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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
      --- 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
    • 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 2 of 21 , Oct 7, 2006
        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@...
        Need help with technology for your research or teaching? Hire me!
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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 3 of 21 , Oct 8, 2006
          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 4 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
            >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 5 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
              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 6 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
                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 7 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
                  > 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 8 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
                    >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 9 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
                      (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 10 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
                        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 11 of 21 , Oct 9, 2006
                          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 12 of 21 , Oct 10, 2006
                            -=-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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