Thursday 12 November 2015

More cool things to do with your hood

The hood is a common piece of clothing for the mid and late medieval period. It is also very comfortable to wear, especially when it gets chilly outside, like at the moment in the Netherlands...
The hood has a 'standard' way of wearing, but in the late medieval period people started experimenting wearing the hood differently, resulting in 'foppish' styles. These styles are nicely illustrated in one of the blogposts of 'Tacuinum medievale'. Personally, I like (and sometimes wear)  'style 6'.

But there are more things you can do with a hood than wearing it. Some examples are shown in  the margins of manuscript Bodleian MS 264 (Oxford University, Oxford, UK).

1. Playing blind-man.

The hood is put on backwards, so it covers the eyes and creates a blindfold. The liripipe is hanging like an elephants trunk in front.
In Blind Man's Buff, the blinded man has to try to tag one of the other players, while the other players try to avoid him. The other players have to make sounds to indicate the direction the blindfolded player in which has to move in order to tag another player. The player who is tagged becomes the next 'blind' man.
Another variant is where the blinded player is guided along a difficult track by the other players.
Bodleian MS 264 folio 70 verso. A blinded 'elephant' man on the left. 

2. Throwing games.

A knot is made in the hood, approximately at the point where the liripipe is attached to the hood. This creates a heavier point, making the hood easier to throw. The liripipe is used to swing the hood for the throw. This game is played by both males and females.

Bodleian MS 264 folio 130 recto. Males playing the throwing game.

The illustrations suggest that the hoods should be thrown towards another, or at a blinded person. We have tried several versions of this game: throwing and catching (catching scores points); throwing and hitting each other (hitting another scores points) and just throwing (the one farthest throwing scores points). Throwing and hitting each other resulted in chaos, while throwing and catching was a bit more playful. Just throwing and throwing and hitting were boring, but the latter became better when one person was coaching the blind man when to duck to avoid being hit by a hood.

Bodleian MS 264 folio 130 verso. Females playing the throwing game. 

A variant of this game was developed by us (i.e. we can not relate it directly to an illumination), in which the players wore a felt hat, which needed to be thrown of the head with the hood. Each successful hit to the hat was rewarded with one point, while the game was played for a certain amount of points. We thought this was a better variant, as each player has equal opportunities to hit and being hit, and the game allowed a lot of interplay. 


3. Catching Butterflies.

We have not tried this yet, as the butterfly season is over at the moment. The hood is held closed at one end, and open at the other end to trap the butterflies. Although some woman look like trying to hit rather than catch the butterflies. This seems to be a more feminine type of game.

Bodleian MS 264 folio 135 recto (more examples a shown in the margins of MS 264)

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