Fun in the Sun 1: In search of inspiration

Dan Barker Sat, 04/06/2011 – 07:56

I just got back from the British Museum’s rather lovely (though terribly small) Omani jewellry exhibit (open ’til September, so go see it and the awesome Afghani exhibit they have currently. You won’t regret either).

An impulse decision paid off in lots of ideas for art.

Well, OK maybe not art yet, but it got my mind ticking, and ideas I’d written about last week were there in all their glory.

For instance,here is a a traditional hairpiece worn by a commoner invoking Natha. The petitioner would wear their own hair up, in a bun, and this would be pinned in place in the back, with the silver medallions above the forehead.

Nathaite hairpiece

It would be pulled over the left shoulder so the knot would be seen clearly.
This example is made of hemp, jute or wool, though human hair is also used occasionally. To be honest the material is of secondary importance to the plait used and the knot tied, and it is most often done in cheap materials due to its’ nature.

Traditionally, if you have an issue you wished resolved, you would either make one yourself or have an artisan make it for you. Once worn it is burnt in an offering to Natha for her intercession. Human hair versions are only used in this way when blood atonement is required.

The other use of such hairpieces is by Nathaite priestesses in their role as judges of disputes. They tend to wear this with more silverwork, and with the braid worn down their backs as the knot doesn’t have the same significance.

One thing I found odd, was that all examples of silver work at the exhibition were from the 1950s. The reason, I found out, was very Lunar: what is handed down is the silver not the jewellry. When the woman receives the heirlooms, she will immediately melt it down to make it anew. The designs are mostly traditional, but the wearer will ask for details that represent her own path through life, so only its’ material is valued. The silver is given to her on her reaching adulthood. It is recast on her getting married and again on her Sevening. It becomes a record of her life. Mostly this is done in the form of bracelets and anklets, but occasionally she may (in the case of her Sevening) be make them into something else…

I’ve already said that women of the Empire like to have elaborate hairdoes, particularly braiding. The Goddess herself had her braid wound 7 times around her head when she embarked on her godquest. We also see what often looks like a diadem or tiara in the plates. Among the peoples of Northern Peloria girls on reaching adulthood are given six hair ornaments, to tie into their braids. These represent celestial bodies that have been selected to look over her. Over time she may add to these as she gains other celestial patrons.

A newer version of this tradition is now found within Glamour, where the girl is given the 6 celestial guardians but on Sevening, the woman should add a new (and final) star to her array.

I’ll finish with this picture of a Pelorian or Tarshite Ernaldan. It’s to give an idea of what I think Ernaldans wear, but also items commonly worn by Uz.

I’ll go into this more in Fun in the Sun 2: Troll daywear.


Submitted by danm (not verified) on Mon, 06/06/2011 – 19:01.

a female out by day! HERETIC!

at the very least she’d have a MUCH bigger hat… and a tent, and, well, something else to do until blessed night came to shield her sacred skin from foul light…

on the other hand, the prosthetic dugs would certainly be something commonly worn by those not gifted with the proper six from birth (or those dissatisfied with the opulence of those they do have) Giving one’s son a nipple of bronze might well be a way to inspire ferocity and energy without sacrificing the sacred milk needed to raise strong and fertile girls. Best to get the boys used to sacrifice and deprivation from the start, to teach them their place and promote self-reliance and the instinct to provide rather than consume.

(can’t wait to hear your ideas!)

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