July 19, 2009
Baritarian Folk Costume
My computer is in the shop, quite unexpectedly, with a faulty graphics card. So I'm sorry I am unable to post the next page of the comic this week (which has been drawn). Instead, enjoy this introduction to Baritarian folk dress.
Peasants in the North and South of Baritaria have different eccentricities of their own. The North possesses the capital city of Stendhalstadt, and a snowy climate suitable for fur trapping and ice fishing. The South is a bit milder, suitable for vineyards and livestock. People from small villages in the South are considered uncouth and brazen compared to their Northern cousins.
They share more than one might think however. Almost every small village adheres to the pagan gods and folk rituals that Baritaria has had since the time of the Roman empire.
The bow around the neck of a peasant worn on dress occasions are meant to symbolize that we are but playthings and presents to the gods.
The stripes are a national pattern, woven on looms of the peasantry and featured on the royal crest and national flag.
The blue is the color of the nobility, and when worn by a peasant, represents loyalty to the crown.
The Feast of Commons is celebrated every summer, at the first harvest. A communal meal is prepared, and all are welcome. Even the noblest personages wear folk dress and join the peasants to dance, eat, and speak freely with those outside their class. It is not considered inappropriate in the slightest for a countess to dance with a goatherd, or for a prince to speak with a milkmaid, however they may find it difficult to do so the day after. A king and queen of the Feast is crowned at sundown in each village. Some villages choose cows for this honor.
The Feast of Commons was banned both by the Council which took charge of the country from 1863-1867, and by the Soviets in the 20th century. Therefore, it has now become a symbol of freedom to celebrate national pride and pageantry.