Beard braiding and beading Tradition / Ritual in Dragginscapes | World Anvil

Beard braiding and beading

A long practiced ritual of caravan drivers is to maintain long beards that have been braided and bearded to mark the length and number of journeys undertaken. Two braids are maintained leading these men to have a distinct and asymetrical look that stands out amongst others announcing their pride in their work and their reputation and experience. Female drivers will braid their hair to document their journeys and in recent times males have begun to adopt hair braiding instead of the beard to create consistency. Braiding is only performed at guild centers upon the beginning of sanctioned and at the end of a verfied (requiring documentation from the employer) journey.

The first braid details their complete experience as a driver and is the longer and more decorated of the two braids. Various beads are used to denote the length and number of their journeys. Yellow beads denote days, blue denote weeks, green denotes months, and red denotes years of a specific journey the driver has worked. A black bead is used to mark the end of a particular journey. This braid wil be seen on the wearers right side of their beard, or in the case of braided hair on the right side of their head.

The second braid is used to denote their current employment, its length, and occasionally includes a bead marked to denote the employer or their status as an independent driver. Beads used to denote duration use the same colors as above, and get moved from this second braid to the first upon completion of the journey. This braid wil be found on the wearers left side of their face or head.

Some fraud exists as beads can be stolen or looted from deceased drivers. The braids are cut from the owner and temporarily affixed to the imposter. Such fraud is difficult to maintain in highly populated areas.


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