Summer AS XLX (2015)
Volume XX, Issue 4 (#77)

From the Nachalnik

Pre-Pennsic greetings! I've included my annual survey of Pennsic University highlights to inspire you. I've heard no word of an official meeting at Pennsic this year, but I hope someone will consider putting together a gathering or party of some sort. It's always nice to network and meet folks.

Officially, this issue marks the end of our twentieth year. It was at Pennsic twenty years ago that I hosted the “Researching Things Slavic” class for the first time and a consensus was formed that we needed an organization. I'm not really in a position to host any sort of celebration of that milestone, but I hope you will mark the occasion yourself by reaching out and helping others with their research!


Pennsic Classes

By Paul Wickenden of Thanet

As is an annual tradition, I wanted to provide my own informal survey of the offerings at Pennsic University this year to highlight classes which may be of interest to SIG members because of their subject matter. My apologies if I overlooked any appropriate classes.


Sunday, August 2

2pm – The Pierogi. Open discussion on some origin theories, history of and recipe versions of the pierogi (Polish dumpling). It's a standard Polish food deeply rooted in the culture of Poland and its proud people. THL Zofia Kowalewska


Tuesday, August 4

10am – Baba Yaga, the Arch-Villainess of Russian Folklore . Baba Yaga is a common character in Russian and Eastern European fairy tales. We will discuss the diverse roles she plays, and look into the origins of the character. (Some familiarity with Russian folklore is helpful, but not really required). Lady Luceta Di Cosimo

12noon – Baltic-style Patterned Warp-faced Weaving . This class will focus on learning how to create a pattern using the techniques and materials specific to this type of patterned weaving and how to warp it onto a loom of any type. Graph paper and pencils/colored pencils will be provided for creating patterns. Participants should bring a loom (inkle loom, tape loom, box loom, small rigid heddle, belt loom) to warp up using the pattern created and begin to weave using pickup techniques. Prior inkle/rigid heddle weaving experience suggested. A narrow selection of yarn will be available. THL Kateline Eliot

3pm – Poland: Queen Jadwiga - Her Life and Times. Explore Queen Jadwiga's place in Polish History--in arts, politics and education. Lady Katarzyna Witkowska

4pm – Researching Poland . This class will focus on sharing of resources and bibliographies to facilitate the research of Polish culture, arts and persona. Please bring any resources or bibliographies you may have to share. All are welcome. Lady Katarzyna Witkowska


Wednesday, August 5

4pm – Beginner Russian Calligraphy . The basics of medieval Russian calligraphy. Learn the basics of writing the Old Church Slavonic alphabet. There will also be a handout for Russian-style English alphabet. The hands-on portion of the class is limited to 15 people. Please bring your calligraphy supplies if you have them. I will have a limited amount of loaner nibs and/or markers and paper. Lady Lada Monguligin


Thursday, August 6

3pm – Conversational Russian , The class will cover the Russian alphabet and basic modern-day Russian conversational phrases, responses and questions. After that, we will go over words and phrases more related to the SCA which can be used to flavor one's persona. There will be time reserved at the end of the class for questions. Lady Lada Monguligin


Some Fish-Themed Nicknames from 14th to 17th Century Estonia

By Ffride Wlffsdotter

Although Estonian is a Finnic language and is not a part of the Indo-European family like the Slavic languages, it seems there is a similar diversity in descriptive bynames, and the patronymics derived from them. Unsurprisingly, given Estonia's extensive coastline (as well as wetlands, rivers, streams and lakes), creatures that dwell in the water are a rich source of nicknames.

To compile this list, I started with Roos (1976), checked his sources (as he did not include dates), and then added in more names as I found them. While Roos considers these names to be descriptive bynames, Kallasmaa (1996) considers many of them are locative bynames, while Tiik (1977) interprets them as marked and unmarked patronyms.

The bynames below have been sorted in alphabetical order by the English names of the creature. For clarity (and because the common names of fish don't always perfectly match between languages) I have also included the zoological Latin classification. The dating for the name appears beside it, with the source document(s) in parentheses. That the byname elements of interest are in bold italics:

Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua – Jurri Turßk , 1625, from Estonian “Tursk” (Johansen and von zur Mühlen 1973; 482, Kendla 2014; 153)

Baltic Herring, Clupea harengus membras – Reime poicke Jack, 1572 from Estonian “Räim” (Essen and Johansen 1939; 244, Roos 1976). Pre-pended patronymic using “poeg” (“son”).

Brown trout, Salmo trutt – Hans Jerepoikh , 1523 from Estonian iherus (Essen and Johansen 1939; 23, Roos 1976). Patronymic using “poeg” (“son”).

Burbot, Bubbot, Eelpout, Lota lota – Merten Lutzenpoick , 1545, from Estonian “luts” (Essen and Johansen 1939; 121, Roos 1976). Patronymic using "poeg"/"son". Tito Lutzonpoick , 16 th century, from Estonian “luts” (Roos 1976, Stackelberg 1929; 188). Patronymic using “poeg” (“son”).

Fourhorn sculpin, Myoxocephalus quadricornis – Cubias Meri Herck , 1638 (Ernits 2011; 63, Roos 1976) This seems to be two bynames, and no personal name. "Kubjas" (overseer) and "Merihärg" (fourhorn sculpin).

Herring, Clupea harengus or the foodstuff brined herring (Kendla 2014; 228) – Silke Bix, 1338, from Estonian “silk” (Roos 1976). Prepended byname.

Ide, Leuciscus idus – Mik Seinis , 1582, from Estonian “Säinas” (Eisen 1923; 8; Roos 1976)

Pike, Esox lucius Auy [no personal name recorded], 1562, from Estonian “haug” (Johansen 1937-8; 56, Roos 1976)

Pope-fish, Ruffe, Gymnocephalus cernua – Roos considers these names to be bynames or patronymics derived from the Estonian fish-name “kiis” or “kiisk”. Kallasmaa interprets these as locative bynames, from Kiisa, Kihelkonna parish. Tiik states it is a patronymic from a diminutive form of Gisebert. Peter Kieß, 1592 (Kallasmaa 1996; 100, Tiik 1977; 286) Kieße Jürgen, 1630 (Kallasmaa 1996; 100, Tiik 1977; 286) Prepended byname. Kissa [no personal name recorded], 1592 (Kallasmaa 1996; 100) Kißa Hans, 1627 (Kallasmaa 1996; 100, Tiik 1977; 286) Prepended byname. Kisse [no personal name recorded], 1562 (Johansen 1937-1938; 57, Roos 1976) Kiße Jürgen, 1627 (Kallasmaa 1996; 100, Tiik 1977; 286) Prepended byname. Peter Kys, 1453 (Kallasmaa 1996; 100) Matys Kysse, 1547 (Kallasmaa 1996; 100) Olaf Kyszepoyke, 1518 (Essen and Johansen 1939; 14, Kallasmaa 1996; 100, Roos 1976). Patronymic using “poeg” (“son”). Hansz Kyszi, 1528 (Kallasmaa 1996; 100) Kiszka Jurgi, 1590 (Jakubowski and Kordzikowski 1915; 195-6, Roos 1976) Prepended byname, from a Polish-language document.

Redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis Achnam Jurg, 1573, from Estonian “ahn” (Essen and Johansen 1939; 245, Roos 1976) Prepended byname. Mux [no personal name recorded], 1562 from Estonian “Moks” denoting a small perch (Johansen 1937-8; 56, Roos 1976)

Roach, Rutilus rutilus – Seryes [no personal name recorded], 1374, from Estonian “Särg” (Greiffenhagen 1927; 83, Roos 1976). From a Low German-language document.

Vimba, bream, Vimba vimba – Wimba Wilhelm, 1627, from Estonian “vimb” (Roos 1976). Prepended byname.



•  Eisen, M.J. 1923. “Risti- ja sugunimed Tartu- ja Võru maakonnas a. 1582” [Baptismal and gendered names in Tartu and Võru counties in 1582] Eesti Keel ; 4-10.

•  Ernits, E. 2011. “Nõo kihelkonna talunimedest XIX sajandi keskpaiku” [On farm names of Nõo parish in the middle of the 19th century ] Ruum, kotus ja kotussõnimeq (Võro: Võro Institut); 46-74. Viewed 13th April, 2015.

•  Essen, N. and Johansen, P. 1939. "Das Revaler Geleitsbuch: 1515-1626" [The Tallinn Escort-book: 1515-1626] Tallinna Linnaarhiivi väljaanded 9 (Tallinn) Viewed 13th April, 2015.

•  Greiffenhagen, O. 1927. “Tallinna wanimad linna arweraamatud: 1363-1374/Die ältesten Kämmereibücher der Stadt Reval: 1363-1374” [The oldest treasury books of the City of Tallinn: 1363-1374] Tallinna Linnaarhiivi väljaanded 3 (Tallinn : Ühiselu) Viewed 13 th April, 2015.

•  Jakubowski, J. and Kordzikowski, J. 1915. Polska XVI wieku pod wzgledem geograficzno-statystycznym: Inflanty [16th century Poland in terms of Geographical Statistics: Livonia] (Warsaw) Viewed 13th April, 2015.

•  Johansen, P. and von zur Mühlen, H. 1973.   Deutsch und Undeutsch im mittelalterlichen und frühneuzeitlichen Reval.  [German and Un-German in medieval and early modern Tallinn] (Köln-Wien: Böhlau)

•  Johansen, P. 1937-1938. “Bruchstücke des Landbuches der Ordenmeister für Rujen und Helmet.” [Fragments of the land books of the Order Master for Rujiena and Helme] Beiträge zur Kunde Estlands 21; 43-61. Viewed 13th April, 2015.

•  Johansen, P. 1925. Wanem Tallinna Jaani haigemaja wakuraamat: 1435-1507/Das älteste Wackenbuch des Revaler St. Johannis-Siechenhauses: 1435-1507 [The oldest account book of the St. John hospice of Tallinn: 1435-1507] (Tallinn: Eestimaa Trükikoda). Viewed 13th April, 2015.

•  Kallasmaa, M. 2010. Hiiumaa Kohanimed [Hiiu County Place Names] (Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus).

•  Kendla, M. 2014.   Eesti kalanimetused: kujunemine, levik ja nimetamise alused   [Estonian fish names: formation, distribution and principles of naming] (Doctoral thesis: Tallinn University) Viewed 13th April, 2015.

•  Kivimäe, J. 2009. “Eesti keele kaja Helmich Ficke kaubaraamatus 1536–1542” [The Echo of Vernacular Estonian in Helmich Ficke's Account Book, 1536–1542] Keel ja Kirjandus 8/9; 583-594.

•  Roos, E. 1976. “Inimene ja loodus muistses antroponüümikas” [Man and Nature in Ancient Anthroponyms] Keel, mida me uurime. (Tallinn: Valgus); 106–119. Viewed 13th April, 2015.

•  Stackelberg, F.B. 1929. “Das älteste Wackenbuch der Wiek (1518-1544)” [The oldest account book for peasant holdings of Lääne County (1518-1544)] Sitzungsberichte der Gelehrten Estnischen Gesellschaft 1927 ; 78-254. Viewed 13th April, 2015.

•  Tiik, L. 1977. “Isikunimede mugandid Saaremaal XVI ja XVII sajandil.” [Adaption of personal names on Saaremaa in the 16-17th centuries.] Keel ja Kirjandus 5; 284-288.


Embroidery Stitches and Their Execution as a Sacred Ritual

By Vasyl Jula

The process of embroidery, working with different materials and sewing ornamental patterns with the help of various technical methods, is extraordinarily exciting and no less creative than the work of a weaver, potter or Easter egg decorator. Everyone who embroiders, without exception, talks about the harmonizing disposition they get when doing this kind of work that transports them into a meditative state.

The Encyclopedia of Ukrainian Embroidery identifies over two hundred known stitches divided into twenty groups using distinct techniques. In the exciting process of learning them, one comes to recognize the individual character of these stitches and develops an interest and love for one or more stitches, as well as an acceptance of even the less-liked ones. After more detailed study, you learn how the way you lay out the stitches has meaning and how energy influences the ornamental pattern itself. Consider the movement of the hand holding the needle and thread as it performs a repetitive motion in a certain sequence. Most often these are oscillating spiral motions. For example, if we look at embroidery with the two-sided thread laying technique, we see that each element on that pattern consists of a separate flattened spiral. The spiral—one of the most popular forms—is a model for the creation of the Universe and is very strong in its energy field.

Other stitches repeat the principle of weaving, with the needle performing the role of the shuttle. Examples of weaving stitches are zanyzuvania , zavolikania , and nyz . In these, the thread, which covers the linen and forms the ornamental pattern, works like a projector on a screen. The thread lies above or below the surface, becoming visible or invisible. This aspect of embroidery reminds us of the “negative” and the “positive.”

Cross-stitches form a separate group. Cross-stitches and cross motions in general (for example, the sign of the cross) have another energy pattern. The cross belongs to signs that actively protect us and bring us closer to living in harmony with nature and her sacred Tetrad —the four form-creating elements (earth, wind, fire, water). By giving a preference to certain stitches, embroiderers express their own energy feelings and resonance, and their need for one or another type of energy.

In the book, The Secret Doctrine of Hermes Trystmehist, author Tatiana Platonova talks about the “disposition of transmission” and the embodiment of the ideas of the Supreme Creator. Ideas start as sketches, submitted to a higher energy, embodied by it, and then passed back down in a hierarchal order. Sketches work as matrices that further unveil a majestic panorama of the weaving of the “Linen of Life” or the “Cloth of the World.” By starting to embroider a towel or any other handcraft, a human likens himself to the Supreme Creator. At first you think about the idea and compute the elements. Then you prepare the sketch of the embroidery and gather the necessary materials (the matter)—linen, needles, and threads. Only then is it time for materialization—evincing the idea in the matter.

Traditionally, the following ideals were professed:

First, while working, never rip out and fix any mistake. Fixing “mistakes” could cause confusion in the energy field of that towel. Just as it is impossible to live anew in the past, it is not worth remaking a work—instead, just continue on. In a towel, which was embroidered with a song and a prayer, with asymmetry and different marks— mistakes impress us by being “living” and those works that are impeccably executed are uninteresting, cold, and heartless (i.e., “mechanical”).

Second, in the past towels were made so that both sides were embroidered equally and cleanly. The side visible to our eyes symbolizes our acts, which are known to people, and the non-visible side our thoughts and desires. The latter is invisible to people and often contradicts our actions when we try to look good to people. Our invisible side must be in full harmony with the visible one.


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