Medieval Problems Deserve Medieval Solutions?

So, I’m a member of the SCA which, for anyone unfamiliar, stands for Society for Creative Anachronism.  It’s a medieval recreation (as opposed to reenactment) group that’s been around for a while.  Mostly, we study and learn about how people lived in the medieval (or at the point, anything prior to I think 1699, globally) time period, with a bit of theater thrown in (it’s complicated, but a lot of fun).  This is relevant at the moment, as one of the things that I have been struggling with is how to deal with super-fine, waist-length hair that can’t stay in it’s braid for more than a few minutes before wisps start escaping.

In the time of plague where touching your face without washing your hands is A Bad Idea, having wispy bits making your face itch while you’re at the grocery store is A Problem.  I’ve been using bandanas, but because they still leave my braid exposed and dangling (did I mention waist-length?  Yeah, that’s it’s braided length, not it’s loose length) and generally being free to Encounter Surfaces, I’ve been trying to sort out ways to fix this.  Also, the weird, flappy triangle-thing that bandanas do is just…it’s kind of rather aesthetically “meh” on me, and I hate it.  I’m already middle-aged and overweight, and I just don’t need that self-esteem hit on top of everything else.

So, I started looking into alternative solutions to dealing with my hair.  The problem I kept running into is that in the 21st Century, women really don’t cover their hair for non-religious or Very Ethno-culturally Specific reasons.  I have no desire to wander near the camps of cultural or religious appropriation, which left me at a sort of impasse.  I’m a pagan White woman from the United States.  Headcovering is not a thing my demographic does, unless it’s a bandana.


Then, it dawned on me.  I study Medieval history.  My mother was half Polish, which means that I’m of Slavic descent, and the early and Medieval Slavs wore headcoverings completely independent of religious meanings.  Meaning I can comfortably adopt that style to cover my hair and keep it out of my face in this Plague Year of 2 thousand and 20, without ANY religious or cultural appropriation!


Yes, I spent today hemming a cotton scarf by hand.  Yes, I will be dragging out my inkle loom to make a new band, because I need to weave a new one that isn’t as hideous as the test one and making (and let’s face it, probably embroidering, because I have *vastly* too much time on my hands these days) several underlayer pieces to use as contrasting colors instead of the bandanas.  Yes, I would sell someone’s kidney for a set of temple rings (a form of jewelry, not unlike ornate hoop earrings) to hang from the bands, as is traditional.

It’s a bit messy, because I was just tossing it on to test today, but yeah… I think this will work.

If I’m going to be dealing with a damned medieval plague situation, you’re damned right I’m digging into medieval solutions for things that modern life can’t answer. Apparently my apocalypse fashion involves medieval headwear.  There are worse things, I suppose…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.