In an effort to transform myself into my ancestors, for my large installation I Am My White Ancestors, I have been thinking about hair styles. Whenever possible I want to use my own hair, which is currently short. I am also trying to avoid wigs because they can so easily look fake. Fortunately, headgear was very popular, even required, especially for woman. Here's how it shakes out so far.
Mark Mawer, 17th Century Scottish farmer, had short hair, Sir Nicholas Baganel, 16th Century mercenary knight in Ireland, also can have short hair, partially covered by his stylish flat hat. For Katherine Wydeville, Duchess of Buckingham in 1485, I will wear a hennin, which is a stiff hat perched on the back of the head, and completely hide my hair. She might have plucked her eyebrows to oblivion. I will avoid that. And just today, I decided on my 12th Century ancestor, Sibylla d'Anjou, who became a nun in her later years and wore a wimple and veil. Yay!
But I am most excited about taking on the 1050 AD hairdo of Norman knight Roger de Montgomery. It was a bowl cut that included shaved sides and back and according to Anita, my long time hair dresser, would look unattractive on me. Could I bear going about for two months looking like a medieval knight? I'm not sure but it seems intriguing. I've never shaved any part of my head before. Isn't that something everyone should do at least once? And who knows, it might become a fashion trend here in Portland.