Thursday, 15 September 2011

Something new once in a while...

I have, for the first time in my life, joined a writing group. I was never a part of a study group, and I have never been part of a writing group if you don't count the collaboration things on papers and suchlike, and it's a new and somehow exciting experience.

And it already did work as in "helped me to tackle some part of DustyOldBookproject that I had been procrastinating on for far too long. Alas, I have not yet managed to write all of it, and I will probably not do so until the next check-in on Friday, because I have found that I need to do some more research on one bit of it that I found I needed to include while writing it. So all as usual.

I also found out, during all that reading and writing and picking up other bits and pieces for the same project that there is virtually nothing on the subject of medieval hair and hairstyles. Yes, there are popular science articles and "overview books" about hairstyles since the beginning of mankind to today, but they are about as useful for reconstructing possible hairdos of the Middle Ages as a costume history overview book is for reconstructing individual dresses. And then there are various "papers" of dubious quality that do not help at all (and are usually not about medieval times anyways) - and finally there's some writings that are so heavily into mysticism and symbolism and psychological stuff that may or may not have been connected to hair in the Middle Ages that they are totally non-useful for any practical aspects as well.

Which means that there is actually another field of study that has even less, source-wise, for reconstructing possible historical reality than garments. Gah.

Of course my secret hope is that you, oh readers, will now prove me totally wrong and tell me that there is this list of brilliant books about medieval haircare and medieval hairdos out there that I was totally too stupid to find.

I'm hoping very much, in this case, that I was totally too stupid to find it.



pearl said...

The only thing I can think of, for hairstyles is a Korean website (so while it covers the middle ages, it certainly isn't European). It starts off with the artwork, and then goes through computer-generated reconstructions through to a video where they try to recreate the hairstyle.

An example of the videos. This one is trying to copy a hairstyle from Anak Tomb No.3, 4th century CE:

paantha said...

There's also this lady who has attempted to recreate some Roman hairstyles from busts, etc.

a stitch in time said...

Thanks pearl and paantha!
I have done some more looking at literature in the meantime, and it really looks as if there's between not much and nothing. Well. That makes me a little more relaxed that it's not a case of "researcher being too stupid to find things" but a case of "not much done on that topic, really".

And admittedly - there is that slight problem of hairstyles not keeping well over a few hundred years...