Baker, Mike mbaker at
Tue Jan 14 09:00:00 PST 1997

<pardon if my use of the proper forms is less than totally accurate>

By the Name of the Most High and Glorious, to Whom all praise is due,

The gentle lady Britta asks for discussion upon a most serious and yet 
joyful matter, being the proper selection of costume and accompanying 
manners of comportment.

This can be a most vexatious matter even for long-time participants in our 
Society, and can be made more complex by those of us who choose to emulate 
those illustrious ancestors who were not restricted to a specific place or 
even culture.

In my own humble example, the "long boring persona story" can now easily 
consume four hours of story-telling, and this without trying very hard. As a 
merchant, mercenary, and emigre to the New World in the very late XVIth 
century, and with preliminary researches permitting this poor traveller's 
span to reach from the Orient to the mountains of New Mexico, I have a 
greater variety of costumes to choose from (and, sadly, less adherence to 
any specific style).

I also have the advantage of a very broad basis of learning with which to 
back this set of tales and attitudes, and evidence which allows me also to 
blend equally well with the earliest Kelt or Norse who sojourn among us.  I 
am not as well versed in the Persian and related Arabic or Moghul cultures 
as I would like, and am still adding important detail to my knowledge of 
"Italian" and Spanish civilization in my chosen time frame.

By deliberately choosing this far-ranging scope, I knew in the beginning 
that my level of authenticity would suffer. I chose to proceed in order that 
I might with more verisimilitude include several of those disparate cultures 
in my costume and in my comportment. (I also opted for this later time frame 
to at least partially justify my participation in all three combat forms 
permitted at that time IN THE STYLE THAT *I* CHOSE to use:  emphasis 
deliberate, as I am not to this day convinced that my excursions into heavy 
weapons forms would have been improved by necessarily studying sword&board 
before taking up my preferred hand&half-with-basket. People *do* keep 
trying, though, and I thank them for it graciously...)

The lady Britta will note that I have not addressed _specific_ matters of 
costume as yet. I would have her know that I feel the most important aspect 
of proper SCA costuming is that it be comfortable for the participant to 
wear, of as authentic materials as can be conveniently maintained, and 
consist of several separate outfits each of which may be appropriate for one 
circumstance but most of which can be adapted to others. For my example, 
consider a "wealthy peasant" woman's wardrobe consisting of three outer 
dresses, at least two underdresses/chemise, a pair of cloaks (summerweight 
and winterweight), assorted footwear (sandals, shoes, & boots), and several 
styles of apron or overtunic. By changing the layering, adding accesories, 
accumulating one piece at a time, and experimenting with cross-lacing or 
other outward ornaments, the final array obtainable can easily rival that 
displayed upon their own body by any Laurel of a comparable time-frame. (I 
was tempted to use the venerable Mistress Gunnora as an exemplar for 
early-to-midddle Norse, but quailed at the thought of anyone else managing 
to accumulate an equivalent display of amber from a standing start...)

I would hope that my humble words are of value to any who might read them, 
as I am by the Grace of the Eternal

Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra
     currently residing in Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra

Mike C. Baker                      mbaker at
Any opinions expressed are obviously my own unless explicitly stated 

From: ansteorra
To: ansteorra
Subject: personas
Date: Monday, January 13, 1997 5:09PM

anyone ready for an indepth persona and garb discussion?
I've finally been in long enough to get tired of my "century cross
dressing". Think about it. And no I'm not referring to male/female dress
I would like to hear from you experts so I can pin down my persona in
time, garb, etc.
If you would rather discuss this off the list, write to my personal
Britta the Red


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