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  • Rod Giffin
    Jun 10, 2007

      I thought I'd introduce myself before I butt in on a conversation or
      two. I'm new to the list, but not the SCA. Formerly I had developed an
      interest and persona from the Frankish Kingdom/Duchy of Lotharingia,
      because I was mundanely born in Montmedy. I still have arguments with
      book Heralds about Lotharingia (Usually it has a theme something like
      "No, Montmedy and Verdun are *NOT* examples of medieval French
      culture.") The past few years though, I've been developing an interest
      in Novgorod and Tver, and to a lesser extend Kiev and Moscow.

      Mundanely I live in Eastern Ontario, the Barony of Skraeling Althing in
      Ealdormere, but I work wherever my job takes me. Currently that's
      Bridgewater New Jersey where my office is, or Warwick Rhode Island
      (Barony of the Bridge), and Fremont California (Principality of the
      Mists). I don't know if any other's from Ealdormere are active here.

      I also had the pleasure of working in Russia for 6 months, and spent a
      good deal of time examining artifacts in Museums. I lived in North
      Eastern Moscow, on ulitsa Smolnaya, close to Rechnoy Vokzal. I speak
      enough Russian to get by in a restaurant, store or hotel or to deal with
      the Militsa on occasion ... but not enough to know how to swear at
      drivers. I can read a bit more than I speak also, something that makes
      reading documents in Russian a bit easier.

      I've returned on vacation a few times, to visit friends in St.
      Peterbourg, Mosow and Ufa. On my last trip there late last fall, a
      Russian/Bashkir woman I met in a shop on Arbatskaya a few years ago
      presented me with a beautiful cloak made of blue velvet, and embroidered
      and couched with gold and white thread. She made it after a painting
      purportedly from the mid 14th century. It's quite a bit Tartar
      looking, but it's a beautiful garment. She says that if I return,
      she'll make me a "real hat and boots" to match it (felt and fur). I've
      warn the cloak to a few events, but it's somewhat difficult to maintain
      so that doesn't happen often.

      I'm now developing a persona to match the garb, which has been an
      interesting journey. I want to thank some of the members of this group
      though, some of your research has been masterful.

      In Russia itself, artifacts from the early period are difficult to find,
      because many of the collections have been plundered, burned or otherwise
      destroyed in various conflagrations. Sad really. But I have seen the
      standard tourist type museums, Tretyakov Gallery, the Kremlin and it's
      armoury museum, the Balshoy and Maly, I also spent considerable time in
      the Museum of History of Moscow examining artifacts and old documents.
      I spent so much time in the early period section they invited me to the
      storage and restoration facility. It's interesting. I've seen how real
      braes might have been made, although there is probably more than one
      way. A 14th century boot heel made with laminated leather presumably
      nailed to a boot that was dug up by a gardener near the Kremlin wall,
      and the remains of a suit of lamellar and male armour that was found in
      the 30's while excavating a building foundation. Not much of it
      survived. The interesting thing is that the coif had been repaired at
      some time using butted male. The rust was as bad on the butted male as
      it was on the rivited ones, so it is likely to have been done a long
      time ago. One could almost imagine a hasty repair between sorties.

      Anyway, that's about it. If you've read this far, thank you!!!

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