The Bardic arts have always been strong in Ansteorra.
The Queen's College of Bards was founded by Queen Willow I, who was a poet and storyteller and a strong patron of the bardic arts. Queen Seglinde I, herself a skilled performer, actively encouraged bardic activities.
A Blue Scarf was worn by members of the Queen's College of Bards to identify themselves as performers. The scarf was sky blue with gold tassels, and usually worn balric-style. The annual publication of the College was also titled "The Blue Scarf."
In the mid-1980's there was a short-lived attempt at creating a competition-based ranking system, denoted by stripes of colored rickrack on the scarves. These became derisively known as "bardic bragging sashes" and the system was abandoned sometime after 1990.
At the Twenty-Year and Twenty-Five Year celebrations of the Society's founding (both hosted by Ansteorra), bardic arts were featured prominently. Grand Court at TYC featured the song, "Come Share the Dream" written and performed by Duchess Seiglinde (with contributions by Iolo Fitzowen and Brendan O Corraidhe) that is still performed twenty years later.
Well-known bards of the 1980's included:
Duchess Willow de Wisp Duchess Seglinde Syr Master Cadfan ap Morgan Master Ragnar Mjorkwulf Master Iolo Fitzowen Mistress Aerin ni Heurin Mistress Sula von Pferdenthal THL Brendan O Corraidhe Ld Stephen of Durham