Main element of the Mycenaean religious ritual was the procession of female worshippers towards the shrine, the temple, or the altar of the seated, sometimes enthroned goddess.The depiction of processions on murals, and gold seal-rings was particularly frequent.
The preserved part of a large mural composition from the palace of Thebes (14th/13th century BC) shows a procession of female adorants in traditional Minoan dress. They advance majestically holding their offerings: lilies, wild roses, a casket with jewellery, a necklace, and a luxury vase perhaps filled with aromatic oil. They move in two opposite directions, perhaps towards a central female deity who receives their offerings.
I think I have finally solved the flounced skirt mystery. In my opinion it’s a large rectangle piece of textile, straight from the loom, perhaps decorated at the top and bottom border with added woven bands. The textile is draped around the hips, then tied with the top toppling down. Multiple layers can be worn, toppling down and giving the look of the flounced skirt. Similarly the vest, could be a tunic, again rectangle pieces of textile can be used, with decorative woven bands binding them together at the seams.
Just a reminder that there is only one spot left for the three-day traditional weaving workshop in June (for more information check previous post). This last week I have been weaving a Shiny Arete shawl to send to the US. It is so exciting working from Kaimakli, Cyprus and sending pieces to far off places such as Hong Kong, US and Korea. :)
I was working on BH&H all weekend and made some really good progress, so as promised, here is a sneak peak of Part 20!
Tortola - British Virgin Islands, 1802
Emma pushed through the front door of a rather nondescript looking building, hearing the jangle of a little brass bell announce her arrival as she crossed the threshold onto the wide plank floor. The man behind the counter looked up and she saw his eyes narrow in appraisal as he quickly looked her up and down. She had a lace shawl draped modestly over her shoulders and carried a small parasol to shade her face from the bright Caribbean sun, as every respectable European woman did. Her face was unpainted and she wore no jewellery, no pearl earbobs or abalone bracelets like the ones sold in the markets that dotted each good-sized island where the planters’ wives and the naval officers all came to shop for exotic tropical fruits and fresh palm oil and colourful woven textiles.
The man was rather stout, with a round, bearded face beneath a red knit cap. Tortola had a more temperate climate than some of the other islands claimed in the names of foreign kings, Spanish, French and Dutch alike were all spoken alongside English and the patios of the native inhabitants and the Africans who worked the fields and harvested the new crops of sugarcane and plantains. He puffed out his chest under the rough woolen jacket he wore and jerked his chin, “Can I help you, Mistress?”
Evidently he’d decided that she might have legitimate business to discuss, even though a woman without an escort was somewhat of a curiosity among the warehouses and offices that lined the dusty road rising above the harbour.
“I’m here to see the captain. I was told he conducts business from noon to six every Tuesday and might be available?”
The wiry eyebrows rose and his lips thinned as he took another glance at her attire, noting the sober cut and colour of her dress.
“A fair warning, Mistress, if you’re here in an attempt to spread the Gospel to the cap’n alongside the godless heathens who sacrifice chickens to their idols and the dockside whores who only worship coin and don’t get on their knees to pray, he’s not going to be very receptive.”
Emma hid her smile, “No, I suppose not.”
Many pious men and women had crossed the ocean, founding missions and churches with trunks full of treatises and pamphlets and hymnals, seeking to convert and baptize along the new roads being carved from virgin ground and in the towns that sprung like mushrooms around each harbour as cargo and wealth was transported from island to island. They preached in the market square to sailors and stevedores, whoever was willing to stop and listen for a moment.
But the one she had come to see was not likely to be among even the most unorthodox of congregations.
“Mr. Smee, show her in and tell anyone else who inquires that I am indisposed for the rest of the afternoon.”
His voice called from behind a door that was standing slightly ajar and Emma watched, amused, as the man named Smee almost jumped into the air like he’d been jabbed with a hot poker. His face flushed the same colour red as his cap and he came around the scrubbed counter, gesturing madly for her to follow. Emma smoothed out a fold in her skirt and nodded to him, entering what was clearly the inner sanctum while he held the door open and being greeted for the first time by Captain Killian Jones.
The chevalier in Paris with his fine velvet coats and polished riding boots was gone, and in his place was a figure clad in oiled leather trousers that rippled and flexed over his thighs when he stood, a scarlet waistcoat worn over a high-collared shirt that was open at the throat and revealed a dusting of dark hair on his chest and the glint of a silver necklace. But the face was the same, and the demon smiled, hooking a thumb in his belt and rocking back on his heels.
“Well,” he said, in a lazy drawl that was far removed from courtly French and felt like the whisper of silk against her skin, “It seems the tides have turned in my favour.”