Oi Goug Gee Yone wrote:
> I am seeking patterns for Chinese garb. I am also trying to find out
> what is considered "period" material. I am having great difficulty
> finding websites & information pertaining to this culture.
Part of the problem might be that "Chinese" isn't the name of a
culture. Did you want to be Hunan? Manchu? Mongol? Hakka? Language
isn't the only thing that varies among these groups; the clothing
appropriate to your persona will depend on which one you represent. If
"Oi Goug Gee Yone" is your persona name, you probably want to start by
investigating the culture from which it comes, unless you're either
willing to change it or indifferent to whether it matches your clothes.
The Han dominated China for most of recorded history, and the Han
collectively, still make up over 90% of the Chinese population. The
Mongols had extensive (if not always congenial) contact with Europe
over the core SCA millenium, and ruled China when Marco Polo visited
it. If you want something easy to research, you should probably pick
one of those. Search for "Hanfu" or "Mongol clothing", and you should
easily find basic info.
If you want something a little more unusual, there's demographic
information on the 55 minority ethnicities recognized by the modern
Chinese government at <http://www.china.org.cn/e-groups/shaoshu/
Many of those groups are, like the Han, made up of members of more than
one distinct culture (often referred to as "tribes", whether they're
actually tribal in organization or not), so you may end up needing to
narrow things down more after you start learning the details. Some of
China's modern cultures won't have existed at all before 1600, and
others will have emerged during the preceding thousand years or so, so
make sure you look into the history of any group you're considering
before you set your heart on it.
It's important to pick a region to "be from", since clothing varies
with geography within ethnic groups. China is a B-I-G country, and
travel and communication were a lot less convenient before the 17th
century than they are now. At various points in its history, it's
various regions have also stood as independent kingdoms, so regionalism
is a significant cultural factor. (There's an article about variation
in modern Miao clothing at
> that might
give you some insight.)
Finally, you'll need to choose a specific period, or at least narrow
things down to a single dynasty. Things change over the centuries,
especially when the people in charge change. If you're going to
portray a "guest at a European court" <http://sca.org/docs/govdocs.pdf
and are at all interested in authenticity, you might want to select a
timeframe during which the ethnic group that interests you had some
dealings with the West. And don't forget that "traditional" doesn't
mean anything. You need to find dated references to distinguish items
of clothing worn during your chosen century.
Determining "period material" is something you'll do AFTER you've
narrowed down your persona. Which fabrics your persona would've used,
and how, will depend on when and where (s)he lived and which culture
(s)he belonged to. Favored colors, patterns, and forms of
embellishment will likewise.
Good luck, and welcome to the Society!
Barony of Bryn Gwlad
Kingdom of Ansteorra