Well, it's cold and rainy outside and close to freezing (there's even snow on the ground), so it doesn't seem much like Spring to me, but this is the upper Midwest so it will change soon enough. As I sit here and ponder how fast the year has gone by, I am a bit speechless. But it's once again time to start thinking about Pennsic, so I am pleased to announce that the annual SIG meeting/Slavic Festival will take place at 6pm on Sunday, August 10th. Check with the official Pennsic schedule for the exact location, but we will have the tent for three hours, so feel free to show up when you can. The organizer this year is Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Jennifer Heise, 1103 W Walnut St, Apt 1, Allentown PA 18102, email@example.com). Contact her if you can help (thanks Jadwiga!). At this time, I am not planning on attending Pennsic, but there's no telling what weird stuff my company might pull on me this year.
Do keep those articles coming. We have a pretty good size issue this quarter this time and I think we've achieved a good variety of topics. Still, I'm definitely looking for material.
By Gorandookht Mamigonian
It started Friday night with a vigil held at a hotel meeting room that was decorated with carpets, silks, and pillows to make it look less like a meeting room. There was period Middle Eastern food: boreg, pomegranates, sekanjabin, pistachio marzipans, and so on. I sat on the floor and received advice from the peerage, while Armenian music played softly in the background. I also had the experience of having my feet and hands hennaed (a Middle Eastern tradition, but not Armenian). As the vigil wound down, I was delighted to see another fellow Armenian (Dikran Dikranian) visit from the East.
I had less than two months to plan something (from the time I was offered the Laurel) that didn't look rushed, but honored my culture. I used the standard An Tir ceremony with some extra Armenian elements added. Those elements included having Viscountess Dagmaer sing an Armenian procession song (originally done for the Catholicos -- the head of Armenian Orthodox Church). As I processed, I held in my hand an embroidered work by my grandmother. My mentor carried a box with earth from Armenia inside (representing my ancestors). My father processed next to my banner. I wore an 11thc. Armenian dress with inscribed arm bands which I embroidered. In medieval Armenian culture -- the first born wears arm bands (tiraz bands) not only for ornamentation, but as a proclamation that they are the heir to their fathers.
As I presented myself before the Crown, various speakers spoke of my qualities, and I tried not to cry. The Armenian scroll that declared me worthy of joining the group was read by my mother (who was visiting us from Lebanon). As the English text of the scroll was read, the King marked my forehead with oil from Edchmiadzin (a kind of Armenian Vatican). This was an adaptation of a medieval adoption ceremony that took place in Armenia between a Crusader and an Armenian prince (Prince Toros I think). It involved rubbing each other's oily chests while sharing a big shirt; this was repeated with the perspective mother. In my ceremony, the anointing was to symbolize my "adoption" into the peerage.
The Queen presented me with the medallion (one of the oldest in An Tir) I inherited from my Laurel, and the circlet. For fealty I used a copper cross (instead of the usual sword or crown) given to me by a local Armenian repousee artist. For my ceremony I tried to involve the people who have inspired me over the years: from Duke Thorin who held my hand as we processed (and kept me from fainting), to my father who paid for the "wedding." Most of my nerves came not from my elevation, but that I honored my ancestors and friends who believed in me. As the Laurels welcomed me into their Order, they presented me with my own medallion (enamel work with my device) shaped as a 16th century Persian talisman. Inside this medallion is water from Berkley and earth from Evergreen (college I graduated from). It was that moment when the tears flooded my vision. Here were the happenings as I remember them, so I pass my memories to you.
By Nenad Lockic
Mining has been an important part of the economic development of a state and society from the time of the first civilizations. In the Middle Ages, mining activities were very important in Southeast Europe. Numerous ore-rich locations with different valuable ores were a rich source of economic support for a state.
The challenge for the region was the absence of people skilled in mining itself. For this reason, the local rulers invited Saxons (already renowned miners) to do the work. They were found throughout Hungary, Walachia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Bosnia. In Serbia, they were known as Sasi (sing. Sasin or, in modern Serbian, Sas). In medieval Latin documents they are recorded as Theotonici or Tedeschi.
The Sasi came to Serbia between 1243 and 1276, during the rule of King Stepan Urosh I. They brought with them their age-old mining techniques (developed in pre-Roman periods). It is often thought that the Sasi came from Transylvania but Constantin Yirechek has argued that it is more likely that they came from northern Hungary.
Similar to other European medieval states, Serbia gave privileges to miners as a social group because of their strategic importance to the state. Until1349, the Sasi were free to use the forests as they pleased and to build their colonies. After1349, however, emperor Stepan Dushan limited their access to the forests to direct commercial purposes.
Each mine was a firm similar to today's companies. One of the Sasi's privileges was to have their own notary who was responsible for paying taxes to the king. It is interesting that smelting (while often placed close to the mine) was not usually run by the Sasi. Instead, these plants were owned by Dubrovnik's merchant companies. So, the Sasi and the indigenous peoples often lived in close quarters. These economic activities were the seeds of development for these places. Very quickly, these mining colonies developed markets.
Trading was also an important economic activity. The majority of merchants were from Dubrovnik and they organized caravans with goods which traveled inland from Dubrovnik. Like the Sasi themselves, Dubrovnik's merchants were granted religious freedom. They often shared the same (Catholic) church with the miners.
The Sasi and the Dubrovnik merchants were autonomous and managed their communities by their own rules. This autonomy included the right to adjudicate cases of conflicts between the Sasi themselves. Similar courts operated in other states (e.g., Hungary and Bohemia) and operated according to the customs of the Sasi. In cases where the dispute crossed ethnic lines, a jury was formed that was made up of an equal number of representatives from each ethnic group.
One privilege that the Sasi enjoyed made them especially unpopular with their neighbors - they had to right to seize anything they needed from any house without providing compensation. Similar rights existed for the miners in other European states and was granted to the miners because of the importance of their work. This practice of seizure and the Sasi's polite way of coming into a house with the word bitte (please) and leaving with the word danke (thanks), led to the creation of a word to describe the behavior --bitange (sing. bitanga) meaning "saucy," "prudish," and "arrogant persons" at same time.
Medieval European urban life was not easy. Houses were small and dirty, built close to each other, and without water and sewers. They were prone to the easy spread of epidemics. The Sasi also had to fend against miner's worms (Ankylostomum duodenale) -- a parasite that usually lives in the mud. The Sasi picked up this parasite in mines through skin or mouth.
Sasi mines (as we can see today) were unsystematic. Their tunnels ran in zig-zagging patterns, changing directions upward and downward after only short periods. This is because the Sasi followed a particular vein of ore. Often it is possible to only travel through their tunnels by crawling in the mud!
Some of these mines are still active. Trepcha near Kosovska Mitrovica (known for lead, zinc, and silver ore) was famous in the Middle Ages, as well as the whole area of the Kopaonik mountain northwest of Kosovska Mitrovica. Of course, there was a big colony of Sasi there. Another modern active mine from this time is Sase near Srebrenica in Bosnia (also known for lead, zinc, and silver). Medieval Srebrenica changed hands between Serbian and Bosnian rulers until the Turkish Conquest. The name of the mine (Sase) is a reminder of the people who worked there, as the name of the place is a reminder of its primary product -- srebro (silver). It is recorded that Sase produced about 1200 kg of silver per year around 1450. Rudnik ("mine") mountain, about 120 km south of Belgrade, is also active today. In medieval times it was an active copper mine (in addition to the lead, zinc, and silver it has always been producing). In1429, it produced 2 pounds of silver for every 400 pounds of copper. Zayacha in western Serbia in medieval times was an active lead, zinc, and silver mine. Today, it is active producer of antimony ore.
On Zhrnovo mountain (the modern name "Avala" is of Turkish origin), south of Belgrade, there exists a medieval mine that operated until fairly recently. This mine is now closed, but a small portion of it is used by the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Mining and Geology for student exercises. In medieval times, there were also famous mines in the area of Kuchevo (eastern Serbia), Valjevo, and Brskovo on the Tara river (Montenegro).
But the most famous mine was at Novo Brdo ("New Hill") near the village of Yanjevo in Kosovo. Novo Brdo (in Latin documents written as "Novaberd," "Novus Mons," or "Novamonte"; and in the Sasi's own documents as "Nyeuberghe") can be found mentioned in documents as early as 1236. Novo Brdo was a metropolis with a fortress built on the top of an extinct volcano cone and residential sections sprawling all around. There were mines and smelting furnaces for iron, lead, gold and silver ores. Novo Brdo silver is known by its argentum glame (an alloy of silver with 1/6 gold). The mines of Novo Brdo in 1450 were producing about 6000 kg of silver per year.
After the Turkish invasion in XV century, Serbia lost its independence. Because mining was not so important for the Turks, it began to decline. The Sasi went to Dalmatia, Italy, or back to Hungary. The small group of them remained in Serbia and they were assimilated by another Catholic peoples (often Dubrovnik merchants). The village of Yanjevo is inhabited in modern times by such assimilated Sasi.
In memory of the Sasi, there are a number of towns bearing names that recall their presence: the villages of Sase near Srebrenica and Vishegrad (Bosnia-Hercegovina), Studenica (Serbia), Kratovo (FYR of Macedonia), Sasin-polje (Sassin-field) near Pljevlja (Montenegro), Shashka reka (Sassin's river) near Srebrenica (Bosnia-Hertzegovina), and Majdanpek (eastern Serbia). As well, traditional Serbian miner's terminology retains vocabulary brought by the Sasi, including shljaka (dross), halda (disposal), shahta (vertical pit), and pinga (hopperlike, extended pit).
By Marilyn Niks
One of the first things to know about persona development in this period is that many persons belonged to a rod [a family or clan] or zadruga [greater family / commune]. These groups were a very prominent part of Kievan Russian culture up until around the nineteenth century. A rod could consist of several kinsmen, their wives, children often living under one roof or at least on the same property. The elder male was generally in charge of organizing all work for the men and making major decisions. This man's wife generally supervised all things pertaining to the women. Belongings were held in common ownership except for a woman's clothing, linen and canvas. Most groups had a clan mark or tamga which identified things and people of the clan. Many of these tamga later were used as heraldic devices. An average clan numbered from twenty to sixty members, a large one might number around a hundred.
Another term used to indicate clan is verv which means "rope" or "cord." It has been argued that in this usage it means "blood tie."
In addition we must mention that there existed groups similar to guilds called artel. Here the ties were clearly those of common trade amongst similar artisans. The merchants also maintained their own separate guild structure.
Now beyond these underlying levels of social structure we must discuss the social stratification of the time. Actually a good deal of information exists regarding these social levels due to what was called wergeld or bloodwite. These were fees to be paid as recompense for murder of a person. Some went to the family and some to the Prince. We know for instance that the following bloodwites were standard by written law as early as 1072:
The Prince's men -- 80 grivna
Muzhi (freeman of noble origin) -- 40 grivna
Liudi (middle class) -- 40 grivna
Smerd (lowest class before slaves) -- 5 grivna (but to be paid to Prince and not to the man's family).
Slaves -- No bloodwite
It is believed these grivna were each equal to one Troy pound of silver.
It is interesting to note that bloodwites for women were generally one half of a man of the same class.
Now records tell us that these classes were further subdivided into different groups. The Prince's retinue (druzhina ), the upper class, were divided into Senior and Junior Druzhina and then these were subdivided as follows. The Senior contained jobs like baliff (orgnishchanin), master of the horse (koniushi), steward (tiun), and adjutant (podiezdnoi). The Junior contained people employed as attendants, pages, and underlings of the Senior Druzhina. Sometimes these were referred to as otroki. In the late twelfth century the term dvorianin [courtier] also came to be used for some of the Junior Druzhina.
The middle class or 'liudi' was made up mostly of prosperous farmers, merchants, and estate owners.
The lower class was mostly hired workers and laborers. They were called smerdy and many were rural laborers. The main distinction between the smerdy and slaves is the fact that the smerdy could be fined for wrong doing because they were free men. Slaves could not.
Beyond this we have the several classes of half-free. We would consider them an indentured servant class of sorts. The zakup were debtors working off an arranged debt. Unlike the debtors prisons of Eastern Europe these people arranged up front to go into servitude for a certain amount of time in exchange for a loan from a creditor gospodin. The next were the valachi. These were folks that gave themselves into a Lords temporary service in exchange for a milost which was a favor, gift, or payment for services. Then there were also the izgoi who were freedmen under protective custody of the church. These were persons who had lost their previous status in some way. Among them were slaves who had redeemed themselves from slavery, bankrupt merchants, or an orphaned prince. In general theses were people who found themselves in a position where they must put themselves at the mercy of the church for protection and guidance
The slaves (cheliadin) came last in the social structure but even these were of several types. To begin with a male slave could be referred to as rob or a khlop. A female was generally called a robu or raba. There were those known as full slaves kholopstvo obelno. According to the laws there were four kinds of ways to become a full slave:
2. When a man marries a female slave without making a legal agreement with Her Lord. A woman who marries a male slave is automatically a slave. No provision of agreement was allowed for women.
3. If he enters into the service of a Lord in the capacity of steward or housekeeper without a specific agreement that he remain free.
4. Some war captives were sold into full slavery. The same price conditions applied as mentioned in one above.
It apparently was considered quite contemptible to buy a slave for one price and sell the same for a higher price. There were also Temporary Slaves. These were also slaves taken in war to ransom later.
Slaves could gain freedom through paying off of a debt, buying their way out, or by the graces of a good-hearted lord who set them free.
Now a few words about another class previously unmentioned, that of the church. Monks and bishops were considered black clergy. Priests and deacons, who could (and were expected to) marry, were considered white clergy. The bishops were considered Princes of the church and were often very wealthy and powerful men. They had full retinues of servitors beneath them all serving the church and being protected by it.
As you can see the societal structure of Kievan Russia was quite complex, but understandable. Hopefully this material will help you better develop any persona you might be considering in this period.
By Mordak Timofeivich Rostovskogo
During my ongoing Slavic studies I have found mention of fur, fur trade, fur tribute and fur use many times from many sources concerning period Slavic peoples. As a result, I have incorporated fur trims, edgings and even linings in my wardrobe in an effort to achieve a more period look for my persona, an added level of luxuriousness to my court garments and more of a practical period appearance to my everyday Slavic wardrobe. Some of these attempts failed, other yielded unexpected results, both positive and negative, while others taught me valuable knowledge about both contemporary and modern fur sources. These are the subjects of this article.
Friends, we are the last generation to have significant access to second hand fur items, many of which will quite likely be progressively harder to obtain over the next decade or two. Frankly, people whose adult years occurred within the forties and fifties are passing away into history, along with all those fur coats, wraps, stoles, muff and hats that were "oh so popular" in those decades. Currently, much of this material is available in thrift stores, garage sales, your relative's closets, and even on Ebay. As time runs its course this bonanza will peter out as these items fall victim to dissipation, recycling, or modern sensibilities.
Whatever your personal feelings are towards fur items, four factors should be taken into consideration when debating a wardrobe or gear enhancement utilizing fur for your SIG persona: (1) Nearly all these items significantly pre-date modern sensibilities, often in terms of decades. Another option are fake furs which have also become very, very nice in recent years; (2) Use of fur enhancements to clothing was a sign of wealth in period as well as being extremely utilitarian and common at all levels of many Slavic cultures; (3) Fur edgings will add luxuriousness to your look without adding to your discomfort; (4) There are a few simple tricks that will renew even the driest or oldest fur to some level of utility with the minimum of effort. For those interested in utilizing secondhand fur items for SCA-based uses there are several things that will influence which simple steps you will need to take.
Fur Characteristics: First, all fur items have a hair side which is anchored in the skin / leather side. Second, most fur stoles, coats, wraps and muffs will be forty to sixty years old and have probably hung in someone's aunt/mother/grandmother's closet for all that time. Third, land based animals such as fox, skunk (usually dyed), coyote (excellent imitation wolf), squirrel, marten, goat and curly lamb (Mouton) often dry out over time, loosening hair follicles as the leather shrinks and causing shedding. Apply Heat Bond © to the cheapest cotton cloth you can find and then iron the cloth to the leather side of the fur so the hair follicles are glued in place and the leather is strengthened (repair any tears and sew any fur pieces together as needed before doing this step). Most water based furs such as muskrat, mink, otter, beaver and raccoon will have a lot more oil in the leather, which will be thicker in any case and only rarely in need of additional strengthening. Sheepskin, cow, horse hide, deer hide and bear often have thick leather and only need cloth heat bonded to the leather if the hair is shedding.
Fur Sources: I get most of my nicer fur items from Ebay auctions online. I type in "fur" and then specific animal names to shorten the 1400 or so items listed. Chocolate colored mink, whole fox pelt stoles and beaver are the hardest items to find, followed closely by squirrel. Raccoon, mink, rabbit and white or silver fox are the easiest. Muskrat fur coats dyed to look like mink are very common, most having very noticeable stripes dyed down the length of the fur, but will edge several garments or items. Never buy anything if it lacks a picture on Ebay auctions. BE SELECTIVE & PATIENT. Look through as many items as you feel necessary to get a feel for what you want and never be afraid to lose an item if the price gets steep. I guarantee another just like it will be there in a day, a week or a month, every time. Garage sales and thrift stores are also good sources but selection is haphazard and limited, and often over priced.
Fur Preparation & Cutting: Use a seam ripper to remove lining fabric from old items and spray on Frebeese © to remove any smells from storage or smoking (rub it in with your hand, then comb the fur after it dries). Apply the heat bond now, if needed. Use an ink pen to mark cut lines on the leather side of the fur. Furs should always be cut using a single edged razor (available in any hardware store, should always be cut on the leather side only. Always cut holding the fur away from a flat surface (I pin one end with my knee and hold the fur up & taut with my other hand), never against anything. CUT WITH THE DIRECTION OF THE FUR. Your razor blade will slide through the fur instead of cutting through the follicles.
Fur Sewing: If you are sewing two pieces of fur together, make sure the hair is all going the same direction and use a comb afterwards to mix the hairs from both pieces together. Always smooth fur away from two edges you are sewing together, then always pull the two pieces away from each other slightly to lessen the welt were sewn together on the leather side. Try to make it as flat as possible without tearing the leather. When sewing to clothing, use straight pins to attach to clothing and a razor to miter wedges out at corners in edging. A long running stitch with an additional stitch every fifth stitch is all that is needed to attach fur edgings to clothes. Many times I will run the needle and thread between the fabric and fur between these stitches to hide and protect the thread.
Style Tips: I often sew a narrow strip of fur to the lining fabric along the front opening of my caftans to fake a fur lining without the heat or weight of actual fur lining, just as was done in period. If you do line a garment, use thinner fur types or belly fur for lining and back fur or heavier weight furs for outer edging and hats (denser fur). I wear a caftan [shuba] fully lined in raccoon with a beaver collar over a silk caftan in winter for both style and because any caftan of heavier fabric would cook me, even on the coldest day ( though I live only an hour or so south of Lake Erie). I have a fur edged silk shuba for summer, lightweight and comfortable in muggy heat. Imitation mink coats are also the best to make a fur-lined cloak out of because one will give ¼ circle ( if you piece it together carefully) and requires no heat bond to the leather. They're also usually quite cheap and durable. Red fox should never be used as lining as its hairs are brittle and wear off quickly with friction. Mink and muskrat are the most durable for linings and edgings.
One last word of advice, allow yourself to experiment and forgive yourself when you mess up. You will be surprised at the admiring glances and comments a little fur will return to you and how fast you will get very proficient at working with it. Use a variety of furs, depending on the social standing of the person who would be wearing or using that garment or object.
By Kinjal of Moravia
The recurve luk was famous through out Moravia,
captured from living hands of a Mongol nokud
who cried out, "eke^otukan" with fading breath.
Well known that the Golden Horde named their bows
and the claim was carved into the eel skin bend.
The villagers gathered to prepare for the hunt
with joy and fear and heartfelt need for skin and meat
and proof of courage and coming of age for some.
The test was not of age or height or family bond,
but of ability to bend the proud, imposing bow.
Full year the youth would practice with lesser test
to meet the challenge of such profound dread pull
that could support a young maiden on defiant string
and drive a strela shaft completely through a deer
at paces full more than one hundred running strides.
The bow was not used for hunting, but only to insure
that those on the hunt could sure endure the chase
and days in simple camp and march and fellowship.
More symbol than true test, hear the chant of "luk-luk"
as quick chasing hunters pursued their forest prey.
The time had come for those long prepared in hope.
One tip of sinew, isinglass and glue of river fish
was plan placed outside of left foot firmly set.
The right leg stepped through as if in spirit dance
while bow-string loop was held in trembling nether fist.
With right arm push and steady pressing bended knee
the bow is bent toward the string and destiny.
Sweat on furrowed brow and muscle shake tell of bond
with call of "eke^otukan" of warrior pride,
which none knew meant in death cry, simply "mother earth."
When I saw the title of this book, I was immediately quite excited and was more than willing -- sight unseen -- to shell out a good sum of money to have the book shipped to me from Minsk. After all, it isn't very often that one finds a book about period byt [a Russian word closer in meaning the "existence" but usually translated as "everyday life"]. So, I was thus quite disappointed when I received the book to find that it was simply a reprinting of a 1997 book, My -- Slaviane! [We are the Slavs!] -- a popular introduction to Russian folk custom.
The book is strong on explaining Slavic paganism and does so with a mixture of historical fact and 19th century historical revisionism -- still, for someone not familiar with domovois and vodianois, there is ample material here to work with. There is a section on life passage ceremonies (birth, naming, upbringing, weddings, death) as well as a section on the special role of beards! Most of this is, however, 19th century only. More period are the sections on housing and familial relations. The textiles and clothing sections rely heavily on folk costumes, while the jewelry section is more period in focus. And the sections on arms and armor at the end run the gamut of periods but are mostly in period for SCA.
The big problem with Semenova's book is that it is indiscriminate about period. Following the Pan-Slavic fantasy that anything prior to the 20th century is "ancient," the anachronisms in this book put your typical indoor SCA event to shame! The modern drawings that precede each chapter are pretty but deceiving as they mix 10th-19th century imagery together.
As most of SIG's membership cannot read the text (entirely in Russian with no English summary), the primary value of this book will be the pictures. But without the ability to read the text and differentiate between what is period and what is not, and what is reality and what was merely belief, it is hard to make good use of this book. I would recommend staying away from this book, regardless of which title it has!
-- Paul Wickenden of Thanet
This ambitious comic book chronicles, in 300 pages, the history of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa from 395 to 1492. Well researched, marvelously and humorously drawn, The Cartoon History is actually a serious work. It is sure to introduce the reader to entirely new chapters of medieval history. This volume contains six sections-- The Foundation of Islam, Africa, China & Central Asia, Europe, The Crusades and Mongol, and The Plague and Renaissance. This list in no way captures the punch and wit of the narrative as suggested by subsections such as "Dim and Dimmer" (Europe in the Dark Ages) and "The Pest and the West (about the Black Death).
Larry Gornick has an eye for detail and strangeness that makes history come alive. Running jokes reinforce historical ideas. One series marks nomad's attitudes towards settled cultures. Guys in yurts say things like "Farming is $#%$ slavery", "I hate vegetables" and "Pass the fermented mare's milk." Another series points out the inordinate number of Byzantine Emperors who had their eyes put out (yuck). The author's drawings are lively throughout, reminiscent of the 1970s Freak Brothers underground comics. Numerous illustrated maps are included; some lavish double page spreads.
Traditional histories have given Europe center stage. Gornick
follows civilization from Baghdad to Cairo, Ghana and Beijing.
The Islamic World & Byzantium are center stage for much of
the story. Northern Europe is treated as a primitive backwater
until the chapters on the Crusades. The Cartoon History is a
valuable corrective, widening our idea medieval history. By
necessity of this format it leaves much out. For example the
Vikings get three pages and the Russians two. What is amazing
is how much is included.
Some obscure things are included; two examples are Charlemagne's attempt to ally with the Moslem Caliphate against Byzantium and expatriate Anglo-Saxon's fighting as mercenaries for Byzantium around 1080. One of the most spectacular revelations is how gold from Mali, via Cairo became fuel for the Italian Renaissance.
The Cartoon History III is part of an ambitious project of world history. Useful and entertaining, it is highly recommended.
-- Peotr Alexeivich Novgorodski
Standard Disclaimer Stuff: Most of us are members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc (SCA) but our Interest Group and its newsletter are not officially affiliated with the SCA. Naturally, then, Slovo does not bear any intentional resemblance to anything that the SCA officially endorses.
The original authors retain the rights to their works. Please contact them directly for permission to reprint. Uncredited material is the property of the publisher.
The publisher and editor is Paul Wickenden of Thanet (Paul Goldschmidt), 3071 Cimarron Trail, Madison WI 53719, 608-288-0255, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no subscription fee and copies of this quarterly newsletter are available free of charge from the editor. Slovo is also available on-line at the Interest Group website (slavic.freeservers.com).