Chershe Nuptial Costumes Tradition / Ritual in Kalan | World Anvil

Chershe Nuptial Costumes

I know a childhood joy of one of my sisters' was reading and rereading one of the few books we had back then - poorly printed and shoddily illustrated - was Rero Kalan byi, Weddings of the World.
— Venad Sistolfyi
  A major aspect of most culture's weddings is the fashion. Especially for the insular Chershe it is so.  


The Nuptial Costume is apart of the Nór Tencha & Nór Tenchiiéng wedding contract. In return for two years of free labour from the groom, the bride creates the wedding outfits - Nóndwé. Most of it is created from the work of the family, and according to custom, that is how it should be, though it is very rarely all crafted by the bride's kin. Not everyone has the skills. And these days, in Ógóóshwisa and Tarkos where you can buy so much more easily than kill a wolf, why should you?  

Shónée Éedeshyé é Tenchand. Annotated.

by Elisabeth Trkova (Me) here on WA!
  1. Fur hats, or usache, are common. Wedding hats are known as usidache. Historically, the hat is made from fur hunted by the brother of the bride, if she has one. Though many these days, especially further down, prefer to just buy fur. Wolf fur is the most expensive and is considered the best gift.
  3. Silver buttons on the wedding shirt (shóshan ténshi). It is a sign denoting a good bride to spend extra silver on buttons.
  5. Undershirts! A soft layer thin underneath, just for extra warmth. Traditionally, these shirts are light blue. But, in recent years, the colours have expanded. Even then, the bride and groom are always expected to match. These shirts are especially important for the groom since he has to retrieve his items during the Wedding Chase. A good husband, under Dachio and Genarsée's signs, is to forgoe the coat.
  7. A groom’s wedding wear often includes 3 pairs of gloves. Pictured are indoor, ceremonial gloves lacking fur trimming.
  9. Around the waist is his Clan Fabric fastened with a simple belt. It is the only item of his outfit not provided for by his new family. The clan fabric pictured is a simple fabric, of a lesser clan. This will be stolen later by his wedding party and replaced with his wife's fabrics as a part of the evening festivities.
  11. These trousers are known as éshayshéezényé é achesa. They are made of thick fabric to protect from the cold. However, they are padded here to appeal to the beauty standards. Under them, a man is to have strong, large leg muscles as a sign of his virlity and hard work. By this, he is said to curry luck with the ever loving Rigiod who whispers to the Lucky Crows. For a wedding, the pair of éshayshéezényé é achesa often get pretty elabroate with embroidered fringes, beads and bells but the pair picturedd is particularly simple in a dark colour. The most common colour is red.
  13. Here would normally be a large pair of socks to protect yourself from the enivronment. This is the case too for the Shónée Éedeshyé é Tenchand. You can always be warmer. However, these coloured fabrics, often mismatched in Clan Colours and covered with even more embroidery, are symbolic of these socks. They are also symbolic of the joining of the two clans in marriage.
  15. Slightly less pratical than usual boots. These are usually only worn for a little while before being changed to Éshiisey guma, proper boots and lastly house shoes (Éshiisey ocho) before bed.
  17. The shóshan ténshi is the main event of the male wedding outfit. It is traditionally blue and of the best available fabric, while it is regional, most shóshan ténshi involve complex embroidery work on the arms. This embroidery work is often delegated by the bride to other family members in the making. The most common subjects of embroidery are the mountains, the natural world, geometric patterns and, for the most adept, highly simplified scenes from the mythology.
  19. These pauldrons, ginyayogaay, are another symbol of Dachio (a man's highest patron) and her sweet, selfless sister Éedagé. In the culture, it is the highest role of a man to be a warrior, or a guard, especially a member of the Bénsam é ébisam around Lake Nyébév. The ginyayogaay for the wedding couldn't protect you if a fly touched you, however. They're just for show.
  21. Chershe men don’t often possess beards. Something in their blood unlike the “stalwart” and “honest” Northern Izij and Blazarvi, seems to lead their faces to be bare. But, with the rise in inter-ethnic marriages, even if you are not a Chershe male, you’re expected to be clean shaven. Shows you to be under Ishéri's virtue.
  23. The Chenyéed é Gósasaor "Silver Crown" as known to outsiders is the most recognisable aspect of Chershe culture. It is the most significant of all the silver jewellery a woman might acquire throughout her lifetime. All Chershe women posses a crown, as it is apart of Coming of Age. For weddings, they are decorated with fabric, charms and (depending on the season) sprigs of flowers. While impressive, most take off the chenyéed some time after the ceremony - whether to dance or just for comfort. Depending on a variety of factors, this will be swapped out for her own usidache, or for a veil. Wedding veils are more common the lower you get as northern-Izij and Blazarvi influence increases, especially in Ógóóshwisa and Tarcos.
  25. The Wedding Dress, unlike the shóshan ténshi it is always red for wealth and good fortune. It is said the Sisters wear dresses of cinnabar for they cannot be hurt by it and that's why the Minshee also wear red. This dress is the first layer after "underwear" so often gets covered by layers upon layers. The body of this dress is plain, for humility.
  26. On the other, her sleeves are not plain. Lines of pale fabric, bleached, wrap around the edges of the dress sleeves, exquistily embroidered
  28. Pattern sleeve edges. Often geometric patterns of the Ochozofazu Mountains the Chershe call home.
  30. Hand-dyed wedding gloves, lined and trimmed with more fur. Probably bought from somewhere.
  32. The Skirt is sometimes separate, in this case it is not. It is stiffened over layers of peticoats to get the desired wide shape. It is trimmed with fur because why not at this point?
  34. Usually boots are unisex. These boots are similar in style to the boots of a younger girl. Youth is a virtue on this occasion. A sign of a fertile woman who can provide glory to her clan.
  36. Another skirt. The only patterned one beneath the wedding dress, and longer to show for that reason. Trimmed with even more fur
  38. Her clan fabric. Wrapped about the waist and beads/bells stitched tight into the hem in order to create noise when she dances later on.
  40. Another patterned layer of fabric. This is commonly stripped with two different embriodery motifs which pair well together such as mountains and birds.
  42. Undershirt. See earlier in the list.
  44. Necklaces. The more the better for an ocasion like this! These are often gifts from the family when it's a wedding.
  46. Her hair, pulled back in a bun or tight braid behind her crown as with all adult women. Her hair might come down when she's dancing depending on the type of bride she is. Parts of her hair are manipulated into framing curls around the face by power of the beloved Wué é éshéb, a beef tallow mixture which goes for quite a price up here.
  Also not pictured is a wedding coat or cloak. An optional part of the trosseau.  

The Veiled Look

More brides, in keeping with more Blazarvi and Izij traditions opt for a veil as well as the crown on top, in recent years. Many in the northern and highest reaches lament this as well as the nationalists who return from the Koprivos captial with dangerous ideas about "cultural purity" - a foriegn concept in their homeland.


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