Dan Barker Tue, 24/05/2011 – 12:02
Cos, you know, the Goddess had hair.
I guess it started with that picture by Tom Sullivan, with the Lunar priestess with her plunging neckline standing in front of a statue of a Bald Goddess. I mean we all love a plunging neckline (though it isn’t that flattering to my aging skin), but really, what is going on here? Even MoB lampooned it with princess Anderida of Raibanth and her bald pigeon.
Is it that they shave their heads so they look like the moon or is that they are so preternaturally absent minded that they keep forgetting to put on their wigs?
The Goddess, in most of her aspects, has sport an assortment of highly complex coiffures. Each hairstyle has distinct meaning, and there is a good living to be made in the Heartland as hairdresser or wig maker. Style denotes social status, cultic affiliation and even intent of the wearer. The Balancer style (as worn by Natha), for instance, is often worn when seeking restitution. The implied threat is obvious to all, and is never invoked lightly.
Not only the women sport elaborate hair in the Empire. The noble boys of Alkoth and Carmania grow their hair as a sign of devotion, as do professional soldiers. On reaching adult hood if the man wishes to pursue a life other than a devotee of Shargash, he ritually cuts his hair and gives his braid to the high priest. In the event of war this will be presented back to him and he will be told Shargash Commands! He will wear his braid as a crown. Devotees of Shargash, of course, never cut their hair, but bind it in blood red silks, which they wind around their heads and tie in elaborate knots. Many a visitor to Alkoth has met a brutal death by beating for comparing this tradition to the habit of Rufelza to loop her hair 7 times upon her head.
Part of the reason for the domed helmets amongst Heartland corps is that soldiers tradionally have their hair tied up upon the crown of their heads in cloth of their regimental colours (this is a conceit that dates back to the defeat of Sheng Seleris, & is considered a minor inspiration of Moon Son).
As officers progress in the herocult of Yanafarl, they are taught the correct hair knot of their rank. Cultic awards take the form of elaborate hair ornaments, pins and hair cups.
Don’t even get me started on Orlanthi hair etiquette. Its amazing what they’ll do because they know their god will keep the hair out of their eyes.
Submitted by dan (not verified) on Thu, 26/05/2011 – 11:13.
So it isn’t because he is often portrayed dressed in a fur nappy? That’d me me kinda angry.
Submitted by Dan B (not verified) on Thu, 26/05/2011 – 04:48.
Harrek probably has a combover. It’s why he’s so angry.
Submitted by dan (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 20:48.
Harrek? A slap head? Say it ain’t so!
Submitted by Peter Metcalfe (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 17:43.
And Harrek has a shaggy mane of dark hair; just like Conan.
I don’t think Harrek has a shaggy mane of dark hair. We’ve always seen the bear head covering it. So my thinking is that Harrek is bald and constantly wears the white bear to hide it.
Submitted by dan (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 10:59.
re: Jar Eel and Harrek, zigackly! Seeing as this is an “art blog” I’ve appended a (very old) sketch. Sorry, no chainmail bikini.
Submitted by Ian Cooper (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 10:23.
Of course Jar-Eel has long curly red hair; just like Red Sonja. And Harrek has a shaggy mane of dark hair; just like Conan.
So if Jar-Eel isn’t bald (see above) by inference neither are other Lunar priestesses.
We could discuss Jar-Eel’s chainmail bikini (just like Red Sonja), but seeing as the MRQ2 cheescake thread just caused so much pain over an RPG.NET thread, perhaps we should just leave that one well alone
Submitted by dan (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 09:02.
Yeah, I can see your point, some would consider them all “bad haircuts”. I always saw Gerra as bald as I considered the idea that she has shorn her head in mourning.
I can also see people shaving their heads as a sign of purification on illumination, as a sacrifice or to mark an important event in their lives, but I would frankly frown on an illuminate who flaunted their spiritual enlightenment in such an overtly crass way (but, hey, I’m a particularly crass individual 😉 ). It’s good to differ.
Submitted by Nick Brooke (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 08:45.
You can’t even see her bust, Jeff. Anyway, weren’t we meant to be talking about her hairstyle (or lack of it)?
Submitted by aumshantih (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 08:25.
Verily, The Goddess is beyond the duality of coifs and baldness. Considering that hair is one of those things that moves in cycles and is infinitely mutable I can see how Lunars would express themselves in their various hair choices.
To me, women shaving their heads bald is a sign of their Liberation and/or Illumination. I’m sure certain forms of the Goddess (Gerra, Rashorana) are probably depicted with bad haircuts or shorn entirely.
Submitted by Jeff Richard (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 07:41.
Wonderful Jar-Eel bust. Isn’t that used as the model for the Goddess in the Great Temple of Glamour?
Submitted by dan (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 00:27.
Nick, I think it is probably due to the fact that they had to sell their hair to buy all that bad-ass equipment and fetish wear they seem to like.
Submitted by dan (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 00:26.
Stewart, wow. I mean, WOW! It is like you have read my mind ;-).
OK, I think there is much more than that to Orlanthi, and now you have gone and made me have to blog it.
You had to go and unleash the wind, didncha?
Submitted by Newt (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2011 – 00:04.
I just prevented our Henry from having a mullet at the barbers, “Do you mind finishing off the job eh?”, and now you have to link to that horrrrrrrrroz! 😛
Submitted by Stewart Stansfield (not verified) on Tue, 24/05/2011 – 21:20.
Dan: “Don’t even get me started on Orlanthi hair etiquette.”
I reckon Orlanthi like to curl their hair into little Air runes.
For me, there is no greater representation of an Orlanthi warrior than Rudi Voeller. What a fine figure of a man. This, I feel, shows him in his best light.
Submitted by Jeff Richard (not verified) on Tue, 24/05/2011 – 20:56.
I am in full agreement with Dan. Not only are there cult hairstyles in the Empire, but they differ from place to place. Certain Lodrilli kinship groups have their own styles and so on. Lots of statuses within the Empire are associated with specific outfits, hats, and … hairstyles.
Submitted by Simon Bray (not verified) on Tue, 24/05/2011 – 20:48.
Its mainly coz I can’t do hair and I am going bald 😛
Submitted by Nick Brooke (not verified) on Tue, 24/05/2011 – 20:30.
It’s all about empowerment, modernity, transcendence, transgression.
(If you turn in an art assignment late because I sent you to tvtropes, I’m sorry).