In a message dated 3/27/2008 4:35:06 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
Do you dress differently each day, depending on what you are planning
to be doing, to best fit the activity? Or do you stay in your primary
persona's garb, regardless? And if so, does it ruin the experience for
you to be seen in public with anachronistic equipment and supplies?
What about once you get where you're going? Are those kinds of
pursuits less about being in a recreation-moment for you, and more
about learning in the here and now with your friends, with the chance
that you'll create alternate personas later on?
My take on this might be slightly different than some people's. I always
stay in my primary persona's clothing, and mindset if I can (the mindset is
much harder). Well, OK, I have asked my husband to make an alternate outfit for
me to wear when he is participating in activities with his tourney company,
but only because I want to help them create a uniform impression, which is
part of what they are trying to do. But for the average SCA event, I remain
12th century English Brangwayna. There are two parts to how I view things as
happening that takes away a lot of the inconsistencies for me.
The first part how I view what others do, and that is that I simply view
anyone who is dressed or who behaves differently than me as a"foreigner".
Brangwayna does not have the concept of a time traveler or different time periods,
but she knows perfectly well that foreigners can be expected to dress and
act strangely. Therefore anyone who isn't dressed like me is just from
someplace else. Brangwayna, then, has no clue that a Viking shouldn't be carrying a
rapier and an Elizabethan woman shouldn't be doing nalbinding or wearing
henna on her hands. I do, of course, and it can be hard for me to ignore some
of that, but to Brangwayna it makes just as much sense as a Viking woman
nalbinding or an Indian woman wearing henna.
The second part is how I view my own activities. Brangwayna may be from
12th century England, but she isn't in 12th century England anymore. She's in
someplace called the Known World where there are an awful lot of foreigners.
As a result, Brangwayna has been exposed to, and has had the opportunity to
learn, information and skills that a 12th century English woman wouldn't have
been exposed to. If I am doing a craft or something that isn't in period for
Brangwayna, it's simply something I learned to do since I came to the Known
World, and if I were to choose to wear clothing similar to one of those
foreigners, well, it's just because I thought it would be fun to dress up like
this other woman I saw. As it happens, Brangwayna has experimented with other
clothing styles and has decided that she is most comfortable in the style of
clothing she was raised in, and so I wear that from choice. Even if I attend
a themed event, I still wear Brangwayna's clothes, and assume that I am
traveling, perhaps on pilgrimage, when I would certainly not be changing clothes
every time I crossed a national border.
It also happens that my primary focus in the SCA is to get as close to what
Brangwayna would have worn and done as possible, so most of what I do at
events is fairly appropriate to my persona anyway. And if I am doing a historical
demo for the public, then I make an extra special effort to really keep
things as close to 12th century English as I can (a demo introducing the SCA to
folks is a little different and a lot more lenient, but if someone wants me to
portray an 12th century English woman for them, I'm not going in wearing
inappropriate styles of SCA regalia and doing things that Brangwayna wouldn't
have known about).
**************Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL
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