Dúnedain Hats?

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Manveruon
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Dúnedain Hats?

Postby Manveruon » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:04 pm

I recently started a discussion over on the Facebook group about this, but I’m afraid I was a little unclear, so I figured I’d try again on here. Also, I feel like the conversation on the forums veers a bit more academic, which is the direction I’m really looking for this topic anyway.

SO - I’m planing a local winter hike a couple weeks from now here in the foothills of Colorado, and that has got me looking at my kit and realizing that it’s woefully unfit for true cold-weather outings as it is now. One of the things I lack is a proper head covering. Although I do own three separate hoods, two of those are cotton and one is linen - very clearly designed for warmer weather - and I do have a nice wool hooded cloak, but I don’t always like to be wearing a hood at all times on my outings. Hoods are nice enough, but they do restrict movement somewhat, they often fall backwards unless very closely fitted, and they can be a slight hindrance to sight and hearing.

So I started thinking about what else I could do, and it occurred to me that the most obvious answer is a hat or cap of some kind. Mostly this thought came about as I was out walking the dog in my neighborhood - I was wearing a hoodie under a wool jacket, and a woolen flat-cap. I had the hood pulled up over the cap, and I remarked to myself on how much warmer my head and neck were with this setup. Now, obviously a flat cap isn’t really Middle-earth appropriate, but it occurred to me that a simple skull cap of some kind would be very practical, and could work for Ranger wear. I’ve never owned a “period-appropriate” hat, and I often think I look a bit odd in period headwear, but the more I think about it the more I realize that a good, warm cap of some kind would be great to wear layered with a hood. In the coldest conditions it can be worn under the hood itself, and a scarf can be wrapped around the neck to add an extra element of warmth for a truly toasty setup. In warmer conditions, the hood can be thrown back, and the head still has some little protection against the elements. Also, it has the added vanity benefit of covering my mop of unruly hair when I drop the hood, so I don’t have to worry that I look like a crazed homeless person every time, heh.

But then that got me thinking further... What kind(s) of hat(s) would be appropriate for a Dúnedain Ranger of the late 3rd/early 4th Age? What sorts of headwear do you guys think would be common in that culture? I started looking around at some knit and nalbinded skull caps (similar to the traditional “beanie” or English Monmouth cap), and those seem very practical. Other varieties I was considering were the sewn round caps you often see Viking reenactors wearing, with fur trim around the bottom. Further still, there are the long pointed “Santa Claus” style Viking hats common with Rus reenactors. All of these seem pretty close to the realm of Middle-earth fashion, but is there one you think would work better than the others? Taurinor mentioned that a pointed hat of that kind would be very similar to some of Tolkien’s own depiction of dwarven headwear, but perhaps it would have been seen outside Khazad culture as well? Or maybe not? Others also mentioned bycockets (“Robin-Hood” hats) and coifs/arming caps, but I confess I’m not as partial to either of those styles myself.

Do you wear a hat when ranging? Especially in cold weather? What’s your go-to? What do you think would be most culturally consistent with the Dúnedain?
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Taurinor
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Re: Dúnedain Hats?

Postby Taurinor » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:54 pm

Manveruon wrote:I recently started a discussion over on the Facebook group about this, but I’m afraid I was a little unclear, so I figured I’d try again on here. Also, I feel like the conversation on the forums veers a bit more academic, which is the direction I’m really looking for this topic anyway.

I was wondering a bit about your choice of venue for this particular question... I'm also just glad to see you posting on the forums a bit more lately :)

Manveruon wrote:Hoods are nice enough, but they do restrict movement somewhat, they often fall backwards unless very closely fitted, and they can be a slight hindrance to sight and hearing.

Yes, hoods that are suited for being worn up while moving about often don't work well for dramatically sitting in a tavern while hiding your face in the shadow, which is why I think most medieval depictions of hoods show a much closer-fitting garment than what we see in popular media! Wool close-fitting hoods can also be a little bit claustrophobic when worn back around the shoulders at first - not something that you can't learn to get comfortable with, but there's definitely an adjustment period.

Manveruon wrote:But then that got me thinking further... What kind(s) of hat(s) would be appropriate for a Dúnedain Ranger of the late 3rd/early 4th Age? What sorts of headwear do you guys think would be common in that culture? I started looking around at some knit and nalbinded skull caps (similar to the traditional “beanie” or English Monmouth cap), and those seem very practical. Other varieties I was considering were the sewn round caps you often see Viking reenactors wearing, with fur trim around the bottom.

Given the Professor's interest in Viking culture, I certainly think that you could do a lot worse than drawing from Norse garments. A knit cap or sewn cap without fur seems like it might be easier to jam into a bag or bedroll without worry when you don't need it than something with fur, but Elrond did supply the Fellowship with fur-lined garments (jackets and cloaks, specifically), so a hat with some fur might not be out of the question.

Manveruon wrote:Further still, there are the long pointed “Santa Claus” style Viking hats common with Rus reenactors. All of these seem pretty close to the realm of Middle-earth fashion, but is there one you think would work better than the others? Taurinor mentioned that a pointed hat of that kind would be very similar to some of Tolkien’s own depiction of dwarven headwear, but perhaps it would have been seen outside Khazad culture as well? Or maybe not?

Like I said on Facebook, the "Rus"/"Santa Claus" hats remind me a bit of the hats on Dwarves in the Professor's sketches (handily gathered together by Udwin!). That's a bit of a double-edged reference, though - it seems like a reasonable interpretation of drawings of Middle-earth hats (yay!), but those hats are very clearly linked to a particular Middle-earth culture, and that culture is not the Dúnedain (boo!). My personal opinion is that if you want to be quite strict (keep it common and all that), you should stay away from them as a Ranger, but if you like the style and are willing to play a bit more loose with the references, you could always say it was a gift from a dwarf or something like that. I'm not sure how well they'd fit under a hood, though.

Manveruon wrote:Do you wear a hat when ranging? Especially in cold weather? What’s your go-to? What do you think would be most culturally consistent with the Dúnedain?

It usually doesn't get cold enough where I'm located for me to need more than my hood when I'm out for a walk. If I'm camping out, I'll sometimes throw a basic knit cap in my bedroll to sleep in - I'll probably get a Monmouth cap down the line to fill that role, but it's not high on my priority list. I'd personally vote for a sewn Viking-style cap with some Dúnedain-inspired embroidery around the bottom (maybe something like Elleth's repeating leaf motif?). I have absolutely no hard evidence for that - it's just a simple base design that gives you the opportunity to try to anchor it back into the visual language of the culture you're looking to portray.
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Iodo
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Re: Dúnedain Hats?

Postby Iodo » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:44 pm

Manveruon wrote:Do you wear a hat when ranging? Especially in cold weather? What’s your go-to?

I mostly wear a hood and it honestly took me over a year to come up with a hood pattern that didn't do any of the annoying things hoods do, only it's quite loose so it does get cold in the winter, at the moment my solution is to have a piece of thin wool broad cloth to wear like a pirate bandana under my hood to keep my head warm and my hood pulls down far enough to be hardly able to see it, it's not ideal but it works
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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theowl
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Re: Dúnedain Hats?

Postby theowl » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:32 pm

I think a 4 or 6 panel wool hat would fit the universe pretty well and do its job. They also seem like they'd be pretty easy to make.

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