Becoming an Apprentice & Protegé

On April 1, 2017 at our Barony’s Terpsichore at the Tower event, I had the privilege of becoming Mistress Genoveva‘s apprentice and protegé. Below is a photo story of the event.

In the SCA, a yellow belt is a sign of the relationship of a protegé who is a student to Pelican for their mentorship. Genoveva, my Pelican, has given me the only belt that she used to wear when she was a protegé. Her belt bears hearts, symbolizing the people we help through joyful service. And it also has flowers, which represent how our seeds of service can grow into blossoms that enrich our Society. She has given me a chatelaine to hold keys to her house’s library — which contains her own knowledge and the counsel she will share with me as I take on new service assignments. The belt also contains a chatelaine to hold keys to her library of knowledge. I know that she will always be there for me when I have questions or need guidance! The keys symbolize the accomplishments and service positions that I take along our path together. On the day I was given the belt, I also took the position of Middle Kingdom Office of Group Transitions officer….and thus earned my first key. I look forward to seeing what other keys I’ll be given. I’m told each will be different!

Genoveva adding a key to my chatelaine as she gives me her own yellow belt.

As a visible sign of our bond as Laurel and apprentice, I was asked to wear a green pleated apron. I am to wear it in my studies teaching period cooking and presentations both inside and outside of the kitchen — and to maintain it’s condition at all times. The apron has 50 pleats representing the things my good Mistress feels I have already accomplished. As I complete tasks, I will earn more pleats on my apron, and thus a higher status in the household. Genoveva, of course, made the apron herself, and has since told me that green smocked aprons like this were in fact period (of course they were, it’s Genoveva!)

Genoveva ties on my green apron.
Genoveva signs the scroll first.
Then I added my signature.

The weeks before the ceremony, I created an indenture scroll which was signed  by both Genoveva and I in front of the viewing populace. An indenture was an official agreement between two parties especially in order to learn a job. The papers were witnessed by both of our Lords and our Baron and Baroness.

Their Excellencies Kasha (far left) and Ermenrich (far right) and our Lords, Gregor and Tairdelbach, all signed their names in witness of our contract.

During everyone signing, we had asked our herald to read the contract so that everyone could hear what was written and what was being agreed to. Most of the text was said while Mistress Genoveva was passing along the belt and apron, but it was a good time-filler while we were all fumbling with ink and pens! Once everything was set — the big reveal came — the cutting of the contract! Up to this point, Genoveva had done most of the talking, so it fell upon me to explain what was about to happen and what a “Cyrograhum” was and meant! Genoveva cut the contract in half so we could each have a copy. There was an audible gasp as it was explained what she was about to do. She did a darned good job cutting it, too! She said it looks JUST like some of the extant examples we had found — again, leave it to her to make it as authentic as possible. (Read more about this scroll here!)

And the cutting! (Insert gasps from the crowd here!)
Yep! Two parts…wow that was a lot of work!
Estelle drips was on the paper tag.
Genoveva stamps the hot wax with her seal.

The piece was also stamped with a winged heart — a symbol of Genoveva’s personal heraldry. Many thanks to Estelle for her help with the sealing wax. I hadn’t had much experience with that yet and was already a ball of nerves. I had cut the strips of paper and made the cuts for the tags…but the sealing was done onsite just after the ceremony. 

The final seal looked great!

After the ceremony there was a large dinner break before the event’s ball. We all enjoyed a lovely dinner together in the basement of the church. It’s our plan to ‘renew’ our relationship each year at Terpsichore. I look forward to the coming years with my friend, Genoveva, as my official mentor. It’s a large responsibility to follow in her shoes…and I take it quite seriously and with great pleasure and love.

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