[ANSTHRLD] Oral history and writing it down.

radei at moscowmail.com radei at moscowmail.com
Thu May 10 20:59:01 PDT 2007

Internet did exist 30 years ago, just was not as easy to access. I sent my first e-mail in 1974.  

Just was not a user-friendly environment  ;-)
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hillary Greenslade" <hillaryrg at yahoo.com>
> To: Heralds <heralds at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Subject: [ANSTHRLD] Oral history and writing it down.
> Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 18:06:19 -0700 (PDT)
> Greetings,
> Interesting read the last few day.
> I understand Robin and Serena's frustration that what was 
> considered, as stated 'common law' is
> either no longer remembered or inconsistently used. I'm thinking 
> the cause is in part based on the
> heraldic oral-history and training one received, or perhaps the 
> region one lived in that had
> limited access to hearing or seeing those traditions.
> Some 20 years ago, when I began playing, there was no such thing as 
> the internet, the rialto was
> very limited; you got your information verbally at events, meetings 
> and via the mail, in the local
> and kingdom newsletters.  I still have handouts that were created 
> in memeograph print, for those
> that know what that is.  Event meetings shared new policies and 
> reinterated current ones, and
> those that attended carried that information back home to their 
> branches and shared it verbally.
> Oral tradition was very much the standard.  An SCA generation was 
> also longer, folks played
> between 5-7 years, before leaving us, if they did.
> Ansteorra will be 30 years soon, many of our senior/elder 
> 'fill-in-the-blank' (Heralds, Scribes,
> Seneschals, Crown) are no longer around, having retired from the 
> SCA.  I'm told a current SCA
> generation is 3 years.  If that oral tradition and common law 
> knowledge has been broken, then it
> will be lost if it's not written down.  We don't have to put the 
> 'rules' into Kingdom Law, the
> College of Heralds Admin. handbook, or similar, is just as good.
> I'm encountering a similar situation in the College of Scribes, 
> where elder scribes know it was
> always done this way or that - but they're not playing or rarely; 
> so oral history has not been
> passed along to newer scribes or those from other kingdoms have no 
> way of knowing the Ansteorran
> guidelines, policies and procedures, not just laws; if we don't 
> write them down and make them
> available to the masses.  Good starts have been made with the 
> College of Heralds Admin Handbook
> and the various articles online, with more articles and updates in 
> the future, that can educate
> our populace in order to retain those traditions.
> If you think about it, we're our own little micro-history petrie 
> dish.  The Vikings and Celts had
> an oral history to educate those that came later; while stones were 
> carved little is know of a
> formal written history.  Later, scribes began recording in written 
> documents the will of the
> kings, till eventually the general masses knew the law with the 
> advent of printing and it's
> general availability.  In it's near 30 years, I think Ansteorra is 
> in that writing stage, as
> traditions and ceremonies nearly forgotten are needed to be 
> recorded for all to learn and remember
> when the Robin's/Serena's/Hillary's are no longer around to remind them.
> Hillary
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