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head coverings [was: Re: dreaded] -cold, babies, fire,etc

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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

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                  • 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 9 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 10 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 11 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!
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                        • 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 12 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/
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                            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 13 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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