle and bobbin lace from the sixteenth and early seventeenth century, courtesy of Switzerland’s Textilmuseum St. Gallen.

Although the fabric examples were impressive, the thing that particularly caught my attention were a few fifteenth- and sixteenth-century examples of “pattern books” — printed collections of designs to be used as source material by people working with fiber and fabric. Continue reading Museum Visit: Pattern Books

Licensing of Software Developed for the SCA

An open letter to the corporate leadership of the SCA, lightly edited for clarity from the version I submitted in September 2022. — Mathghamhain


There is a long-standing issue within the Society around licensing for software developed by volunteers as well as related IT-related creations.

My direct experience with this is mostly in the context of the East Kingdom webministry, but in talking with folks from other kingdoms I’ve gotten the impression that this issue is widespread and dates back more than twenty years.

If you look at all the software written for various branches of the SCA — event calendars, order-of-precedence repositories, custom website themes, martial-authorization databases — I believe you will find that only a minority of it has clear copyright attributions or explicit licenses. Continue reading Licensing of Software Developed for the SCA

Putting Up The Provincial Pavilion

The Crown Province of Østgarðr owns a 20′ x 30′ pavilion, generally known as “the green and white,” which is used for most of our outdoor events.

The tent was purchased sometime around 2013 and is still in good shape, with just one or two small holes in the fabric.

Putting it up takes some effort, but the shade and rain cover are well worth the effort. Continue reading Putting Up The Provincial Pavilion

Welcome to Our Pennsic Kitchen

A bunch of people are camping with Østgarðr at Pennsic for the first time this year, and it’s been a few years since any of us did this, so I thought it would be useful to write up some notes about one aspect of camp life that might be of interest to others: our kitchen.

The Østgarðr encampment does not have a camp kitchen or a formal meal plan, but it does have a tradition of generous households and communal meals which everyone in camp is welcome to share.

But before I get to that, let’s begin with a bit of background information for folks who are new to Pennsic. Continue reading Welcome to Our Pennsic Kitchen

About Our Household Name

We chose Tyddyn Ystradfflyr as the name for our family’s household in the context of our historical re-creation activities within the Society for Creative Anachronism.

The name is Welsh, and is intended to suggest a small family farm in an idyllic medieval valley filled with flowers.

The word Tyddyn is Welsh for “farmstead” or “family farm,” while Ystradfflyr is a compound word meaning “vale of flowers.”

With a bit of poetic license, one might render this into English as “Bloomingdale Farm,” a name that appealed to us as an echo of the Bloomingdale neighborhood of New York City where we have lived for the last fifteen years.

The historical documents we cited to support the registration of this name with the Society’s College of Arms are shown below.


Tyddyn is a Old Welsh word meaning a family farmstead, as documented in Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn’s “Period Welsh Models for SCA Households and the Nomenclature Thereof” which says:

… tyddyns or homesteads, each with its share in the surrounding fields…. each tyddyn is held, in theory, by an individual household … the Ordinance Survey Map of Anglesey turns up more examples, such as Tyddyn Mawr (Big Tyddyn) and Tyddyn y Felin (Tyddyn of the Mill).”

Ystradfflyr is the historical name of a mansion in central Wales, as documented in Aryanhwy merch Catmael’s “A Collection of Welsh Household Names from 1602” which says:

Ystradfflyr (Cardigan): Welsh. ystrad ‘vale’ + n. fflur ‘flower’ …

Viceregal Platform

Greetings from Alienor Salton and Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin to the populace of Østgarðr!

This autumn, at the invitation of their Excellencies Suuder and Lada, we announced our intention to stand as candidates for the viceregal succession, and since then we have laid out our qualifications (Alienor’s resume, Mathghamhain’s resume) and our objectives for the office.

We invite you to take a few minutes to peruse our platform statement and get to know us better, then feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions that weren’t answered here, or suggestions or concerns that you’d like to see addressed.

Thank you for taking the time to consider the choice before you.

In service to the dream,

— Alienor Salton
— Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin


To their Royal Majesties Emperor Ioannes and Empress Honig, and to their Highnesses Crown Prince Ryouko’jin and Crown Princess Indrakshi, and to their Excellencies Suuder Il-Khan and Lada Il-Khatun, and most importantly to the beloved populace of the Crown Province of Østgarðr, birthplace of the East, first among equals — greetings!
.

We come before you, Hlæfdige Alienor Salton and Boaire Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin, to present ourselves as candidates for the viceregal succession. Continue reading Viceregal Platform