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Re: [Authentic_SCA] head coverings [was: Re: dreaded]

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 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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