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head coverings [was: Re: dreaded]

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  • Kareina Talvi Tytär
    Ooo! After 20+ years in the SCA and still no closer to choosing a persona, this comment tempts me. I m one of those who dislikes wearing any sort of head
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 5, 2006
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      Ooo! After 20+ years in the SCA and still no closer to choosing a persona,
      this comment tempts me. I'm one of those who dislikes wearing any sort of
      head covering (though I will wear a hat or veil on a sunny day to keep from
      getting headaches when the sun beats down on my head, I hate the feeling),
      but I have always heard people saying that they think the head gear is a
      very important part of the costume. Finding a place to be from wherein I
      *don't* have to wear something on my head sounds like a good idea.

      Can anyone else document uncovered heads for women in their time/place?

      --Kareina

      ~Eithni wrote:
      >I can't speak to other cultures, but Pictish and early
      >Scottish women did not have dreadlocks. We have combs,
      >depictions of combs, and depictions of women with
      >long, flowing (uncovered) hair from the Pictish
      >period, but nothing that looks like dreads.


      --
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    • asackville@juno.com
      Hi, short time lurker, first time poster, here. My particular choice of persona is Elizabethan England, circa 1570 s. At no time was a lady to go about with an
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 6, 2006
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        Hi, short time lurker, first time poster, here. My particular choice of persona is Elizabethan England, circa 1570's. At no time was a lady to go about with an uncovered head, particularly if you were married or old enough to have been married. I know there was a law enacted in Elizabeth's time that every citizen was to purchase/wear a woollen cap for the betterment of the English wool industry. But as to the why of head covering...in the most practical sense, it was bloody cold. Europe, as many of you know, was going through a mini-ice age and the average daytime temps during high summer in England was somewhere between 55-65 degrees. Drafty homes, no central heating save for the fireplace, and long brutal winters just made covering your head for as much time as possible to be a practical thing. Even then they recognised that keeping one's head covered kept you warmer.
        As far as an era/culture that didn't necessarily have a lady's head covered, try pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon. One of my friends has done extensive research on that time and cannot find any reference to womens' head coverings other than the occasional kerchief to keep the hair out of the face while working. If anyone has any other info onn this, I'd really appreciate it if you could post it so I can, with your permission, pass it on to my friend.
        YIS,
        Lady Fionnuala McInnes
        Midrealm


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Folo Watkins
        Members of the SCA, reenacting (as one buckskinner wrote) the high end of the reenacting scale, generally goes for the upper-crust in their. However, thralls
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 6, 2006
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          Members of the SCA, reenacting (as one buckskinner wrote) "the high end of
          the reenacting scale," generally goes for the upper-crust in their.
          However, thralls in Norse cultures commonly did not wear head coverings
          (men, at least in heathen times, apparently did not wear head coverings as
          a matter of course either, although women wore hoods that are much more
          convenient than wimples and scarves).

          Female thralls also often had shorter hair and were generally barefoot as
          well, btw. As far as dreads, I don't know one way or another, but
          considering their world-wide contacts...

          Cheers, Folo
        • Robert Van Rens
          ... Um, for young, unmarried women and prostitues, sure. Seriously, for MOST (not all) of the medieval period, in MOST (not all) places, EVERYONE went about
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 6, 2006
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            >From: Kareina Talvi Tyt�r <kareina@...>
            >Finding a place to be from wherein I
            >*don't* have to wear something on my head sounds like a good idea.
            >
            >Can anyone else document uncovered heads for women in their time/place?
            >

            Um, for young, unmarried women and prostitues, sure.

            Seriously, for MOST (not all) of the medieval period, in MOST (not all)
            places, EVERYONE went about with heads covered, both women and men. In
            England, from say the 12thC onward, women covered their hair and soon as
            they were married, or had reached single adulthood. Of course, virtually
            the only way for most women to reach adulthood unmarried was to take holy
            orders, and of course your head would be covered as a nun or abbess.

            Now, there are certainly exceptions to this. Some early pre-christian
            cultures (for example, the Picts and Lithuanians), some non-European
            cultures (Japanese and Berber come to mind, though not Mongol, Chinese,
            Indian, Arabian, Turkish, Bedouin, Aztec, or most others). Young girls were
            often not expected to cover thier heads, although in England and France a
            fillet or small coif seems to have been common; prostitutes also uncovered
            their hair as a method of advertising.

            Not enough headgear is one of the biggest incongruities at most SCA
            events...

            Eadric the Potter

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          • Terri Morgan
            Carvings of Viking valkyrie figures show women with hair pulled into a pony tail and knotted (a knot on the back of the head, then a fall of hair below it),
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 6, 2006
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              Carvings of Viking "valkyrie' figures show women with hair pulled into a
              pony tail and knotted (a knot on the back of the head, then a fall of hair
              below it), or with a bun on the back of the head in addition to other
              depictions which appear to be hoods or scarves.

              Hiberno-Roman women appear to have worn a headcovering only during public
              functions outdoors (funerals, religious services, shopping in the weather)
              while 'everyday' life seems to have been with hair coifed but not covered.


              It's not easy to find such a thing in Medieval/Renn studies - the cultural
              bias towards covered hair was well established by the Church early into our
              period of study.



              Hrothny
            • tasha_medvedeva
              ... of hair ... I can t remember if it was Ewing s _Viking_Clothing_ or my book on Norse headcoverings in Dublin, but one of them hypothesized that the
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 6, 2006
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                --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Terri Morgan" <online2much@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Carvings of Viking "valkyrie' figures show women with hair pulled into a
                > pony tail and knotted (a knot on the back of the head, then a fall
                of hair
                > below it), or with a bun on the back of the head in addition to other
                > depictions which appear to be hoods or scarves.

                I can't remember if it was Ewing's _Viking_Clothing_ or my book on
                Norse headcoverings in Dublin, but one of them hypothesized that the
                Valykrie depictions don't show hair knotted at all, but rather a scarf
                knotted at the back of the head. Instinct says Ewing, but I can't put
                my hand to it at the moment.

                Tasha
              • Adele de Maisieres
                ... Not actually true. _Upper_ class women (ie, about 1% of the population) tended to marry early, the majority before age 20. Lower class women, on the
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 6, 2006
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                  Robert Van Rens wrote:
                  > Of course, virtually
                  > the only way for most women to reach adulthood unmarried was to take holy
                  > orders, and of course your head would be covered as a nun or abbess.
                  >
                  Not actually true. _Upper_ class women (ie, about 1% of the population)
                  tended to marry early, the majority before age 20. Lower class women,
                  on the other hand, tended to marry in their 20s.


                  --
                  Adele de Maisieres

                  -----------------------------
                  Habeo metrum - musicamque,
                  hominem meam. Expectat alium quid?
                  -Georgeus Gershwinus
                  -----------------------------
                • Wanda Pease
                  It seems to me that some of my female friends in the SCA consider any type of head covering (except a crown or coronet :-) as an admission of some sort of
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 6, 2006
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                    It seems to me that some of my female friends in the SCA consider any type
                    of head covering (except a crown or coronet :-) as an admission of some sort
                    of slavery. Usually to the Ultimate Evil, i.e. THE Church. The fact that
                    even though it is called the Catholic church, there was plenty of deviation
                    from dogma from place to place. Not to mention that people who didn't
                    actually live under the strict rules, such as monks and nuns. Most people
                    could do what seemed most practical to them in the way of head covering or
                    not. When it comes down to enforcing fashion regulations no one is more
                    ferocious than teen aged girls. Were you one of the "out crowd" in school?
                    One of the ones that didn't have the fashion accessory or "look" of the
                    moment? Women self enforced a lot of rules on each other and being on the
                    wrong side of a shunning was as close to H*ll as you ever want to get on
                    earth.

                    Personally, I wear head coverings, or at least veils even when I am wearing
                    my Viscountal coronet (the coronet goes with everything said a good friend
                    and fellow Viscountess). I am also aware that they wouldn't wear that kind
                    of jewelry all day, every day.

                    So, why wear anything on your head?

                    My answers are:
                    Cold: Sunburn, windburn, and frostbite (white skin was much admired).
                    Winter winds penetrated within the curtain walls of a castle, or the yard of
                    a well off burger or peasant. Cold was everywhen, meaning that those big
                    piles of castles never get warm even from the big fires in the fireplaces of
                    some rooms, small fires in smaller rooms (much to be preferred!) or
                    braziers. Notice that they wear headgear even to bed. That's when the fire
                    was covered and the inside atmosphere dropped almost to ambient
                    temperatures. You hope to be snuggy warm in your bed of blankets and fine
                    linen sheets, but you still have to breath. So you wear a night cap.

                    Babies: I love watching a long haired mom cope with a baby, particularly
                    one which is capable of wiggling around enough to grab that long hair and
                    give it a hearty yank! Gives me a warm spot right in my evil little child
                    free heart. Hey, I LOVE children: Baked, boiled, fried... (Very much a
                    joke, I've also been a foster parent). Chickens, pigs, and calves along
                    with rough wood and straw will do almost as good a job at catching loose
                    hair but babies are more fun.

                    Fire: Women, particularly those "in service", making their dowries, or most
                    married women were working around open flames most of the time. They would
                    lean over the fire to stir, flip, or rotate pots or kettles (why I never
                    liked the Norse apron dress concept). If their sweaty hair got caught by
                    the flames it was probably pretty uncomfortable.

                    Cleanliness: No Shampoo back then. Washing or even rinsing your hair meant
                    taking some time off work. If you were lucky you had soap from Castile.
                    Most people had plain water and maybe a bit of black soap. The more of your
                    hair you kept covered, the cleaner it stayed. You had to wash your head to
                    get the sweat off, but the less sweat you got into your hair, the less dirt
                    it picked up that a swish of warm/hot water wouldn't cure. I've read of a
                    great lady of the 16th century who had her hair brushed thoroughly every
                    evening and morning, then rubbed with hot towels to remove the oils and last
                    of the dirt. (If you didn't wash and shampoo your hair every day, your body
                    wouldn't produce extra amounts of Oil to replace what you had stripped,
                    thereby giving you the "greasies". (Isn't advertising great - MADE the
                    shampoo industry!)

                    Personally I dislike having my long hair in my face, mouth and food at
                    inopportune times. I enjoy pretty headdresses, and things that cover up my
                    all too ready to wrinkle face, neck and bosom skin.

                    There really are practical reasons for headdress other than you are going to
                    irritate someone's brother Odwald who managed to become the local church
                    representative in your village, or is the priest you confess to in you live
                    in town.

                    Regina Romsey
                    >
                  • tasha_medvedeva
                    ... {snip} ... or most ... They would ... {snip} ... Are you taking about the tabard style apron? Because that style has been pretty much debunked. There are
                    Message 9 of 21 , Oct 6, 2006
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                      --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Wanda Pease" <wandap@...> wrote:
                      >
                      {snip}
                      >
                      > Fire: Women, particularly those "in service", making their dowries,
                      or most
                      > married women were working around open flames most of the time.
                      They would
                      > lean over the fire to stir, flip, or rotate pots or kettles (why I never
                      > liked the Norse apron dress concept).
                      {snip}
                      >
                      > Regina Romsey
                      > >
                      >

                      Are you taking about the tabard style apron? Because that style has
                      been pretty much debunked. There are a great many ways to wear a
                      Norse apron dress that won't end up with the wearer on fire.

                      Tasha
                    • Terri Morgan
                      ... It was Ewing - that was the first time I d run across the idea and he doesn t give any reason why he assumes that every man and woman being depicted is
                      Message 10 of 21 , Oct 7, 2006
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                        > I can't remember if it was Ewing's _Viking_Clothing_
                        > or my book on Norse headcoverings in Dublin, but one
                        > of them hypothesized that the Valykrie depictions don't
                        > show hair knotted at all, but rather a scarf knotted at
                        > the back of the head. Instinct says Ewing, but I can't
                        > put my hand to it at the moment.
                        > Tasha


                        It was Ewing - that was the first time I'd run across the idea and he
                        doesn't give any reason why he assumes that every man and woman being
                        depicted is wearing something over their hair. It struck me as a little odd,
                        especially when he cites carvings (or foils) that clearly show lines pulled
                        away from the face and then gathered into a knot/bun.

                        I am loathe to change my view of Viking women's hairdressing based on one
                        linguist's interpretation of art, no matter how talented the man is (I have
                        a great deal of respect for Mr. Ewing).


                        Hrothny








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                      • Sharon L. Krossa
                        ... Actually, this isn t really accurate. Virtually every woman didn t get married (nor was marriage or holy orders the only choice), especially not in late
                        Message 11 of 21 , Oct 7, 2006
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                          At 10:28 AM -0400 10/6/06, Robert Van Rens wrote:
                          >Seriously, for MOST (not all) of the medieval period, in MOST (not all)
                          >places, EVERYONE went about with heads covered, both women and men. In
                          >England, from say the 12thC onward, women covered their hair and soon as
                          >they were married, or had reached single adulthood. Of course, virtually
                          >the only way for most women to reach adulthood unmarried was to take holy
                          >orders, and of course your head would be covered as a nun or abbess.

                          Actually, this isn't really accurate. "Virtually" every woman didn't
                          get married (nor was marriage or holy orders the only choice),
                          especially not in late medieval England. It is true that most women
                          did get married, but "most" left, in some periods, as much as a 20%
                          or so of women never married. (I'd give more specifics but I'm away
                          from my books.)

                          Further, from the time when we start getting some decent data in late
                          period, most English women who did get married weren't getting
                          married until they were adults. Remember that kings and queens and
                          high nobles are not typical, and that there are a few famous examples
                          of such people marrying at age 12 or 14 is not in any way evidence
                          that normal people routinely got married that young, nor is the
                          minimum legal age for marriage (12 for women, 14 for men in the
                          Middle Ages) an indication of when people normally did get married,
                          any more than it is today (when the minimum legal age in the US is in
                          the teens but the average age is in the late 20s).

                          "Everyone married, and married young" is one of those myths about the
                          Middle Ages that just won't die...

                          (That said, different times and cultures had different marriage
                          patterns --including average age at marriage, and the relative ages
                          of bride and groom, varying with time and culture-- though, to the
                          best of my knowledge, in none of them did virtually everyone but nuns
                          get married, and in few of them were most women normally married
                          before the age of 18.)

                          Affrick, mka Sharon
                          --
                          Sharon Krossa, skrossa-ml@...
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                        • Tiffany Brown
                          ... In the 12th Century, uncovered and loose hair seems to have been for girls. However, there are enough circumstances of the very rich depicted with plaited
                          Message 12 of 21 , Oct 8, 2006
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                            On 06/10/06, Kareina Talvi Tytär <kareina@...> wrote:
                            > Ooo! After 20+ years in the SCA and still no closer to choosing a persona,
                            > this comment tempts me. I'm one of those who dislikes wearing any sort of
                            > head covering (though I will wear a hat or veil on a sunny day to keep from
                            > getting headaches when the sun beats down on my head, I hate the feeling),
                            > but I have always heard people saying that they think the head gear is a
                            > very important part of the costume. Finding a place to be from wherein I
                            > *don't* have to wear something on my head sounds like a good idea.
                            >
                            > Can anyone else document uncovered heads for women in their time/place?
                            >
                            > --Kareina

                            In the 12th Century, uncovered and loose hair seems to have been for
                            girls. However, there are enough circumstances of the very rich
                            depicted with plaited hair. The hair is accompanied by high fashion
                            clothes of the era (not with practical day clothes), and sometimes
                            has a small veil or beanie hat over top of it.

                            Teffania
                          • darkgrrl
                            ... *waves to Kareina* There are quite a few examples of young women in mid-14thC Italian paintings with uncovered hair, albeit often in plaited upstyles.
                            Message 13 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
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                              >On 06/10/06, Kareina Talvi Tytär <kareina@...> wrote:
                              >Can anyone else document uncovered heads for women in their time/place?
                              >--Kareina

                              *waves to Kareina*
                              There are quite a few examples of young women in mid-14thC Italian
                              paintings with uncovered hair, albeit often in plaited "upstyles." Some
                              also have hair plaited down their backs with small "veils" on the back
                              of their heads - hard to see details in crowd scenes, and not so many
                              individual portraits at that time.
                              I don't have exact titles of the paintings, but have a look for
                              Lorenzetti's 'Good government', many of Ferrer Bassa's women in tippeted
                              cotes, Andrea da Firenze's "Church and Military Triumph" for reference.

                              Francesca da Tivoli
                              Shire of Radburne, Lochac.
                            • Robert Van Rens
                              Top-posted for clarification/continuation. DO NOT EDIT FURTHER ... Well, yes, that is true, but in English and French law, such women had severely curtailed
                              Message 14 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
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                                Top-posted for clarification/continuation. DO NOT EDIT FURTHER


                                >From: Adele de Maisieres <ladyadele@...>
                                >Robert Van Rens wrote:
                                > > Of course, virtually
                                > > the only way for most women to reach adulthood unmarried was to take
                                >holy
                                > > orders, and of course your head would be covered as a nun or abbess.

                                >Not actually true. _Upper_ class women (ie, about 1% of the population)
                                >tended to marry early, the majority before age 20. Lower class women,
                                >on the other hand, tended to marry in their 20s.

                                Well, yes, that is true, but in English and French law, such women had
                                severely curtailed rights; hence, they were not _LEGALLY_ adults, which is
                                the sense of the definition I was using.

                                Widows, even young ones, have rights to property, disposotion of dowry,
                                choice in remarraige, etc. Unmarried women lack most of these rights, and
                                are essentially the ward of thier nearest adult male relative - father,
                                uncle, brother, etc.

                                Men from the lower classes tended to marry even later - late twenties or
                                early thirties; you needed time to establish yourself and be able to support
                                a family before you could afford to marry. In England, the age of majority
                                (until about 1700) was 25...


                                Eadric

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                              • Adele de Maisieres
                                ... Tautology. ... I don t think I ve heard that before. Do you have a reference? -- Adele de Maisieres ... Habeo metrum - musicamque, hominem meam. Expectat
                                Message 15 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
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                                  Robert Van Rens wrote:
                                  >>> Of course, virtually
                                  >>> the only way for most women to reach adulthood unmarried <snip!>
                                  >> Not actually true. _Upper_ class women (ie, about 1% of the population)
                                  >> tended to marry early, the majority before age 20. Lower class women,
                                  >> on the other hand, tended to marry in their 20s.
                                  >>
                                  >
                                  > Well, yes, that is true, but in English and French law, such women had
                                  > severely curtailed rights; hence, they were not _LEGALLY_ adults, which is
                                  > the sense of the definition I was using.
                                  >

                                  Tautology.

                                  > In England, the age of majority
                                  > (until about 1700) was 25...
                                  >

                                  I don't think I've heard that before. Do you have a reference?


                                  --
                                  Adele de Maisieres

                                  -----------------------------
                                  Habeo metrum - musicamque,
                                  hominem meam. Expectat alium quid?
                                  -Georgeus Gershwinus
                                  -----------------------------
                                • Sandra Dodd
                                  ... -=-I don t think I ve heard that before. Do you have a reference?-=- It was news to me too. I m glad someone asked. What I had heard was that the common
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
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                                    > In England, the age of majority
                                    > (until about 1700) was 25...
                                    >

                                    -=-I don't think I've heard that before. Do you have a reference?-=-

                                    It was news to me too. I'm glad someone asked.



                                    What I had heard was that the common ages of varied adulthood in use
                                    in most of the English-speaking world, 18 and 21, came from the
                                    expected ages at which noblemen would be knighted, those whose
                                    knighthood was a matter of course because of their lineage. I don't
                                    remember whether it was 18 in England and 21 in France or the other
                                    way around.



                                    AElflaed

                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Robert Van Rens
                                    ... Not really. There are other definitions of adulthood; biological, for instance, and the one so many NEVER reach, emotional. Some cultures used more
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
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                                      >From: Adele de Maisieres <ladyadele@...>
                                      >Robert Van Rens wrote:
                                      > > Well, yes, that is true, but in English and French law, such women had
                                      > > severely curtailed rights; hence, they were not _LEGALLY_ adults, which
                                      >is
                                      > > the sense of the definition I was using.
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      >Tautology.
                                      >

                                      Not really. There are other definitions of adulthood; biological, for
                                      instance, and the one so many NEVER reach, emotional.

                                      Some cultures used more flexible definitions of adulthood; for women, onset
                                      of menses is a fairly straighforward one.

                                      I'll try and dig up some citations regarding the legal age of majority.
                                      It'll go on the list...<sigh>

                                      Eadric the Potter

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                                    • Wanda Pease
                                      (why I never ... Tasha, The tabard style Norse apron was exactly what I was talking about. I was very glad to see it debunked in the years that followed its
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
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                                        (why I never
                                        > > liked the Norse apron dress concept).
                                        > {snip}
                                        > >
                                        > > Regina Romsey
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        > Are you taking about the tabard style apron? Because that style has
                                        > been pretty much debunked. There are a great many ways to wear a
                                        > Norse apron dress that won't end up with the wearer on fire.
                                        >
                                        > Tasha

                                        Tasha, The tabard style Norse apron was exactly what I was talking about.
                                        I was very glad to see it debunked in the years that followed its
                                        introduction. A more dangerous garment for those who do much camping with
                                        fires, either ground fires, or raised ones, I've seldom seen. Granted a
                                        woolen apron may only smolder if you get it in the flames as you lean over
                                        to work too many of the ones I've seen have been made o a woolen look poly
                                        fabric that would (and did) go up like a torch. In the case I saw the woman
                                        had on a woolen/rayon blend for the main dress and people around her that
                                        immediately smothered the flames with a cloak. However the outfit, to
                                        include some expensive amber in her necklaces was a ruin and she was very
                                        frightened. She had even belted the apron to keep this from happening.
                                        Didn't help.

                                        Regina
                                        >
                                      • Sharon L. Krossa
                                        ... Actually, they were legally adults. At least in English (and Scottish) law, the age of majority was the same for men and women. (The 12/14 age distinction
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
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                                          At 12:27 PM -0400 10/9/06, Robert Van Rens wrote:
                                          >
                                          > From: Adele de Maisieres <ladyadele@...>
                                          > >Not actually true. _Upper_ class women (ie, about 1% of the population)
                                          > >tended to marry early, the majority before age 20. Lower class women,
                                          > >on the other hand, tended to marry in their 20s.
                                          >
                                          >Well, yes, that is true, but in English and French law, such women had
                                          >severely curtailed rights; hence, they were not _LEGALLY_ adults, which is
                                          >the sense of the definition I was using.

                                          Actually, they were legally adults. At least in English (and
                                          Scottish) law, the age of majority was the same for men and women.
                                          (The 12/14 age distinction was for a younger age/rights marker,
                                          starting what was a transitional time between childhood and adulthood
                                          -- not really all that different from what we modernly call
                                          "teenagers".)

                                          I know of no laws that curtailed the rights of adult, single women
                                          (as compared to married women or widows) -- lots of societal
                                          realities that made independent lives harder than for adult, single
                                          men, but not really any legal impediments, at least not in English or
                                          Scottish law. (Can't really say with regard to French law.)

                                          >Widows, even young ones, have rights to property,

                                          So did unmarried women -- they could legally inherit land and pass it
                                          on to their own heirs in turn, as well as acquire lands by means
                                          other than inheritance (and pass it on to their own heirs), and even
                                          control said property themselves. Married women, however, had certain
                                          legal limits on their property rights.

                                          >disposotion of dowry,

                                          Dowry, of course, only pertains to married women -- just like the
                                          male equivalent only applied to married men. But this has nothing to
                                          do with whether one was an adult or not, but whether one is married
                                          or not. Further, as said, just in general married women had fewer
                                          rights to direct control of their property, but this was a
                                          consequence of marriage, not lack of adulthood.

                                          >choice in remarraige, etc.

                                          Unmarried women had legal choice in 1st marriage -- in the late
                                          Middle Ages, Western Christian Europe-wide, marriage required true
                                          consent of both bride and groom. The *law* did not require them to
                                          consent to anyone else's suggestion/choice.

                                          >Unmarried women lack most of these rights, and
                                          >are essentially the ward of thier nearest adult male relative - father,
                                          >uncle, brother, etc.

                                          Except unmarried adult women didn't lack these rights and weren't
                                          really the wards of their nearest adult male relative, not legally,
                                          in late medieval England (and Scotland) -- especially not the
                                          non-noble classes (the majority of women). As said, there were
                                          various societal realities (the greater difficulty in earning a
                                          decent wage/living as a single woman, etc.), causing women to be more
                                          likely to be dependent on a male relative, but not really laws
                                          requiring this.

                                          >Men from the lower classes tended to marry even later - late twenties or
                                          >early thirties; you needed time to establish yourself and be able to support
                                          >a family before you could afford to marry.

                                          The marriage pattern of late medieval/early modern England was like
                                          that of much of northwestern Europe -- namely, companionate (that is,
                                          similarly aged spouses) marriage of established adults. This is in
                                          contrast to the pattern that tended to be found in southwestern
                                          Europe, where much older men married much younger women. While in the
                                          English pattern husbands did tend on average to be a little older
                                          than their wives, it was only a few years, not a decade or more (as
                                          in the other pattern).

                                          >In England, the age of majority
                                          >(until about 1700) was 25...

                                          If you're going to talk legal age of majority (rather than the age we
                                          consider people to be adults, modernly), it was 21 in England (and
                                          Scotland). The (ancient) Roman age of majority was apparently 25, but
                                          the English and Scots did not follow this. So the English women
                                          marrying in their mid-to-late 20s were all legally adults.

                                          If I recall correctly, the age in England (and Scotland) by which you
                                          had to revoke all your underage acts (or else they stuck) was 25, but
                                          this wasn't the age of majority but the grace period after reaching
                                          your majority during which you could call back the adverse acts you
                                          regretted from your youth.

                                          Of course, if you got married (possible from age 12 for girls, 14 for
                                          boys), then you were considered legally adult regardless of your age.
                                          (There were also some other ways for an under-21 person to become
                                          legally an adult.)

                                          Africa, mka Sharon
                                          --
                                          Sharon Krossa, skrossa-ml@...
                                          Need help with technology for your research or teaching? Hire me!
                                          http://MedievalScotland.org/hireme/
                                          Resources for Scottish history, names, clothing, language & more:
                                          Medieval Scotland - http://MedievalScotland.org/
                                        • Sharon L. Krossa
                                          ... ... You forgot some: Sex: Different cultures and eras not only have different ideas about what is sexy, they also have different ideas about what is too
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
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                                            At 2:15 PM -0700 10/6/06, Wanda Pease wrote:
                                            >So, why wear anything on your head?
                                            >
                                            >My answers are:
                                            >Cold: Sunburn, windburn, and frostbite (white skin was much admired).
                                            ...
                                            >Babies: I love watching a long haired mom cope with a baby, particularly
                                            ...
                                            >Fire: Women, particularly those "in service", making their dowries, or most
                                            ...
                                            >Cleanliness: No Shampoo back then. Washing or even rinsing your hair meant
                                            ...

                                            You forgot some:

                                            Sex: Different cultures and eras not only have different ideas about
                                            what is sexy, they also have different ideas about what is too
                                            revealing and what is modest attire -- sometimes with different
                                            things acceptable at different ages/statuses. Add to that a general
                                            tendency for many men (in many times/cultures) to find long hair on
                                            women sexually attractive, and it isn't surprising that in many
                                            times/cultures married women (or women in general) 1) had long hair
                                            and/or 2) only let down their hair and displayed it to their husbands
                                            -- especially not when you consider all the other practical reasons
                                            listed above to reinforce the equation of only a married woman's
                                            husband sees her long flowing locks au naturel, or even, in some
                                            times/cultures, very much of her hair at all. [Remember that in many
                                            times/cultures, men didn't wander around with their shirts off as
                                            they do so casually today... this isn't just a "controlling females"
                                            issue. Which comment reminds me that in the cultures where women
                                            usually wore head coverings, usually the men also usually wore head
                                            coverings, too...]

                                            Then, of course, there are the most powerful factors:

                                            Custom: people do what they do (in a particular time & culture)
                                            because that's what people do (in that time & culture)

                                            Fashion: as above

                                            There often is no explanation other than "that's what happened to
                                            develop". Those who want to derive answers from first principles &
                                            logic alone should study physics, not history (let alone costume
                                            history!) Consider, why, modernly, do so many people in very cold
                                            regions _not_ wear hats? It makes no logical (or health) sense. But,
                                            well, they don't because they don't, that's the current custom and
                                            fashion. Same goes for Californians and umbrellas when it rains --
                                            most of use don't use them simply because that's what we do. We grew
                                            up not using umbrellas, we rarely see people using umbrellas (outside
                                            of tv and movies), so we don't use umbrellas -- even when we are
                                            living somewhere else with a lot more rain (where most natives _do_
                                            use umbrellas), unless we're the sort to go native generally.

                                            What people do is a continuation of, or development from, their
                                            practices of their immediate predecessors and cohorts. Even
                                            rejections and reactions against what has gone before is still based
                                            on what has gone before. Women wore head coverings because their
                                            mothers wore head coverings -- there needn't be any more reason than
                                            that, and a long succession of generations of women wearing head
                                            coverings could just as easily have started because some woman
                                            thought it looked cool as because her head was cold...

                                            Euphrick, mka Sharon

                                            PS As an aside, I don't actually find the babies argument very
                                            persuasive, given that modern women have babies too and so this is
                                            not a _difference_ that would account for the medieval practice being
                                            different from the modern (unlike, say, cold --women in colder
                                            regions wear a lot more head coverings than women in warmer regions
                                            even modernly-- fire, and cleanliness, which are things that differed
                                            from medieval cultures to some/all of our modern cultures).
                                            --
                                            Sharon Krossa, skrossa-ml@...
                                            Need help with technology for your research or teaching? Hire me!
                                            http://MedievalScotland.org/hireme/
                                            Resources for Scottish history, names, clothing, language & more:
                                            Medieval Scotland - http://MedievalScotland.org/
                                          • Sandra Dodd
                                            -=-Of course, if you got married (possible from age 12 for girls, 14 for boys), then you were considered legally adult regardless of your age. (There were also
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Oct 10, 2006
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                                              -=-Of course, if you got married (possible from age 12 for girls, 14 for
                                              boys), then you were considered legally adult regardless of your age.
                                              (There were also some other ways for an under-21 person to become
                                              legally an adult.)-=-

                                              One of the queens of the Outlands had become an emancipated minor by
                                              the court system, totally unrelated to SCA matters. The question
                                              didn't come up, but in the case of a kingdom law stating an age limit
                                              on entering Crown, it would've been an interesting challenge if an
                                              emancipated minor wanted to enter (or have her favor carried). But
                                              "age of majority" or legal adulthood isn't always the mark. The
                                              U.S. requires other ages for running for certain offices--25, 30, 35.

                                              My mom and dad were married in 1948, in Texas, and she told me that
                                              even though she wasn't old enough to drink, being married caused that
                                              to be waived, if she was drinking with her husband. Kind of like
                                              some places that let children drink if they're in a restaurant with
                                              their parents.

                                              I love the vestigial cultural and legal bits than can be traced back
                                              hundreds of years. Sorry to kind of be off topic, but I think too
                                              often people simplify the differences between now and SCA period, as
                                              though it's another world entirely. It's THIS world, a while back.
                                              And we're they're world with a whole lot more legal precedents and
                                              technology and laws to go with that, and revolutions of religious and
                                              social natures (on top of military and political).



                                              AElflaed

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