Laurel LoPaD dated 2017-11-30

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Juliana Laurel, Alys Pelican, and Cormac Wreath, greetings.

This letter contains the issues raised in the September 2017 LoAR for CoA discussion. The text in this letter is copied verbatim from that LoAR; it is provided here for convenience. As with a November LoI, these matters are currently scheduled for the Pelican and Wreath meetings in February 2018. Original commentary, responses, and rebuttals to commentary must be entered into OSCAR no later than Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

1: Cynnabar, Barony of - New Order Name

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

Award of the Argent Buttress

Meaning (white buttress) most important.

This order name purports to use the pattern Color + Heraldic Charge. However, no evidence was presented showing that a buttress was, in fact, a plausible heraldic charge. The arms of Steinhaussen, which "incorporat[e] buttress-like architectual detail" according to the Letter of Intent, were not accompanied by a blazon and it was by no means clear that anything in that image would have been blazoned as a "buttress." To complicate matters, we received absolutely no commentary at all on this item.

Therefore, we are pending this item in an effort to obtain evidence and commentary showing whether a buttress is a plausible period heraldic charge.

This was item 8 on the Middle letter of June 30, 2017. (http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=145&id=77261)

The above submission has images. To view them, see the URLs below:
#1 https://oscar.sca.org/showimage.php?I=449/2017-11-29/22-12-04_Buttress.jpg


2: Darton, Shire of - New Badge

OSCAR finds the name registered exactly as it appears in April of 2003, via Caid.

(Fieldless) A hunting horn Or

This submission is to be associated with populace

According to precedent, this badge should be returned for conflict with the badge of the West Kingdom, Purpure, a hunting horn reversed Or.

Based on previous returns, there is also no difference for reversing the hunting horn. [Roland of Foxesglen, LoAR of March 2005]

The Glossary of Terms defines the default [for hunting horns] as bell to dexter, and in fact, most horns registered to date do follow this default. Bell to dexter continues to be the default orientation. There is a blazonable difference between the orientations but not a CD. [Dáire de Haya, LoAR of Oct 2006]

These precedents seem to be predicated on the opinion that hunting horns are largely symmetrical. However, to my eye, hunting horns are not symmetrical; there is a small end with a mouthpiece and a large, flared end where the noise projects.

Commenters are asked to provide commentary on whether we should continue the practice of denying a DC for reversing a hunting horn.

This was item 14 on the Lochac letter of June 26, 2017. (http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=145&id=76873)


3: Helene d'Anjou - New Name

Submitter desires a feminine name.
Spelling most important.

Both the Letter of Intent and commentary identified the issue of whether this name presumes on the name of a saint of the Serbian Orthodox Church, rendered in modern English as Helen of Anjou. We are pending this name to address whether all saints should be automatically be protected from presumption or whether protection of saints be assessed on a case-by-case basis based on their historical and cultural significance?

Past precedents suggest, without ever explicitly so stating, that we addressed the protection of saints on a case by case basis. For example, in 2000, we ruled:

Because it is reasonable for a resident of a town to be named after the town's patron saint, this name is not presumptuous. Furthermore, Saint Morwenna, the patron saint of Morwenstow, is not important enough to protect. [Morwenna of Morwenstow, 01/00, A-Drachenwald]

We further note that, by precedent, the addition of a second byname that does not allude to any attributes of Saint Helen of Anjou would remove the appearance of presumption. When registering the name Jehanne Darc de la Coste in June 2005, we stated, in relevant part:

So, is the name presumptuous? It makes an unmistakable reference to the saint's name, but does this mean that it is a claim to be the saint? We believe that it does not make such a claim. For a name to be presumptuous, the names must either be in conflict or the allusion must be so strong that there is no doubt that the name is an attempt to be the person it presumes on. The addition of the locative, which is not associated with the saint, is sufficient to avoid presumption. Note that the addition of a locative or descriptive byname to a famous name is not in itself sufficient to avoid presumption; the locative or descriptive must be one that does not allude to the famous name. For example, Jehanne Darc de Domrémy or Jehanne Darc de Lorraine would be presumptuous, because, although the saint's name is not found with these locatives, she was raised on the estate of Domrémy in Lorraine. Likewise, descriptive bynames such as la fille or la pucelle (maiden, in both cases) would be presumptuous of "the maid of Orleans", as would descriptives referring to battle, martyrdom, or seeing visions/mental instability.

Since the name, by itself, is not presumptuous (despite the strong references -- we note that an addition reference to the saint in the submitter's arms may push the combination over the top), changing the second surname to a true locative/topographic byname should make the name registerable. We have changed the name to Jehanne Darc de la Coste in order to register it.

If the submitter wishes to add a second byname to moot the question of presumption while the name is pended, she should have her heralds add that information in the commentary so that we may consider it.

Her device is registered under the holding name Helene of Lions Gate.

This was item 16 on the An Tir letter of June 30, 2017. (http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=145&id=77159)


4: Maude de Fay - New Device

OSCAR finds the name on the Gleann Abhann LoI of June 06, 2017 as submitted.

Per bend azure and vert, on a bend argent an attired pantheon rampant gules mullety Or

This device is pended to discuss how to treat modifications to period chimerical monsters. Pantheons are defined as hinds (female deer) with fox tails, strewn with mullets or estoiles. The addition of antlers change the hind to a stag. Normally, we would not worry too much about this difference and would merely blazon it as a new chimerical creature. But in this case, the mullets would not be part of the definition of this new chimerical creature; as such, they would be quaternary charges (charges on a tertiary charge) and thus unregisterable. Commenters also questioned whether the mullets on this creature should be treated as quaternary charges even if it is a pantheon. We therefore ask for commentary on both questions: should this be treated as a variant of a pantheon? If so, should a pantheon be allowed as a tertiary charge with quaternary mullets or estoiles?

This was item 7 on the Gleann Abhann letter of June 6, 2017. (http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=145&id=76243)


5: Period Depictions of Hands of Fatima Sought - New Other

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

Recent commentary has brought up a question on a long-accepted charge: the Hand of Fatima, also known as a hamsa. The charge, typically depicted as a stylized hand with the outer digits turning outward at the tips in vertical symmetry, was first registered in September 1971. Since then, it has been registered a total of 24 times, most recently in October 2015. There is a precedent from October 2015, in the registrations of Safiyya bint Khalid ibn Hamdun, that "A hand of Fatima is a specific depiction of a hand and is not a step from period practice." However, no images of the symmetrical, digits-turned-out motif of a Hand of Fatima has been provided. While most literature provided is in agreement that symbols described as Hands of Fatima or khamsas was used by Muslims and Jews in period, including in al-Andalus, placing the symbol squarely in Western Europe, the few extant depictions I've tracked down do not support this stylization. One example is a Hand of Fatima carved above the exterior arch of the Puerta de la Justicia at the Alhambra in Spain. However, the actual depiction is a cubit arm with a stylized flourish at the palm, and naturalistic digit placement.

I'm calling on commenters to seek out and provide evidence of the modern, symmetrical depiction of a Hand of Fatima in period artwork. Absent evidence that this artistic variant of a hand is documentable prior to the 17th century, we may have to discontinue its allowance in submissions as a modern design.


6: Rāja Cūḷāmaṇi of Chennai - New Name

Submitter desires a feminine name.
Language most important.
Culture (given name that is Tamil) most important.

Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is the modern name of a city that was known in period and, in fact, was in contact with the Portuguese and the Dutch beginning in the early 16th century. Therefore, it is a reasonable lingua Anglica form of an Indian place name.

This name is pended to address whether the use of the element Rāja as part of the compound given name Rāja Cūḷāmaṇi is presumptuous. Although not a title protected in the Society, Raja or Rajah is a term used for a monarch or ruler in parts of South and Southeast Asia. Additional research is needed to determine the meaning of the name Rāja Cūḷāmaṇi in Tamil, its relationship to the title Raja or Rajah, and whether this name could be read as being a claim to being a monarch or ruler of the city of Chennai.

This was item 26 on the Middle letter of June 30, 2017. (http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=145&id=77270)


7: Southron Gaard, Barony of - New Household Name

OSCAR finds the name registered exactly as it appears in January of 1999, via Caid.

Hamlet of Gildenwick

The Barony argues that Hamlet should be a valid designator for a household. A hamlet is defined by the OED as "A group of houses or a small village in the country." However, on the March 2004 Letter of Acceptances and Returns, we ruled that Village could not be used as a household designator:

[T]here was considerable discussion whether Village was appropriate as a household designator. The overwhelming consensus was that Village was not an appropriate designator for a household name and, that, if Village should ever be allowed as a designator, that it should be used as an alternate of some level of branch designator. We are, therefore, disallowing use of Village as a designator for a household name. [Petrus Curonus, Pähkinäsaari, Village of, 03/2004, R-Drachenwald]

In light of this precedent, we are pending this item for a further discussion. Among other things, we ask commenters to address whether using Village or Hamlet as a household designator inappropriately blurs the line between a household and an SCA branch and, if so, whether this blurring is a problem when the household is registered to a local group, as is the case here.

This was item 27 on the Lochac letter of June 26, 2017. (http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=145&id=76881)


Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Juliana de Luna
Laurel Queen of Arms


OSCAR counts 2 Names, 1 Household Name, 1 Order Name, 1 Device, 1 Badge and 1 Other. There are a total of 7 items submitted on this letter.