Heraldry for the Byzantine Persona

I’ve had some questions about heraldry lately. As I’m not a herald, but my dear friend Konstantia Kaloethina out in Calontir is, I figured I would just re-blog a post of hers. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section, and we’ll see what we can do to help.

Here’s a picture of my heraldry, which I didn’t actually make while I had with my Byzantine persona, but it works.

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konstantia kaloethina

As Principal Herald for Calontir, one of the many things I am excited to do with that role is assisting with names and devices.  It is also one of the more frustrating things for early period personae or cultures that are not known for heraldry.  It’s a bit of a balancing act, between actuality and the more creative parts of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Seriously.  Go purchase things from her. Azure, a standing seraph argent, a bordure gyronny argent and sable. Art by Kythera of Anevern (http://www.anevern.com/)

In my persona’s period (6th century Constantinople, around the time of Justinian and after the death of Theodora), the only person who would use heraldry would be the Emperor, and it would often be displayed on a labarum (a specific type of vexillium), or a banner that hung vertically.  This labarum often featured a Chi Rho as part of the standard, while the vexillium would often be the…

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Anna’s Propoloma Walk-Through, Kinda.

I made a new Propoloma tonight for an upcoming A&S display here in the East. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please see this informative earlier post.

Basically, I had a 60% off coupon for Joann’s, and decided I needed to spend money immediately, so I went in, paid less than $10 for 2 yards of white wool felt, and ran out giggling. I put on my car, and Alien Ant Farm’s cover of “Smooth Criminal” was on the radio. This is, ironically, how I got my persona name from an ex-boyfriend.

“Annie are you okay?”

NO! I’m about to make a funny looking hat!

So, for fast reference, here we have Irene Gabras to inspire my Flying Nunnery:

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So, first, I cut the wool using my first version of the hat as a guide. I needed it bigger and rounder. I cut four pieces total, as I wanted a lining and a shell. I figured this would be full bodied enough to stand on its own without using buckram or other modern stiffening materials.

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After that, I sewed the lining together, and tried it on.

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Holy amazeballs, it’s Sally Field!

This, of course, resulted in all sorts of funny name calling on Facebook, which both amuses me and aggravates me at the same time. On one hand, I posted it, I deserve the jokes and I know my friends are jerks. It’s a thing. On the other hand, I am introducing this hat and style of dress to the SCA, and I’m met with joking. Way to make me want to actually wear it, guys. Not that I should ever expect constructive comments of any kind on a social network that devotes more time to political party bashing than…oh wait, that’s perfectly Byzantine. *Ahem* MOVING ON.

I used some silk remnants I had to make the stripey bit. I’m not good at this part. Irons and I don’t get along.

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Meh, good enough.

Then I began to apply it to the shell, using the painting of Irene Gabras as a guide.

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After sewing it down, I did the same for the other side, opposite directions so the ends would meet. I was able to barely see the stitches through the wool, so that made a nice guide.

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Once both sides were sewn down, I went back and added a little bling with gold thread. I had considered using some of my embroidery stitches for more shiny, but I decided in the end that I need to 1: Lay off my embroidery stitches and start doing more hand work, 2: this is a statement hat in its own. It will speak for itself, and 3: I didn’t want to be presumptuous in persona.

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Once the silk was sewn down, I finished the sides of the hat, and turned it right side out, and then made sure it was still equal to the lining.

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Then I put the lining inside of the shell, and immediately felt like Rita Repulsa from the original Power Rangers series:

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By this point, I was being compared to Yoda on Facebook, but I didn’t care. I was ready to wrap this up. A little whip stitchin’s for the opening:

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And Voi—-uh. Hmm…

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But that’s okay, I have a notoriously small head, and I did it on purpose for veils and nets and such. So, naturally, I had to go play dress-up.

VOILA! ANNA ZOSTE PATRIKIA!

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Putting the kohl on my eyes really makes it, I think, I mean, I practically just wrapped myself up in fabric like a Glamour Shot. :3 it also shut up the peanut gallery. Context is everything!

As you can see, the 2 layers of wool felt gives the hat enough body to stay up on it’s own, and it’s also nice and toasty, because I live in New Hampshire, where we are known best for our tropical winters.

Here’s a comparative shot of my first hat and my new one. What an improvement!

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