Favors and Tokens
Just what are they? And who can give them out?
Favors, Tokens and Personal Tokens:
There are three kinds of "things" as I call them that anyone can give out in the SCA for any reason they feel. Favors, Tokens and Personal Tokens. So whats the difference? Well, I've been in three kingdoms now and the definition seems to change slightly so this is probably rife with inter-kingdom anthropology pitfalls.
And these are my perceptions, your's may not match and I'd love to hear your opinions!
Anything someone gives out that they call a favor. Favors in my experience are expected to be worn by the recipient.
***TO ME*** favors are an outward and public sign of respect of the honor as well as trust in the recipient by the giver. When I am carrying someone's favor I also feel as though I am carrying their honor with me and as such should do no such thing that would in any way disparage their honor. To me if someone has a problem with the way I conduct myself they should speak with me first, if they are not satisfied they can then speak with my Laurel and then any one or all of the persons I carry favors for.
If at any time I have done something that bothers someone whose favor I carry, they more than have the right to call me on it. They also have the right to take their favor back. To me, carrying someone's favor is a big deal. To others this may not be how they perceive favors.
I carry three favors. The favor of my Lady Love, it is made from the cloth of her fencing armor and is embroidered, this favor never leaves my belt. The favor of my laurel, given to me before I was apprenticed by her. The favor of Warder Kai Tseng former Queen's Rapier Champion of the Middle Kindom.
Anything someone gives out that they call a token. Tokens may be worn by the recipient but are not required or even thought to be carried or carriable by the recipient. Tokens are given for whatever reason the person giving them has. I carry green glass tokens with me to practices and events. I give them to anyone I see that is making things fun for others. That's it.
Tokens can be given for the esteem one has for another -*ahem* a token of esteem- for good work done, helping, nice fighting, etc etc. One of the coolest I have seen was given to a friend of mine. It was a pin with a red plastic faceted bead on it. It was given to her by a member of the Order of the Pelican because he was impressed with her hard and continued work. It was one of his drops of Pelican Blood. (In medieval times it was thought that pelicans stabbed their breasts and fed their young on their own blood in times of famine. Thus the pelican became a symbol of self-sacrifice beyond the call of duty.)
A token given out by someone that is recognizable and associated with that person. Often thought to be "more special" than a regular token. Sometimes redeemable. I know a duke who gives out personal tokens to fighters at event he sees do something great and honorable on the battlefield, or off for that matter. If you come by his camp, even when he isn't there, and you show this token, you will be seated and treated and taken care of very well.
Unless giving tokens out is specifically reserved for a group of people, (Peers, White Scarves, etc.) to give out, for a specific thing, such as a tournament or display of some kind, then you too may give out tokens. You may give someone a token for any reason at any time you wish. Same for favors. Both are given out for reinforcing a good, nothing else.
These are my perceptions and thoughts, not much more.