Re: A question I have. (Pirates)
I had a few comments on pirates as I am interested in the late 1500s -
early 1600s. Also, let me confess that at heart I am a bit of an
authenticity nut so this post is geared toward developing an
authentic pirate-type persona. Nevertheless, I hope that I do not
come off as negative - not my intent.
There were definitely pirates prior to 1600, although garb would vary
somewhat from those of the Golden Age of Piracy in the late 1600s.
In my researches, though, the garb of the late 1500s was rather close
to that of the early 1600s. You may want to research into the
Elizbethan Sea Dogs (i.e Drake or Raliegh) or Dutch Sea Beggars of
the late 1500s. Then, when an authenticity nazi challenges you, you
can lecture them at length about the appropriateness of your persona.
As far as what sailors actualy wore in the Caribbean, I must confess
that this question has perplexed me. Most costume sources seem to
focus upon more formal wear rather than the day-to-day stuff. This
has bugged me no end, because I live in Florida and don't want to go
with full-blown Elizabethan (my area of interest) garb. I have found
some documentation to show that Europeans did dress down a bit in the
tropics. Some Spanish conquistadors dropped their stockings and
shoes and instead went bare-legged with native sandals. So would a
sailor go shirtless? Good question - alhtough personally I imagine
it happened. Does anyone out there know more about this particular
If you are interested in researching the late 1500s, some good
1. Cardiff Rose - http://www.cardiffrose.com/ - a Ren Faire group
that does late 1500s militia and seamen. Their garb tips are great.
2. Osprey books - http://www.ospreypublishing.com/ - They have short
paperback books about military history and types of soldiers. They
have one on Elizabethan Sea Dogs that you might find useful. I also
recommend Matchlock Musketeers (alhtough about soldiers the garb of
pirates would be similar)
3. I believe there is a Yahoo Group that deals with SCA nautical
personas. They probably know more about day-to-day dressing habits
In all, I hope this helps. With a little research, I think you can
develop an authentic pirate-type persona that is within the SCA time
guidelines and is still comfortable.
P.S. Feel free to contact me privately if you'd like to discuss this
in more depth.