By: Hjuka Harugari
Don't recall when, but recently a few of us were discussing the 'trend' of donning specific garb when at Feier...it was an interesting discussion, so I figured I'd bring up the topic here for kicks.... In the general Heathen community, you get a real mixed bag as to what folk feel about it- if its necessary, if it isn't and the how's and whys are as numerous as the number of folks with opinions... a good number of folk that wearing such 'specified' clothing isn't necessary, and a common answer (among the multitude) does seem to be a matter of practicality (or more accurately, what WE perceive to be so), or rather, that our Ahnen simply wore whatever was the clothing trend of the times, and so contemporary Heathen should likewise follow suit....but I wonder if this is strictly an attitude, a perceptive-product of our own era...if in fact that there is more to the situation than meets the eyes, or that our own (using 'our' / 'our own' loosely, mind you) prejudices which are instilled within us from our life's experiences are somehow blinding us to some underlying fact...what's that saying? Failing to see the trees through the woods or something?:)
to us, our clothing means very little if anything at all...its simply what we wear to cover our selves, protect us from the raw elements, and perhaps make us look good...;)
but there's no other significance...no other deeper, religious or perhaps mystical quality reason or essence to what we typically wear...and so, we don't normally associate anything with the clothing or the styles...folks in Jersey (here in the US) look just like folks in California, Canada, and even Europe...the fashion trends are fairly international...and aside from other characteristics, you couldn't tell a European from a European-American ...at least, not by what he's wearing....but that wasn't the case in the yesteryear of our Ahnen's Heathen culture...sure, I wouldn't suggest every article of clothing has some mystical meaning or anything so absurd...but there was a significance to what one wore...in a tribal setting particularly, clothing was used in marking rank...for instance, you knew who the local Harugari or King was by the fact that he was donning white (if not some finer looking duds necessarily)...something that only the sacral leaders and their subordinate priests were privy to...a Thauling (at least at official business) would don Red, or perhaps some badge of office...a trend particularly renown among the Goths, which spread to other Germanic tribes was the use of certain fibulae to mark rank or station within the community, for example...aside from such uses of garment, there is that fact that one's tribal clothing...including say, decorations like fibulae and brooches and the like were indicative of the ethnicity of that particular tribe...folk didn't just look like Goths or Lombards, they dressed like them....clothing was a means of displaying ethnicity and a particular pride in one's ethnicity...and especially so when an individual may have held some particular rank....
so with all that rambling, my point is that I think the duds do matter- like in times of old, they were a part of one's ethnicity, part of the socio-cultus manifestation itself, and today, as we seek to reconnect to that ethnicity on various levels, donning 'ethnic clothing' certainly serves in a psychological, Mystical, and religious sense in furthering that connection, in severing that bond to the mundane, in furthering that sense of ethnicity and a true realization of that ethnicity in every form and way...in a one-world culture where everything is nothing and all of its mundane, we need a re-connecting on even the simplest, or seemingly least significant levels...to me, I feel that such clothing, being a legitimate part of that ethnic form, does indeed enrich that experience, and truly serves to help one disconnect to the mundane, and truly reconnect to the great, deep well of their ethnicity and ethnic ways in a setting of 'completeness' and true 'wholeness' of Being.
I wouldn't suggest that folks who didn't have such attire didn't have Feier, not at all- however, it is an important enhancement to the overall quality of the working at hand, and on the simplest level, an outward attestament to Gods, Volk, and other wights unseen of one's true pride, loyalty and Troth...
Sorry for the long rambling...wanted to throw that out there
Alaf Sal Fena!