Veils in Western Agia Item in Agia | World Anvil

Veils in Western Agia

"Accept Thine Veyle, and thou shall receive our Goddess' and the Glux's blessing."
-The last part of the initiation into priesthood for women.
  Veils and pins have always been a symbol of devotion and wealth in Western Agia for married, widowers, nuns, and priestesses. The longer the veil is and more elaborate materials used, makes it a status amongst women in both the nobility and within the Irathian church.

Underneath the Veil

There are commonly four different types of veil underpinnings; The fillet, the decorative fillet, kerchief, and the cap. These are typically worn to keep the veil in place, that would otherwise move around or even take flight should a wind catch hold of it. The cap is several centuries older than the fillet or the kerchief. A barbet (a strap of fabric) can be used with all these types. It is placed underneath the chin and pinned at the top of the head, however it has gone out of fashion lately.

The Fillet and the Decorative Fillet

The Fillet is made by a strip of fabric that is pinned around the head and under the hair, which holds it back and makes it easier to secure a veil. A fillet needs to be long enought to wrap around your head at least once, plus about four centimeters overlap. The width is about four centimeters, and should be pinned in the back, using a veil pin.

Decorative fillets are, as the description, more decorative. Pearls, embroidery, or stitched jewelries are often ways to make these decorative. Also unlike the other underpinning these can be of all kinds of colours (at least allowed for your social class). They are often made of finer materials such as a thicker kind of silk, but wool or linnen can also be used. Often these are tied at the back instead of pinned together.

The Kerchief

Kerchiefs are made from a retangular piece of fabric that is tied underneath the hair. It is better for securing wimples. It is believed this was the first underpinning method used by the priestessses who introduced the veiling tradition.

The Cap

The cap is actually a coif similar to the ones men wear. It was introduced around the 4th century AGD. The hair is covered by this cap. The cap has a long strap that is wrapped around the head twice. This too is much easier to securing wimples on than the fillet.

Different styles of veils

In truth there are so many variation it would be hard to mention them all, thus I have only picked out the most common. There are many variants of veils in Western Agia, some older than others. All veils should be at least covering the neck. but the different types of veils require different measurements. If you are a higher noble, it has become fashionable to wear a veil reaching the lower back. There are currently these types of veils in Western Agia societies: Oval veil (and other versions of this type), the circular, and the retangular.

The Oval Veil

The oval veil is one of the more prefered veils amongst the nobles, since it is similar to the priestesses' circle veil. There are three ways of wearing it:
  • Full oval. Draping the veil over your head, making sure it is even on both side, and down to about your nose. Then pull the veil so there is a pleat of about three cm, pin it, and on each side of the temples. It can be plain, having embroideries, gold trims, or peals at the edge.
  • Half oval. Either it is cut half oval or folded in half, with straight sides. Pinned at the top and at the temples. This style is similar to frilled veils.
  • Pinned half oval. Similar to the half oval, only the sides are pinned at the back. This is a more practical type of veil, often suitable for manual labour.

The Circular Veil

A regulation from the church made it so only priestesses were allowed to wear circular veil. This is due to the belief of the round shape is divine, like the Glux and Agia. Otherwise it present same wearing methods as the oval veil.

The Rectangular Veil

The retangular veil is very practical, especially during winter, since it can be wrapped around your nect. Some pin these to the inside of their clothing, like a wimple. Otherwise it can also be hung like a full circle or oval veil, although the sides will be longer.

Multiple veils

Recently it has become fashionable to wear two or three layers of veils along with a wimple.

The Wimple

The wimple is a secondary piece of fabric, often retangular or half oval, that is placed on the chin and pinned at the higher at the back of the head. Its width has to be from the chin and to the breastbone. Usually a fillet without the barbet is harder to pin the wimple onto. The wimple can either hang outside the clothing or pinned on the inside of the clothing, making the neckline of the dress more visible.

The Pins

Pins are vital to make veils sitting in place. And with them comes a variety of symbols. Once the priestesses fulfills their training and take up the veil, they are given pins with the shape of the Glux. A regulation that only priestesses are allowed to wear Glux symbols on their clothing stems from the beginning of the veiling history.
Later, the noble women started wearing symbols closely resembling the Glux, but often hid it within the underpinning, as an act of piety - according to themselves. If any women is discovered wearing symbols of the Glux, they have to pay a fine for about 70 Lipun for impersonating as a priest, even if that was not the intention.

Married and widowed women of the nobility often wear symbols of their houses on each veil pins on their temples. These pins are often glass enamelled in vibrant colours and either made from gold or silver, depending on their house's colours.

Merchant's wifes often wear jewelled pins, either with a pearl, a little gold or silver ball, or with a gemstone. Daughters of wealthy merchant families often receives two pins in wedding gifts as part of their dowry. In case they end up with no money, the wife can choose to sell these pins to feed themselves or their families.

Hats and Hair

Hats are also another fashionable headpiece to wear over the veil.
There are no regulations on whether women are allowed to show their hair underneath the veil. Most commonly there are braids that can be seen on each side of the head, but with almost-seen-through fabric the whole hair can be seen. Often a snood, crespine, or a thick hair-net can be used to keep the hair in place, if a coif is not used.
Unmarried women tend to wear their hair in braids, though a new fashion trend have young women wear jewelled snoods, crespines or hair-nets. Some braid their hair at the ears, making complicated ear-buns, like some of the hairstyles used underneath the veils.

Priestesses and nuns are the only women who cuts their hair short on purpose when taking up the veil, no elaborate hairstyles for them.

History

The veiling tradition for the priestesses happened after the Illendrith slowly drifted away from the teaching of Irath, and wanted to be god-like themselves. In order to show their devotion to the church, the female priestesses of the Irathian church started shaving off their hair and span it into a thread, like the goddess did when she created Agia. Because it was a hot summer the rebel of the Illendrith happened, the priestesses wore a piece of cloth which shaded their forehead and their necks.
Later they used the thread to embroider a little Glux onto their cloths to symbolise their devotion. This became the beginning of the veiling tradition for every priestess in Western Agia. Only a few decades after, the beginning of the veiling fashion amongst married women and widowers happened, which lead to veil regulations in order not to confuse a member of the clergy with any other woman.
Another regulation came when prostitutes started wearing veils to be more mysterious, causing the church to ban veils for prostitutes. Nothing as pure as the veil should be connected with such a dirty occupation, was the argument.

Significance

Almost all married women in all social classes wear veils. It is both for practical and cultural reasons. Women of the lower social class wears either linen or wool veils, that are natural coloured. While women of higher social classes enjoyes a variaty of different veils to show of their social standing and their wealth. Some wealthy women buys very thin silk, that can be seen through to show off their wealth. But one fabric that will truly show your wealth would be a very fine linen, that has a thread count of between 60 and 200 per inch, and can cost thirty times as much a finely woven wool, showing the good quality and desirability of the fabric.
Item type
Clothing / Accessory


Comments

Author's Notes

The cap mentioned here is a reference for the St Birgitta’s Cap. This was indeed older than the other underpinnings, and was worn between 13th-16th century.


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Jun 29, 2022 09:33 by Mochi

i love this so much! I hope we get images eventually because I struggle to picture it but nevertheless I really enjoyed the article :)

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