Recognizing Skill and Good Works

Wendy Erisman werisman at
Tue Oct 22 13:28:22 PDT 1996

Lyonel writes in response to Aodhan:

>Were the nobility of France and
>England likely to decide that maybe it would be more fun to play with the
>Black Powder Enthusiasts instead of being French because this France thing
>just isn't any fun for the average player?  Certainly not.  

It's interesting that you mention the black powder/buckskinner groups in
this context. These groups are much like the SCA in their practice of
holding private events intended to re-create the ambiance of a particular
era rather than to re-enact specific historical events and in their emphasis
on sport (in their case, black powder shooting competitions) and crafts.
Yet, they have no hierarchical structure of rank based on formal awards.
Instead, they reward skill in sport and crafts and contributions of service
with relatively informal prizes and verbal recognition. At their council
fires, the equivalent of SCA courts, they recognize those who have
contributed to the event with words of praise and thanks and with small
material tokens. Their most formal ceremony is that of being given a "camp
name," a way in which people are recognized as contributing members of the
community. This informal system of recognition, which it seems to me is very
similar to what Aodhan was advocating in his post, serves the function of
awards without introducing a formal system of rank which tends to encourage
people to do things just to move up in the hierarchy.

                                                       aka "Recording Woman"

Wendy Erisman                                  
UT Austin                                     
werisman at                     

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