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    Fashion in the Flanaess - The Flan
    Posted on Wed, May 18, 2005 by Dongul
    gvdammerung writes "The Fashion in the Flanaess Series looks at various racial, cultural and regional clothing styles, as well as materials and adornments. Fashion in the Flanaess - The Flan looks at what is a common denominator of fashion, too often the lowest common denominator, in the Flanaess. For the Flan are a people now too often little more than peasants in lands they once ruled. While a few cultural enclaves survive, they are the exception. In many areas, Flan fashion is peasant fashion.

    Fashion in the Flanaess - The Flan
    By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
    With the able assistance of S. Katherine Dammerung, aka SKDammerung

    More than any other discrete group, the Flan present a wide array of native fashions. Generally acknowledged as the first indigenous human inhabitants of the Flanaess, the Flan were loosely settled and in quasi-isolation developed variant cultural traditions in myth, architecture, art and fashion. In all cases, Flan fashion is simple, even tribal. This, however, only represents present Flan clothing. The ancient Flan of Sulm, Tostenhca and other bygone kingdoms had fashions entirely distinct from present day Flan garb and from each other. No attempt is made to describe these now extinct fashions.

    Today, Flan can be grouped into one of four general categories, each with its unique fashions. In every case, the fashion of a Flan group reflects something of their physical environment. Each of these four groups will be discussed separately below.

    A word must first be said, however, about the impact of Flan fashion on the invading Oeridians and Suel and how the Flan have, in turn, been impacted.

    In no case were the Flan’s preexisting claims to territory fully recognized by either the Oeridians or the Suel in their Migrations. The Flan were either absorbed or, more commonly, dispossessed. In the latter case, the Flan became the lowest social class, beneath that of even the peasant Oeridian or Suel. Over time, as the lower classes mixed to create a merged peasant stock, many Flan fashions came to be regarded as typical peasant attire. Flan fashions were durable, utilitarian and easily recognizable. They were, thus, ideal for that class that toiled to work the land. Today, Flan fashions of the Northern and Southern groups are considered typical peasant attire, rather than uniquely Flan fashion.

    At the other extreme, those Flan who survived the Oeridian and Suel conquests with their territory intact tended to adopt the prevailing, usually Oeridian, fashions of their neighbors. This was done to better “fit in” and to be accorded “respect” by the neighboring non-Flan nations. In fact, these Flan abandoned their traditions in favor of the outward trappings of the successful conquers. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Duchy of Tenh. While the Duchy preserves many Flan institutions and traditions, fashion is not one of these. To all outward appearance, the fashion of Tenh is a blending of Eastern Aerdi fashion with some pronounced Western Aerdi elements for good measure. [See Fashion in the Flanaess - The Eastern Aerdi and Fashion in the Flanaess - The Western Aerdi]

    The Rover Sub-Culture

    The Rovers of the Barrens are a sub-culture of the Flan. Within the Rovers, four further sub-divisions are typically made. These are the Plains, Woodland, Lake and Hill tribes. Each of these internal groupings has variations in fashion. In the aftermath of the Greyhawk Wars, however, the Rovers have become more homogeneous as survivors have come together forming new groups and traditions have been forced to give way to the practicality of survival. Presently, the only distinctions among the Rovers are those of the Plains and Woodland dwelling tribes but in terms of fashion, they are virtually identical, any differences being in beadwork or feathering.

    All Rover fashions, male and female, may now be described as Buckskins. Buckskins are the cured hides of animals, usually deer, sewn into shirts and leggings for men, simple dresses for women and uni-sex moccasins. Once the Rovers also wove highly stylized fabrics and textiles that were fashioned into articles of clothing. This tradition is now all but vanished and may be extinct within a generation.

    The Highland Sub-Culture

    In the Rakers, Griffs and their foothills, a unique sub-culture of the Flan, referred to as Highland Flan, developed and continues to prosper. Doubtless, the rugged terrain has greatly contributed to this survival. Highland Flan are extremely clannish with dozens of clans known, each identified by a unique tartan or patterned cloth, that spend as much time feuding with each other as uniting against common enemies. Once, the Highland Clans dominated the Bone March, the Pale and Ratik, and even parts of present day Nyrond. Today, only in Ratik are they still influential. Of the entire surviving Flan, the Highland Flan remain the most vigorous. They are fierce fighters, dangerous to cross and well defended in their remote mountain strongholds. They may yet be heard from. Typical female and male wardrobes follow.

    Female Wardrobe:

    Arasaid - The Arasaid is the usual female dress, consisting of a decorated top and unadorned skirt. Sleeves may be long or short. Multiple petticoats are worn under the Arasaid in winter.

    Broche - Worn with the Arasaid, the Broche is the traditional Highland shall. It is a symbol of modesty, as well as a practical garment. Deliberately touching or attempting to take hold of a woman’s Broche is regarded by the Highlanders as an attempted rape. Between courting couples, however, the Broche is used by both parties to express interest and affection.

    Male Wardrobe:

    Breacan-feile - The Breacan-feile is a draped garment that will singly cover a man’s legs, waist and upper torso. It is always made of the clan tartan of the wearer. It may be worn by itself or with breeches and a rough shirt.

    Uni-sex Wardrobe:

    Kilt - A Kilt is a wrap around skirt made from the clan tartan or plain material. It is worn by both men and women.

    Highland Mantle - Made of the clan tartan, a Highland Mantle is worn by both men and women in winter or cooler temperatures. Consisting of nothing more than a drape of cloth, it is a highly primitive, if colorful, necessity.

    Sporran - A Sporran is a medium sized purse or tote made of hide or metal and hide. It may be decorated with furs or metal work. The Sporran is the great contribution of the Highland Flan to fashion in the Flanaess. Worn by men and women, Sporrans are now common throughout the Flanaess as decorative and functional objects.

    Cuaron - Cuaron are knee length hide boots, traditionally laced. They are worn by both men and women. Women may wear cut down versions in the home.

    The Northern Flan Sub-Culture

    Northern Flan is the designation given principally to the Flan indigenous to Blackmoor and the former Coltens Feodality. It is speculated that in each of these areas, the Flan represent survivals from some greater Flan culture, now lost in the Northern Wastes or Barrens, that once joined the two. In this regard, it is worth noting that both the Blackmoor and Colten Flan are extremely peaceable people, yet their oral traditions are rife with tales of mounted warriors pillaging and plundering. Male and female wardrobes follow.

    Female Wardrobe:

    Paneva - The Paneva is a shirt of striped or checked wool.

    Rubakha - The Rubakha is a loose fitting blouse with long sleeves that is gathered at the waist. It is worn with either the Paneva or Sarafan.

    Plahta - A wraparound skirt, held in place with a belt, the Plahta is worn with the Paneva and Rubakha or just the Rubakha.

    Sarafan - The Sarafan is a full pleated skirt gathered to a full waist with a sleeveless, buttoned bodice. The collar of the bodice is high and round, typical of married women, or low and square, typical of unmarried women.

    Male Wardrobe:

    Breeches, boots and a cloth shirt - Each undistinguished, these three items are universally worn by men.

    Northern Great Coat - The Northern Great Coat is a massive garment, heavy and thick. Made of layered cloth, then hide and finally felt or fur (bear), the Northern Great Coat is fastened by loops and, almost always dark, hangs to the knees. It provides protection like padded leather armor and this bonus stacks with any armor actually worn. Norther Great Coats are so huge that they easily fit over all light and medium armors.

    Shapka - Made of the same bear’s fur as the Northern Great Coat, the Shapka is the traditional hat of the Northern Flan. It is brimless and stands tall off the head, sometime by as much as two feet, although this height would be just for show. A male headpiece, women wear Shapka that men have discarded or outgrown.

    The Southern Flan Sub-Culture

    A terrible misnomer, the Southern Flan is a catchall term used to describe the Flan not otherwise identified as belonging to the Rovers, Highland or Northern sub-cultures. Just as terrible is how appropriate the term is all the same. While the Rovers, Highland and Northern Flan have managed to retain something of their culture, the remaining Flan (outside Tenh) have almost no unique cultural identity. They have either been seamlessly absorbed into a mixed culture (e.g. Perrenland) or they are culturally adrift. The male and female wardrobes described below are, for the reasons earlier discussed, also the wardrobes the average peasant throughout the Flanaess.

    Female Wardrobe:

    Skirt, peasant - Made of patterned material or cheaply and thinly dyed, the peasant Skirt is full and gathered at the waist.

    Male Wardrobe:

    Brooc - Made of course cloth or more rarely chewed or hammered hide, these are the breeches worn by peasant men.

    Uni-Sex Wardrobe:

    Blouse, peasant - A simple pulled-over upper body garment with sleeves, the peasant Blouse is unadorned when worn by men and embroidered at the cuffs and collar when worn by women.

    Brogans - Brogans are the rough leather shoes worn by peasants. They may be waterproofed with animal resins if such are available.

    Cagoule - The Cagoule is a cloth, or more rarely fur, semi-circular cape with an attached hood. This garment is almost solely responsible for a peasant’s survival in winter and generally a most prized possession. It is, however, a year round garment.

    Bratt - More well-to-do peasants may own a Bratt, a lined cape, in addition to a Cagoule.

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    Re: Fashion in the Flanaess - The Flan (Score: 1)
    by Crag on Sat, May 21, 2005
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Nicely done, I like how you kept the article simple and culturally focused instead of giving the reader a long laundry list of garments.

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