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Questions about Welsh, 12th Century (fwd)

Poster: clevin@rci.ripco.com (Craig Levin)

> Poster: KNPQ34A@prodigy.com (MISS JENNIFER E BRAME)
> Good gentles all,
> While I am yet new here, I have noted that thou art a most helpful 
> and insightful band of folk; thus do I bring my questions to you and 
> thank you for your kindness and patience in, hopefully, giving me the 
> enlightenment I seek.  
> One:
> I am slowly but surely putting together a composite "sketch" of my 
> eventual, permanent SCA persona, selecting details that make up the 
> woman I would have been.  I have been a little troubled, though, by 
> my preferred and admittedly short hairstyle, wondering how I could 
> cover it up (false braids, headdress?).   Whilst dallying in the 
> Rialto backlogs tonight, I noted one particular message saying that 
> during the 12th Century in Wales, it was common practice for men and 
> women alike to cut their hair short.  Can anyone verify this?  I 
> enjoy reading about that time and location, and would be disposed to 
> set myself as coming from that period, so if the bit about the hair 
> is true, that's one more tilt in its favor.

12th century, eh? <Flips through Arthurian Legends in Medieval
Art> What's there is pretty crude. I can't tell. The one illo is
from Italy, which renders this search rather moot. My guess is
that women either had their hair cut short, or, what is more
likely, bound it up. I'm admittedly more familiar with the 14th
and 15th centuries.

> Two:
> How likely, or unlikely was it for a woman to be a "public" 
> storyteller?  I have had some experience in that art, and would much 
> like to pursue it within the SCA.  Yet if I would have been marked as 
> a witch for it, or something equally frightening, should I look at 
> other crafts?

I doubt that you'd have caught flak for it as per witchcraft; the
witch scares as we have come to regard them are more or less a
creation of the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance. You might
have caught flak because it just wasn't something women were
expected to do; someone with more knowledge of 12th century Wales
could certainly fill you in on this. In general, though, women
who performed in some fashion or another (and men, for that
matter) were not highly regarded in the eyes of the canon law,
and common law (admittedly, this is England) followed suit.

> Three:
> Also, can anyone recommend some good books that concern the 
> time/period/location of 12th Century
> Wales? 

Off the top of my head, Ralph Griffiths and David Walker are
academics whose work is above reproach; I don't know where you
are, so I'm a bit worried about giving you suggestions from an
academic library when the best you might have is a public library

Pedro de Alcazar, AoA
Barony of Storvik, Atlantia
Pursuivant Extraordinary and Junior Minion
Or, six Castles Vert within a Bordure Gules semy of Roundels Or

Craig Levin
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