Changes to the proposed Charter of the Guild

I have been thinking about structure of the Guild, since it probably quite important. I will include the Charter with the new structure. Please let me know if you agree or disagree. All constructive criticism welcome!

Charter of the Guild

Purpose of the Middle Eastern Dance Guild
The first purpose of the Guild is to study, teach and perform the dances of the Middle Eastern cultures. The Middle Eastern cultures before the year 1600CE shall be described as those lands under Muslim rule, including North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Europe and India: ranging west to Tunisia, Morocco, Spain (held under Muslim rule from the 8th century until 1492) and the Canaries, east to India, south to Somalia, north to the Caucasus.

The second purpose of the Guild is to promote, educate and communicate other aspects of Middle Eastern culture so as to encourage creation and maintenance of Middle Eastern personae within the S.C.A., and to anyone else who seeks this knowledge.

To encourage through research, teaching and action the Arts and Sciences of the Middle East through classes, collegia, publications and the Internet. To allow others to use information gathered for the benefit of all.

To hold a minimum of one Middle Eastern themed event per year, as well as regular planning meetings where Arts and Sciences can also be taught. This is to help raise the number of events held locally each year, as well as a variation in theme.

Membership of the Guild is open to whomever is interested in any aspect of the cultures of the Middle East pre-1600 CE. Members should be willing to encourage others through research, Arts and Sciences, the sharing of resources and good deeds.

Guild structure
Currently the Guild is small. As the Guild grows, the Guild will need to be represented by a member who can be a local contact, as well as organizer of local meetings, classes and possible events. A Guild meeting should happen at least once every six months, which also includes teaching sessions.

Have a ME persona which involves some basic research into the culture of your choice (including history, garb, cuisine etc). Have a basic knowledge of dance and/or music.
Publish research articles on your chosen ME field. Teach a class in your ME field. Have a good knowledge on the history of the dance. Intermediate dancer/ musician (must be able to improvise or choreograph?)
Teach three classes in your chosen field. Have knowledge & teach different ME styles of dance/music. Be involved in at least one ME theme event per year (hafla, feast, market day etc). Be available to encourage others through speech & deed (including entering A&S competitions). Be able to co-ordinate a Royal performance..

Guild Officers
As mentioned, the Guild is currently small. As the Guild grows, an umbrella organisation with the officers of President, Secretary, Treasurer, etc. will be decided upon and voted for by the members of the Guild either at Rowany Festival or Suth Moot (the two events over Easter). All officers must then find and train deputies as suitable replacements, pending the approval of the President/ Seneschal.

Service to the Crown
As an Arts and Sciences Guild, we owe honour to the Royal Consort who rules by Grace and Beauty. As such, any gifts for Royalty shall be decided upon by the local representative of the Guild. That representative shall also decide to which Guild member to assign the gift making, to help encourage others in the Arts and Sciences.

A Night in Palermo- event

The Guilds of Middle Eastern Dancing and Cookery in these Baronies of Stormhold & Krae Glas invite one and all to
“An Night in Palermo”
Before the armies are sent off on Crusade, there will be an evening of frivolity and competition, to appease the Norman Court of Sicily. Dishes reflecting the best of the different peoples of Sicily is to be presented, to be judged on authenticity, presentation, execution, documentation and complexity. The Greeks, Arabs, Italians and Normans can thus enjoy a friendlier rivalry (for the time being)! Please email the Steward to book and advise if entering the competition.

Members $11.00, Non-members $16.50, children $5.50. Please email Miriam Staples on to book and advise if entering the competition. This is a potluck feast, so please bring a plate.The event will be at the Chandler Room, Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre, 157 Union Road, Surrey Hills VIC 3127, Melbourne Australia from 5pm.

Please be aware that if you have said you will be attending on FB ( it is not considered a booking! I do need all your membership details.

I am the steward of the event. The prizes are already chosen and are just waiting to be won!

There are a few resources on-line to help in the competition. There is Master Cariadoc of the Bow’s works, many links through this site and a translated Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens, a tenth century Baghdadi cookbook. I look forward to catching up with everyone at the feast!

Some Gypsy & dance references

This will be a little different to the usual post, as I am asking for people’s thoughts and opinions about some websites.

This link popped up on Facebook and after reading through it, I wasn’t happy with some of the theories it presented as fact. At least, not about the dance anyway. Such as it being only from fertility cults, Egypt importing Indian dancers in 1500 BC etc.– Gypsy research.

None of the geocities links work, but there is a link to a Sir Richard Burton book- The Jew, the Gypsy and El Islam. This is a pdf download rife with anti-semitic sentiments. A link to the book minus the anti-semitic nonsense can be found here in the Internet Archive- The Jew, The Gypsy, and El Islam.

Please look through the page and let me know what you think. I would love a factual discussion!

“An evening in Palermo”

The Guilds of Middle Eastern Dancing and Cookery invite one and all to-
An evening in Palermo
Before the armies are sent off on Crusade, there will be an evening of frivolity and competition, to appease the Norman Court of Sicily. Dishes reflecting the best of the different peoples of Sicily is to be presented, to be judged on authenticity, presentation, execution, documentation and complexity. The Greeks, Arabs, Italians and Normans can thus enjoy a friendlier rivalry (for the time being)!
This event is a potluck feast.
Steward- Miriam Staples (Miriam bat Shimeon)
Please email the Steward to book on
Date: 3rd November, 2012
Time: Hall opens at 5pm
Address: Chandler Room, Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre, 157 Union Road, Surrey Hills
VIC 3127
Cost: members $11, non-members $16.50, children $5.50
Please advise the Steward if entering the competition.

All are welcome!

If you have documentation on 11th century Norman, Byzantine or Italian food, please let me know. I will be getting recipes from the entrants & will post (if they let me). Thanks & I look forward to seeing everyone in November.

More gifts from the Guild

As the Shire of Krae Glas has now been made into a Barony and with the King and Queen of Lochac there, some gifts were made by myself to welcome them all.

Please excuse the fuzziness, I thought I had focussed properly…

This is the back of the kerchief, showing that it is reversible, even the cross stitch. This is based on a chart I had done previously on a third Blackwork Challenge. One of the easiest Blackwork I have done, while looking quite good. Black silk on linen, which has a higher thread count than the original 13th century kerchief. The kerchief was wrapped around two begleri, made of smoky quartz. All four begleri took me an evening to make and fiddle around with.

Really sorry about the fuzziness. I based the begleri on designs found on Culture Taste. The new Baron and Baroness of Krae Glas got a kerchief in the colours of Krae Glas-

This was based on Mathilde Eschenbach’s charted pattern from a doll’s robe. Here is the back and a good way to see the details of the golden thread-

The new B&B also got begleri, but theirs was red tiger eye.

I wish all them all the best with their gifts. If you want more information on begleri, please look at the Tasbih, misbaha, komboloi and begleri post.

Guild badges

I have been asking my local Herald about badges, since it was suggested by Lady Senena! It is a wonderful way of uniting all the dancers and hopefully not just in my local group. I have been searching for other Middle Eastern dancing Guilds and while they are out there and active, there are no badges.

There have been three badges of the same design in three ways. The Arabic (which is done in a lot of ME heraldry) reads as “Awalim” or learned women. Please let me know your opinion, if you like a particular one or none of them at all!

Unfortunately, after referring to another Herald, the field-less badges such as designs two and three, would not be passed. So while design number two and three are very striking, they shouldn’t be considered…

Design number one.

Design number two.

Design number three.

or there are three badges with fields-

Design number four.

Design number five.

Design number six.

Please leave your comments either here or on FaceBook (which this is cross-posted to). If you prefer to not make your comments publicly, please email me on

Hello all the dancers out there!

I have been asked by a friend on FaceBook about how to put together a performance. Apparently there is not much information out there on the ‘net to get educated with. So I have another challenge for all belly dancers out there. How do you put on a performance?

How do all the dancers out there put together their performances? Do you have a drummer? Do you do it in a group? What style is a favourite?

Please let me know your answers to the questions. I would love to share how it is done in a SCA environment but any knowledge would be better than none.

I have performed in choreographies, cabaret and tribal-style. I have also performed extempore in tribal style. Much of my dancing now is muscle memory and I know that the music will change after two counts of eight, even if I hadn’t heard that song before. Never really put on a choreography I created; just extempore.

I prefer performing to music cds, as dancing to a drummer who you don’t know can be very difficult. They don’t know your signals! It can also be a relief to know that the song does for 4min 38sec and after that you stop. That could just be me though…

I would love to hear from everyone. Please let me know your experiences and ideas about how to put a choreography together.

Guild meeting

Hello everyone! I can see that there are a few visits happening and everyone is welcome to subscribe.

I am organising a Guild meeting for the 12th of March 2011, at my house. If you are not a local (there are a few subscribers who live on another continent!), then if you are in the vicinity of Melbourne, Australia, you would be welcome to come along. However, if you are a local and need the details of the address, please email me on

I would like to organise an event for this year, as well as talk about the Royal visit for Stormhold’s Winter Feast. The Guild will have been running for over a year by then. While we have an excellent patroness in our gracious Baroness, I would like to help those around by going country-wide (I know there are some in SA and WA who would like to set up a Guild too) and we may need Royal patronage for that. So a need for talk!

On another topic all together, I had made some Fatimid garb (or my idea of Fatimid garb) for 12th Night in Politarcopolis, 15/01/2011. Some pictures-

I made it out of cotton damask, which is embroidered with chrysanthemums (if you look closely). The neckline is embroidered with silk, from a pattern found off a Fatimid towel in the Ashmolean. The arms have two distinct tiraz bands.


This one says “good fortune” in Arabic. It is repeated all the way around, which means nine times!

This one is repeated five times around the arm. It says in Arabic- “patience is blessed with success and everything is rewarded”. I found these charts hidden away in the Yahoo Group of Middle Eastern Personas. Really good source of information but you must have a Yahoo account.

If you are interested in seeing a picture of me at 12th Night, here is link to photo on Facebook-!/photo.php?fbid=492473057367&set=t.1028401897. Let me know if you can’t see it.