Boroch Marriage Beard Tradition / Ritual in Deseran | World Anvil
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Boroch Marriage Beard

The Boroch are recognized among their neighbors for their long, thick beards. Some speculate that it is due to their work as miners and the hair serves as a filter for their mouth and nose, other theories claim that their beards are an effort to keep warm in the cold weather, while still others suspect that it's a vain attempt to resemble The Midasi. (Unsurprisingly, this last theory is most prevalent among the Midasi themselves.)   But those who have the courage to ask the Boroch directly discover that their beards are a mark of the most masculine role they know of: that of a husband.
A Study of the Peoples of Deseran: Part III by Myria Nimasin

History

Since the early years of the Boroch, Boroch men have shaved their beards up until marriage, after which they allow their beards to grow. No one is quite sure when this practice originated, since the tradition has been consistently maintained ever since.   The Boroch consider marriage to be a high mark of masculinity, since it creates a context in which they are responsible to protect and provide for a family. Though young men are called upon to assist in these roles for the families they're born into, and this prepares them for their roles as husbands and fathers, marriage is seen as the fulfillment of their purpose and preparation.   Since beards are a uniquely masculine trait, the Boroch seized upon this feature as a symbol of marriage, and the Boroch have ever since been able to see which men are married and which are not by their beards or lack thereof.   Originally, Boroch beards were simple and length was the only notable factor from man to man. The longer the beard, the longer the marriage. Over time, however, men began to experiment with different beard styles. As different styles came into fashion in different areas of Boroch—with different braids, cuts, and accessories—beards came to have the secondary purpose of identifying a Boroch man's hometown.

Observance

Men usually start growing their beards a few months before their weddings, keeping them trimmed to stubble-length for the duration of their engagement before allowing them to grow freely from their wedding day onward.  
In my discussions with the Boroch, many women have cited the engagement period as the time in which their now-husbands looked most attractive, though there seems to be a divide by age. While most younger women express that the stubbled look is their favorite, more older women express their admiration for their husbands' full beards, presumably due to subconscious emotional connections.
— A Study of the Peoples of Deseran: Part III by Myria Nimasin
  Once a man's beard is long enough (which may differ from place to place and individual to individual), he may start styling it as he likes or according to the tradition of his hometown.

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Comments

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Mar 17, 2022 19:05

This is a great read! Very well thought out, and the use of the article layout made it easy for me to read. Although I am no sad that I am unable to grow a beard myself.

Apr 23, 2022 23:19 by R.M. Archer

Thank you!