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4018An absolute beginner

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  • airelledindiko
    Jan 23, 2011
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      Hi! I'm new to the group, have been lurking for a little while.

      I joined because I'm interested in learning to make a specific headdress for my persona, but I have absolutely no idea how to go about it. I have some images, and some quotes from sources, but I was hoping someone out there would be able to help me get started.

      The item I want to make is called a bogtaq (pronounced like botta), and was worn by high ranking married women in the mongol empire in the 13th and later centuries.

      here is an artist's depiction of Empress Chabi, wife of Kublai Khan:


      A museum piece:


      Some modern women wearing their boqtaq for a parade or demonstration:


      And, just for the fun of it, here's one from a Lifetime Movie called Marco Polo (the movie was terrible, I think they spent all their money on costumes and location, which honestly is fine by me, since it means everything was made by local costumers):


      Now, some quotes:

      From "The Mission of Friar William of Rubrick: His journey to the court of the Great Khan Mongke, 1253-1255", as translated by Peter Jackson:

      "In addition they have a headdress called a bocca and made of tree bark or some lighter material if they can find it. It is thick and round, two hands in circumference and one cubit more high, and square at the top like the capital of a column. They cover this bocca with expensive silk cloth: it is hollow inside, and on the capital in the middle, or on the square part, they put a sheaf of quills or thin reeds, again a cubit or more in length. And they decorate this sheaf at the top with a peacock's feathers and around it's shaft [per longum in circuitu] with the little feathers from a mallard's tail and even precious stones. This decoration is worn on top of the head by rich ladies: they fasten it on securely with a fur hood [almucia] which has a hole at the top made for this purpose, and in it they put up their hair, gathering it from the back onto the top of the head in a kind of knot and placing over it the bocca, which is then tied firmly at the throat. Consequently, when a number of ladies together are out riding and are seen from a distance, they resemble knights with helmets on their heads and raised lances: for this bocca looks like a helmet and the sheaf [protruding] above like a lance."

      from "The Story of the Mongols whom We Call the Tartars" by Friar Giovanni DiPlano Carpini as translated by Erik Hildinger:

      "Women who are married have a very full tunic right to the ground cut open down the front. They wear a round thing made of basketry or bark on the head which stands up a foot and a half and at the top spreads into four. From the base to the top it grows wider and at the top it has a long and graceful wand of gold, silver, wood or even feathers and it is sewed onto a cap which drapes down to the shoulders. And this cap, just like the outfit already described is either made of buckram, felt or silk."

      Those are the two sources that I have so far. Friar Giovanni visited the Mongol Empire from 1245-1247.

      Any help that anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you in advance,

      Ula'an Checheg (Red Flower)
      mka Rose K.
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