The scroll for the Award of Arms to Tuya of The Silver Horde (mka Odontuya)

This scroll is done for an SCA event held in the Kingdom of the East. This is now my second Mongol style scroll. The first was done for my lady without her knowing. This one, my lady and I worked on together so it went much faster and easier. Here it is:

The text reads: (in Mongol)

Esgii ger dor amidragch hen buhen delhii yertöntsiin zahiragch zuun gurnii Ikh Khaan Andreas Eisfalke bolon tsuutia Yorkiin Isabella Khatun nariin ugiig sonsutugai.

Möngölög Ordiin Tuyag unench zutgel bolon uhaan sudraaraa todorch ene az javchaant uil tohoiv.

Möngölög Ordiin Tuyag bid ene ödriin mogoi jiliin hoyordah sariin khorin yes deh ödör unliin tsaadah ilhantaid enehuu gereegeer shagnamoi.

The English translation:

All those who dwell in felt tents heed the words of the Commander of the Earth and the Age, Great Khan of the East Khanate, Andreas Eisfalke, and the glorious Isabella of York, Khatun.

Fortune smiles upon Tuya of The Silver Horde for her service and wisdom have brought her favor.

Unto Tuya of The Silver Horde do we award Arms and a Paize in this, the 29th day of the 2nd moon in the year of the Snake [April 21st A.S. 36] in the Ilkhanate Beyond The Mountain.

How the scroll was prepared

Much like I used the other web page as a template for this page, I used the first scroll as a template for this scroll. The basic approach was to go with what worked the last time and make it a step better with some illumination.

I wanted to make the writing a bit shorter to accommodate space for the artwork and so it wouldn't take as long if I needed to redo it. I approached the wording in a very Mongol perspective as I have done before. I also added a few things that came from more recent research; the title of "Commander of the Earth and the Age" and the phrasing of the second sentence are inspired by Juvaini. The translation of the word "glorious" (tsuutia) is a very noble description of a Queen to Mongol ears. The Lunar calendar translation is a bit easier now but those who know the Chinese calendar may notice a different month than I used for the date. This is because the Mongol calendar calculates the leap month differently and every couple of years the new year falls on different months in the two calendars. In the Chinese calendar, this would have been the third moon. I also rethought how to phrase the award name in a Mongol setting. The more research I did, the more I came to believe that the Paize is the closest equivalent to an AoA.

Mendee then did the translation into Mongol as well as finding the proper spelling in Old Script. She also provided much information on the formulation of words that I was unaware of the first attempt. There are several ways in which some letters can be written and there are rules governing them that apply to both gender and if a word is Mongol or from a foreign language. The easiest comparison of the improvements is in the way Andreas' name is written:

Andreas 1   Andreas 2
original   correct

The other improvement is in the way suffixes are written. In modern Mongol they are attached to the word as with English. In Old Script, the suffix has a space as a separate word:

Of York 1   Of York 2
original   correct

I was able to write faster and a bit smoother this time, perhaps due to learning a bit more of the language so I was more relaxed as I wrote. Mendee even complimented my improved writing. Although, a careful examination would reveal that I still have a shaky hand and don't write in perfect lines. I used the same method as the first scroll in that I wrote each word several times on lined paper before I went to the scroll I was working on to be sure I was familiar with the word and to try to have the ink at a consistent flow. I had to make about four attempts before the one you see was finished. The first two had errors and the third I got about three quarters the way through when the ink in my pen blotted on the paper real bad. I was not amused. Their Majesties were again kind enough to sign their names in the Mongol script. I also used the same stamp, which is a Chinese character for Luck, as the last scroll. As it was a Mongol practice to use a stamp as a signature, I should get one for myself soon - in the mean time, I only have this one.

Mendee did the illumination. After we talked about what it should be, she practiced several times in different sizes. It is a copy of a Mongol Paize that is shown in line drawings in two different books I have. The one copied was found near the river Dnieper in Russia. The pictures showed a front and back, we opted to just use a picture of the front. The research I have read on these items mention that they came in different styles depending on rank of the person receiving it. The lowest being made out of wood (something we felt would not come out right on paper) and next silver and for the highest ranks, gold. They also would have certain pictures for the highest ranks, such as Princes and Generals, but as we did not have a full selection to choose from, nor an absolute idea of what was on the one we did have, we decided a straight copy would be best. We also decided it should be done in silver as gold would definitely indicate a higher rank than the scroll represents. We also kept the writing in the picture intact. Mendee could not decipher all the writing on it, so what it says is not fully understood but it is very period. You may wish to compare the carefully copied writing in a period style in the illumination with my writing in a more modern style beside it. The initial word on the Paize says "silver" and gives us some indication that we at least represented it properly. The silver paint scanned a bit multicolored, but is a reflective metallic silver, when seen, with the outline penned over.


Mongol Bichig Un Tobchi, by J. Bat - Ireedui & D. Baasanbat, editor Ts. Hurelsambuu, 1992, Published by donated funds from Korea, no ISBN
[Modern Cyrillic Mongol to Old Script Mongol translation dictionary]

Minii Mongol Bichig, by T. Dashtseden, editors Ts. Shagdarsuren & Sh. Choimaa, 1992, Published by donated funds from Korea, no ISBN
[accompanying textbook on writing in Old Script]

Mongolian Language Handbook, by Nicholas Poppe, 1970, Center for Applied Linguistics, ISBN 87281-003-8

English - Mongolian Mini Dictionary Mongol - English, edited by Pitir. K. Marsh & P. Uush, 1999, no ISBN

Mongolian - English Dictionary, Ferdinand D. Lessing general editor, 1973, The Mongolia Society, ISBN 910980-40-3

The Secret History of the Mongols, Translated and edited by Francis Woodman Cleaves, Harvard-Yenching Institute, 1982, ISBN 0-674-79670-5

Genghis Khan: The History of the World-Conqueror, by Ata-Malik Juvaini, Translated and edited by J. A. Boyle, 1958-1997, University Of Washington Press, ISBN 0-295-97654-3

The Mongols: The Peoples of Europe, by David Morgan, 1986-1993, Blackwell Publishers, ISBN 0-631-13556-1 (hc) / 0-631-17563-6 (pbk)

The Devil's Horsemen: The Mongol Invasion of Europe, by James Chambers, 1979, Haddon Craftsmen Inc., ISBN 0-689-10942-3
Paize copied from a picture in plates in the center of the book

Storm From The East - from Genghis Khan to Khubilai Khan, by Robert Marshall, 1993, BBC Books, ISBN 0 563 36338 X
p.154, picture of Guyug Khan's Letter to the Pope in 1247

© 2001, by Luigi Kapaj, in the SCA: Gülügjab Tangghudai (Puppy)
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