Calafia Prize Tourney & Xmas Arts Fest 1975

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Location: Calafia
Balboa Park, San Diego, CA
Date: 12/20/1975

Kirby Prize Tourney & Yuletide Arts Fest

Event Staff

Event Information

(From the August & September 1975 "frankly unofficial" Crown Prints)

December 20 in Balboa Park, San Diego: autocrat is Cristobal degli Glicine che Mangia Uome (of the Man-Eating Wisteria), Acting Deputy Mistress of Arts to the Barony of Calafia (details omitted)

  • Set up: 9:00 AM
  • Lists close: 10:00 AM
  • Opening Court: 10:30 AM
  • Lists begin: 11:00 AM
  • Lunch: 12:30-1:30
  • Closing Court when Lists are over


The reason for the early lists closing is so people can eat, shower & change before the Revel begins; courts will be kept short for the same reason. Fighting will be run on a split field & there is a tentative Boffer Lists for the ladies. (Rules for ladies' Boffer Lists will include wearing gloves on "sword" hand & use of a shield.) Judging of Arts contests will be done both during the Tourney & at the Revels, with prizes awarded that evening.

Sponsored by the incipient Barony of the Dragon, hosted by Barony of Calafia. Kirby Wise will donate some of his work for prizes.

ARTS REVEL will be held in a Synagogue* at 6:30 PM where winners of the contests judged during the day will be announced at 7:30. Judging of other contests: singing, dancing, etc, will begin at 8:00 PM onward. (*for those who are bringing food, remember that shellfish or pork will NOT be welcome in this hall! Sorry.)


1. BARDIC CIRCLE: a circle will be formed by all contestants & each person will stand to deliver his entry & sit down. The circle will run through twice. Eligible entries are Medieval song, Medieval-type songs, poems & SCA songs. All folk not wishing to observe the contest will be asked to remove themselves from the immediate vicinity & keep their voices DOWN please! (We'd like several people to help sponsor the Bardic Circle: it is a very important contest & should be treated as such.)

2. TRIM CONTEST: using plain ribbon or material with beads, jewels & gold thread to make a design. Each piece must be at least 9: long & may be attached to a costume, though not on a body. Sponsor: Lady Cristobal degli Glicine che Mangia Uome

3. BREAD CONTEST: (a) Yuletide Sweet Bread, (b) Plain or Savory Bread: each contestant will be asked to brig at least 2 loaves & donate them to the Revel. Judging during the day. Sponsor: Mistress Janay d'Aquitaine

4. BEVERAGE CONTEST: (a) Alcoholic, (b) Non-alcoholic: unless the cost of materials in the entry is prohibitive, each contestant will be asked to make at least 1 gallon of beverage & donate it to the Revel. Some entries may need to be served warm, so this contest will be judged in the evening. (A Sponsor is needed!)

5. MEDIEVAL MUNCHIES: Anything from a genuine Medieval recipe to a Medieval style munchie (candied violets, etc) is eligible, including Chinese food. Same rules apply here as to other food & beverage entries: donations to the Revel would be appreciated. SPONSOR: Lady Bjo of Griffin

6. ORIGINAL DEVICE CONTEST: Pick a person or place, real or fantasy & design an appropriate device (for example, use apples in a device for the Appleby family, etc.) Try to keep the rules of heraldry but they may be broken if justified. Entry may be illustrated in color, emblazoned & explained on paper. Ask your local herald for aid to do it properly. To be judged at the Tourney. SPONSOR: James the Inconstant

7. SWORD-WRAPPING CONTEST: wrap your sword in colored tape, etc. To be judged before fighting begins, of course. SPONSOR: Charles de Rouen

8. MAILMAKING: contest based on the Lyonesse mailmaking idea; whoever finishes their bag of rings wins. To be done at the Revel. SPONSOR: Morven of Carrick

9. COSTUME DESIGN: On-the-spot, a particular time & place will be designated & contestants will design a costume to fit (on paper). To be done at the Tourney. SPONSOR: Fiona MacGregor

ARTS CONTEST DEADLINE: Dec 12 - Anyone who wishes to enter the contests should please advise Cristobal degli Glicine che Mangia Uome of the fact on or before this date. Anyone wishing to present any kind of entertainment (dancing, music, singing, plays, etc) should please contact me before the same date.

There are several reasons why we decided to autocrat an Arts Prize Revel. . . Arts in Calafia has been practically nil for the past two years: Mistress Janay d'Aquitaine & I would like to see Arts become as organized & as important as possible.

Also, at most Revels, people break into small talk-and-drink groups, which are fun, but we tend to forget the idea behind the SCA; Revels should not be plain parties but have more participation through Arts, games & entertainment.

Many people have talents that are for the most part neglected & an Arts Revel will give them a chance to show off. Contests should encourage people to develop their talents & give them a positive atmosphere in which to present them; there should be as much fun in doing something or performing for the entertainment of themselves as for everyone else.

Several other contest ideas have been talked over, among them an Illumination Contest, a Poem or Song-writing Contest & the crowning of a Lord & Lady of Winter. If sponsors will come forward, or if there is any show of interest for these ideas, we can try them.

Cost of the prizes should be kept minimal. We hope Sponsors from elsewhere than Calafia will come forward so that no 1 or 2 people will be stuck with all the work or contributions. All prizes should be either hand-made or pertain directly to the contest (no "Jewel-Art" locket for the Bread contest. . .)

Any offers of help joyfully received: we need not only some sponsors for the contests, but entertainers, clean-up crew & other helpers to make this whole day a success (offers of aid need not necessarily come from Calafians only!)

Between now and the end of Oct, other contests may be suggested & put into action. The cut-off date for ideas is OCTOBER 31 to give sponsors time to prepare prizes.

There will be various dancing, singing & games for Revels entertainment. Everybody must wear costumes: preferably in one of the Yuletide colors (red, green, white, silver, gold). However, because 12th Night is so close, that is ONLY a suggestion to remind us of the general setting of the Revel.

from Cristobal degli Glicine che Mangia Uome

Event Chronicle

Lady Cristobal undertook the arduous task of autocratting a tourney and arts revel that was scheduled vie (count them--five!) days before Christmas. She worked very hard on every aspect of the tourney except one--she forgot to arrange good weather.

Imagine the sinking heart of the lady as she sees the gathering clouds after she has reported to us that the weather has been fine all week. When we arrived at the site little groups of folke were standing huddled together under capes and pavilions, one of which threatened to collapse on its inhabitants. Several doughty fighters were herd to mutter about just getting on with it and several others were heard to ask if this was the practice tourney for Mar(s)h Crown.1 Special thanks to Lord Renfield who had the foresight to bring an umbrella and protect a very surly Seneschale2 from the rain.

When all seemed lost (insert "William Tell Overture" here, please), Lady Giesele Hildegaard of the Mystic Dragon came to the rescue, as ever, and found us all shelter at the Newman Center on the campus of CalState San Diego. We packed up and moved to dry quarters and were able to spec a very cozy afternoon. (By the way, ladies, hoop skirts do not make it in a room with more than five persons! I know!) There was a small but very adequate lawn in the back of the Center and once the offending clouds passed, the tourney progressed. Fortunately, there was a covered area for everyone to stand under in case it started raining again. Prince Gregory of York won the Prize sword in his last-round battle against Guy de Montfort, a bright new fighter from Lyonesse to keep an eye on. The Prince was most please to win a sword he won't have to cede to his successor.

Lady Giesele cooked another of her amazing lunches that was not only delicious (rich, mushrooms, meat, squash, bread--you know, one of those little things she whips up for 1,000 of her closest friends in what seems like two seconds), but nice and HOT.

There were more entries in the Arts Contests than in any other tourney we have been to in the last three years. This proves that if you give people time and incentive, they will show off their talents. Contests should be stressed at all tournies, even if there are only a few entries.

People to thank for making this tourney a success include:

From the Autocrat, special thanks to:

  • Prince Gregory of York for putting up with her during and after the tourney
  • Mistress Janay d'Aquitaine for helping plan the tourney
  • Lord Eadmond du Battlemont, and to Lady Cristobal's mother, both of whom helped with the tourney and put up with Lady Cristobal the week before and the weekend of the tourney
  • And to all the people who judged and sponsored the contests, with particular thanks to all who entered the contests!

The results of the contests were:

1. Bardic Circle

All entries in the Bardic Circle were excellent. William of Dover won with the 2 pieces he'd written; one for guitar solo & the other a song. Alan placed second with her excellent presentation and choice of songs. Robert & Rupert and Sir Martin the Temperate were exceptionally...uh...entertaining.

2. Trim

Lady Jocelyn's entry was one of the most beautiful pieces of intricate trim work I've ever seen. She used gold thread, rhinestones & other jewelry. Alisande entered a piece of gold & silver embroidery reminiscent of Celtic artwork, very detailed.

3. Breads

  • 1st (Sweet or Fruited Breads): Mistress Bjo of Griffin won a bread-board with her rum-coffee-date bread
  • 1st (Savory or Plain Breads): Sine Singing Hands won a bread-board for her lemon bread.

Mistress Bjo's entry was terrific. Sine placed a close second in the sweet bread, but won hands down with her lemon bread in the next category.

4. Beverages There were only 2 entries--Mistress Bjo and the Insulters Guild. Mistress Bjo's Christmas brandy was judged fine enough to win the bottle of wine, in spite of it being such a small contest. The Insulters Guild entered a very icky beverage (green stuff, with a lemon slice floating in it); we were afraid to taste it.

5. Medieval Munchies

Medieval munchies are going strong in Caid! There are many entries and all good. Mostly sweetmeats; Mistress Tyra entered several kinds, including rose-flavored wafers. Robear du Bois wanted to enter a complaint against the judges for not tasting his entry: a "Mongol" munchie (a chunk of raw meat impaled on a sword), but the judges ignored him.

6. Original Device

  • 1st: Robear du Bois won a book on basic heraldry for his device for Genghis Khan.
  • 2nd: Lady Jocelyn entered a very well-detailed work on Gandalf the Grey.

7. Sword Wrapping (Appearance only)

  • 1st: Katherine Marlowe NiChlurain won because she wrapped a sword to look like a candy cane. Fortunately her entry was seen by the judges before the rain ruined it! She was awarded a tiny plaque.
  • 2nd: Einar aus Enwelt won a length of rattan for a well-wrapped sword in blue and black.

8. Costume Design: Three prizes were awarded to Lady Jocelyn, Mistress Tyra and Mistress Bjo. Rules were to design costumes for either/or both Romeo and Juliet for an impoverished acting company for any time period up to 1600. The Insulters Guild was disqualified because barrels were definitely too expensive. . .

9. Banner Contest: Only 2 entries--Mistress Bjo and the Insulters Guild. Bjo was declared the winner, and since John ap Griffin was the sponsor, he declared he'd think of a suitable prize to be awarded in a less public place. Mistress Bjo's banner (the device of Charles of Dublin in all metallic textiles) was beautiful and flashy!


  • Please feel free to add your memories of this event here.

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