Hello Sir Jon,
Yup! I'm well aware of the tassels as a part of contemporary
"belly dance" garb, but that is not a truly period applcation either. It
is something made popular by some very talented and creative
"American-fusion" style of "belly dancers" like the "Fat Chance Belly
Dance" troop. They do a wonderful job of creating a new flavor in the
Middle-Eastern dance scene.
The tassels that were used in the Middle East in period were primarily
used as decorations on horse and camel tackle. But it looks good on the
dancers and certainly creates the flavor of a period design and is so
widely used by dancers now in the SCA world and the mundane world, that
soon nobody will remember that it is a recent application. We could say
the same for archery. How many images of Robin Hood can you think of
where he's not wearing a back quiver?
If we want to be truly "period" in our treatment of archers, make
sure that the Crown pays them well for their services and let them
return home with some of the loot they've pillaged.
If we want to follow previous SCA standards, we're kind of free to
make up our own. In period archers were tolerated and even coveted in
time of war, but after the battles were won, they were pretty much
ignored. There were no standard devices that were used to denote archers
BTW I realize that you wrote that tongue-in-cheek. My response
although long is equally lighthearted. If my fellow archers in society
wish to find something to denote themselves inter-Kingdom, then we can't
look to a precedent in history because it didn't exist. We should just
make up one that has the flavor of "period" if that's what everyone
wants to do.
But please, reconsider the "white" thing. ;)