Summer AS XXXIV (1999)
Volume IV, Issue 4 (#15)

From the Nachalnik

This marks the end of our fourth year of existence. In August, we will hold our fifth annual meeting and our third annual Slavic and Hungarian Festival. We have over 200 members and have picked up at least a dozen new ones since I last wrote.

This year at Pennsic, we will have our annual "class" (Researching Things Slavic and Hungarian) on Monday, August 16th at 5pm. Please be sure to come and bring whatever you may have to share in terms of finds and discoveries, as well as hints and strategies. I'll start off with my usual lecture and then open the floor for the rest of the hour. The Slavic and Hungarian Festival, by multiple requests, has been moved to Tuesday night at 7pm. We have the BIG tent this year, so please be sure to bring yourself, your friends, and anything you would like to share. The ever-popular show and tell session will occur this year, so bring your latest projects to share. If you are interested in helping with the Festival refreshments, contact Bogdan din Brasov (Jeff Heilveil, 1307 Larkspur, Champaign IL 61821, 217-398-9529,

I have not heard a great deal about other classes but I do know there will be at least two classes on (modern) Russian language and I will be teaching a class on Period Russian Language on Thursday, August 19th at 3pm. No previous command of Russian is required for any of these classes. Peotr Alexeivich will be teaching a class on slavery among the Kievan Rus on Tuesday, August 17th at 11am (undoubtedly based on the article that has been serialized here).

We had a little trouble a month ago with an individual (who turned out not to be a member of the Group) who got a hold of the list of SIG member email addresses. He used them to send everyone on that list electronic junk mail and refused to desist from the practice when he was confronted. The problem has been addressed in two ways: the perpetrator has been shut down by his own internet service provider (a reminder to all: theft of electronic mailing lists is against the law in the United States) and we have converted to a more secure system that will hide the mailing list from all recipients. If you want to talk to folks, you can still go to the on-line mailing list and look up specific people, but the version I use to notify people of updates and calls for submissions will no longer be publically accessible.

Making a Crescent-Shaped Kokoshnik

By Liudmila Vladimirova doch'

I am not much of a seamstress, but one has to look impressive being Russian. Therefore, I compensate by headdresses and make them as fancy as I can. My very first one was made overnight and without any knowledge of techniques whatsoever. Though people here in Caid still exclaim over it, I am rather ashamed of the thing. I took it to Soraya, who offered me some excellent advice on hat making. I may not be following it to the letter, but the results work much better than my first cripple. The one I have now, has real river pearls on it (drilled the right way and unbelievably cheap) and lots of gold and fake jewels. Here is the step-by-step process I use in making crescent-shaped kokoshniks -- maiden style (they are not technically kokoshniks, being bottomless, but everyone calls them that).

Supplies: manila folders or poster paper, buckram (and tough scissors to cut it), covered wire (from bridal shops), flannel, interfacing (optional), fabric glue (optional); silk velvet, or other suitable fabric; matching thread, matching or red ribbon for the tie, embellishments, pearls and more pearls.

First of all, decide what look you want - What province or region? Is it to be high or low? How should the top curve look? Should the bottom edges be wide or not? For example, for an upcoming coronation I am making a flower-like one with a wavy top. I don't think I can actually document it, but there is suggestive evidence that such things existed in late period Moscow. Secondly, decide on the fit of the bottom - it can be made straight or curved to fit the shape of your head. I prefer curved as they fit better, but I honestly don't know how legitimate that is. To get the right curve first time, I used one of my headbands.

Take a piece of poster paper, folded, or a manila file folder and draw a half-crescent on the fold - cut out your shape and try it on, with the fold facing backward for smoother fit. Like it? Does it fit? Is it going to cut into your ears when done? Think where the ribbon tie will be attached and how would tying it change the shape. If possible, adjust the shape, if not, draw and cut out another one. Repeat until you are satisfied. It takes me at least three attempts to get the right look of the top, but I use the same cutout for the bottom now.

Then draw your design on the pattern - sometimes things I planned didn't look all that pretty when curved around my head, so watch out for that. Trace the pattern on your fabric (2), flannel (2), and buckram (1). Note that the buckram copy should be smaller than the fabric or flannel one, and the flannel smaller than the fabric. I deal with that by simply making the original pattern just a bit larger than my head requires, cutting that exact size on buckram, and manipulating allowances on the rest. That's not what Soraya recommended to do, but I lack her precision. In any case, remember to leave ample allowances on your fabric and on the flannel.

At this point, you should do the embroidery on the front piece of the fabric without cutting it out. Use your preferred method of transferring the design - I don't have one and I am sure that most everyone here is more experienced in this than I am. Then you are ready to sew the wire all around the buckram shape. I have tried to avoid doing the bottom once, and that headdress is rather deformed there now. Of course, I didn't have any wire left and the thing had to be done, but that's no excuse…

Cut out the flannel pieces and encase the buckram in them. Do it any way that you see fit (I don't think the way I do it is best), but if you used crescent for the bottom as well, you will need to clip there. Cut out the fabric front - remember to leave an allowance - and attach it to the buckram/flannel piece. You might have to clip the bottom as well, but the top should stretch conveniently. Watch out for the fraying when you clip. Attach ribbon ties to both ends, sew through it multiple times. Cover the back. Being in a hurry once, I used glue - but if you have time, carefully sew it on. There are ways to cover up the stitches if you are as "good" at this as I am - gold cording or pearls in the edge, or a veil. If you used ample allowance for the front, you have an opportunity to sew on the backside, not on the edge. Bottom is tricky, but not impossible. If all else fails, use glue. "Fish glue" was used in period Russia to stiffen things, so that may be your excuse. Originally the back would be leather or bark, and I am not sure if that was covered though I would think glue was involved in putting it together. Attach the veil if you want. I usually do, to cover the lack of a braid.

Go out there and show off!

Summer Weight Russian Clothing Ideas

By Mordak Timofei'eich Rostovskogo, Midrealm

A major hurdle for anyone with a Russian persona is dealing with hot weather. The reality is that while Moscow is at the same latitude as Milwaukee, Kiev is at a similar latitude as Memphis, Tennessee and has much the same weather in the summer. So, the question is "How did period Russians deal with warm weather ?" More importantly, how does the modern SCA Russian persona deal with it? The following is a collection of ideas, patterns, descriptions and musings that attempt to begin answering these questions. Most of the tips contained within are fairly obvious to most people and are only differentiated by their use in the context of period Russia.

The most obvious answer is to wear garments made of lighter fabrics and looser fit to the body. Another is to use cloth with a looser weave fabric which is not lined with any other cloth. Yet another is a tried and true Russian peasant solution. Wear a long shirt to the knees, roll the tube sleeves up to the biceps and wear leather slippers (onuchi). Another solution is strictly a modern convention and involves wearing a properly insulated baggy of ice either under your hat or with an apron like pocket at the waist under one's tunic, caftan or sarafan. The base of the spine is best when properly insulated and is not nearly as "distracting" as when worn in the front of the waist. While this is strictly a modern convenience, it works extremely well at hot events. Another warm weather trick is either tube sleeves rolled up or short sleeves on tunics or sarafans made of the lightest weight color fabric available. Color fabric has the advantage of allowing the wearer to be nearly naked underneath the garment without those embarrassing periodic dark patches showing through when pressed against the chest or waist. The obvious advantage of near nakedness under a loose garment is that your body has full access to any cooling breeze you are lucky enough to catch. When used in connection with a properly insulated ziploc baggy containing ice under the garment or hat, the effect is impromptu air conditioning. Don't ask how I know, just accept that it has been tested frequently and has never failed yet. This is very good for the Russian persona living in a hot climate who likely will experience temperature extremes ranging from "burning hell" during the day and changing to chilly at night. Some climates will stay hot and muggy at all hours of the day and night. Be very careful with the usage of an ice bag under your hat though. It is extremely effective but can have adverse effects if your noggin gets cooled down too much or too quickly.

But, what if your persona is not a peasant, but instead, is a merchant, tradesman, minor bureaucrat, soldier or noble? What are the differences in garments between early period personas from Varangian or Kievan Rus and later period personas from the Appanage or Moscovite Rus periods ? Surprisingly enough for most of the population, not a great deal. Conservative societies or sections within a society tend to resist adopting popular trends. Russia has always been and remains, a very conservative society. For the modern Russian persona, often the only men's garment to change between a Kievan and a Moscovite persona at a hot event is whether a cloak or caftan is worn over the shoulders (like a cloak). For women, often the main difference was even less for most non-noble women. While the information and image of period women in general is minute, apparently the use of a scarf and a decorated, filigreed or plaqued headband never went out of fashion.

If your persona is early period Rus, then chances are that you are either a native Slav, a Varangian of Viking descent or a Kievan. In any hot weather situation, linen and loose weave muslin is your obvious friend. In addition, solid colors in either neutrals, batiks, stripes or geometric patterned fabrics are also a friend for most social classes in this period. A great Kievan costume for men in hot weather is a baggy tunic cut just below knee level, worn with boots , a thin plaqued belt and either a wide brimmed straw hat or a peaked hat with an upturned rim of a contrasting color. The tunic should be made of the absolutely lightest fabric available, either a solid color or with the largest geometric design available. It should be unlined for comfort, have 6" wide bands of fabric in a contrasting color or pattern, either with or without embroidery at the hem and 3" wide matching edging at the neck, biceps and/or wrists. The sleeves should be tubes to ease rolling them up during the heat of the day. The neck should have a fairly deep keyhole cut, preferably to the diaphragm. A half circle cloak with either fabric or trim edging, including a tablion at chest level and a brooch would have rounded out the male costume. The woman's costume is exactly the same, with either a gathered or reinforced neckhole, with either an ankle length hem or a hip level one worn with a longer skirt (gathered and sewn to the shorter shirt 6" from the hem. Either version would have had wide bands of decorative fabric or trim (3-6" wide) along all edges. A recurring theme in Russian decoration is its use in many mediums simultaneously, including clothing, accessories, metallurgy and even architecture. A lightweight stola (a closed full circle knee length cloak with edging and a neckhole offset 12-18") would have created a very good finishing look for breezy days or nighttime chills. The shorter end should be towards the front and hover at waist level to the wearer, while the back edge generally seemed to brush the calves.

According to articles recently published by the Russian Academy of Sciences, women in the northern Rus trading city of Novgorod also wore gowns which appear to have been yoked at the chest with a fuller skirt pleated from the mid-chest down. This style also shows up in mid-thirteenth century Hungary among Cuman tribesman pushed out of the plains of southern Rus by the Mongol invasions and devastation. These people where known as the Povlotsy (Yellow) people to Kievan era Russians, between whom trading and active warfare was waged during the 10th -13th centuries. The Hungarian Illuminated Chronicle depicts the "Cumans" in the mid-13th century with tunics pleated at the waist and slit open to the hips either in the front or on the sides for freedom of movement. The women also appear to be dressed in these pleated tunics, but do not appear to have been slitted like the men's garments. An unconfirmed period Hungarian source described them as wearing silk brocades (common in Central Asia at this time), with lots of jewelry, including a multitude of rings woven into the long hair apparently worn by both sexes. Kievan Russians of both genders also wore a wide variety of jewelry, including pendants, bracelets, rings, large disks on necklaces (barmy), broaches, pins, and so on.

The beauty of later period Russian is that for most of the working and lower mercantile/craftsman classes, the knee length tunic did not disappear. In fact, during the rest of period in Russia; soldiers, servitors and even nobles are often depicted as wearing tunics of varying lengths, usually from knee to ankle, depending on the labor you performed (or didn't). Also, while geometric patterns continued to be worn by all classes, they are gradually superseded by large floral patterned fabric of balanced design. Another major change brought by the Mongols is the gradual replacement of the cloak by the caftan, usually worn either over the shoulders or like a cloak with only the top band buttoned. Wearing a caftan in this fashion over even a light weight tunic can be abusive in heat. The rubakha style of shirt most often associated with traditional Russia made its appearance during these latter centuries. Most appeared to have either a round or squared collar with either a centered or offset keyhole slit being equally common until nearly the end of period. Caftans also appeared Russia during this time with short sleeves and knee length hems in imitation of the Turks. These were usually collarless with a thin .5-1" edging (denoting that they were not lined in period) and are quite comfortable to wear on hot days, especially in absence of a shirt underneath.

Women's clothing also changed. The long tunic continued but eventually lost its sleeves for both men and women and eventually opened down the front. As in earlier times, it continued to be decorated with a wide strip of fabric down the front, but began to be faked to resemble an opening with buttons or bobs. Noble ladies often wore an angel winged garment (letnik) on top, which was either open down the front or closed, according to the owners taste. Regardless, it was always described as having wide, decorated cuffs, slit open on the bottom to the elbow. As described previously, patterned cotton, linen, muslin or even colored gauze makes a perfectly acceptable summer weight garment. A pair of Irish gillie shoes and underwear worn under any of these garments will keep one comfy and cool. Women are described, even in late period Russia, as still using cloaks, in addition to the ever present headscarf (if married) and headband or hat. Unmarried women wore a single braid with a red ribbon at the end called a kosnik. Married women wore their hair up off the neck. Good news for hot weather conditions. The point is that while Russian costuming does not need to be a 1 - 2 season phenomena if you use your common sense and accessorize. A variety of fabrics and clothing styles exist that can easily be manipulated into being the four season garments that Russian personas need and want.

Slavery in Kievan Rus: Part Two

By Peotr Alexeivich Novgorodski

Slavery, by definition, represents the extreme loss of human rights. Underlying all slavery is the threat of death. Historically, conditions of slaves varied from utmost brutality to extreme luxury, yet the underlying threat remained. The earliest surviving accounts of Russians enslaved by the Vikings are among the most brutal.

An important and famous eyewitness description is from an Arab diplomat on a mission to the Bulghars on the Volga River in 922. Ibn Fadlan, describes first the sexual exploitation of female slaves at trading point on the river: "Ten or twenty people, more or less, live in such a house. Every man has a shop where he stays, together with the beautiful [slave] girls he has for sale. Sometimes he has intercourse with one of his girls while the companions look on. Often, several men can be seen in that position, each observing the act of others. Sometimes a merchant comes to his shop to buy a girl only to find him in the midst of intercourse. He does not leave her until he finishes his affair." Further on in the same account is a funeral of a chief. A long passage describes the selection and rituals surrounding the sacrifice of a slave woman as part of the funeral. She is stripped, given intoxicating drinks, is raped by several of the men, then laid alongside the chief, strangled, and stabbed to death.

Later Russian laws remained harsher to slaves than free persons. The death penalty (at an early period) and corporal punishment (at a later time) were reserved only for slaves: "And if a slave strikes a freeman and hides in the house, and his lord will not surrender him, the lord pays a twelve grivna [fine]; and then whenever and wherever the injured man meets the offender, who struck him; [Prince] Yaroslav ordered to [allow him] to kill the offender, but his sons, after their father's death, ordered the matter to be settled with the alternative of payment: either to bind the slave [to a post] and beat him, or to accept one grivna for the offense to his honor."

One can get a hint of the conditions, as well, from the Domostroi, a book on housekeeping during the time of Ivan the Terrible. Written several hundred years after the period under discussion, its severity may or may not reflect Mongol influence: "Do not box anyone's ears for any fault. Do not hit them about the eyes with your fist or below the heart. Do not strike anyone with a stick or staff or beat anyone with anything made of iron or wood. From such a beating, administered in passion or anguish, many misfortunes can result: blindness or deafness, dislocation of an arm, leg, or finger, head injury or injury to a tooth. With pregnant women or children, damage to the stomach could result, so beat them only with the lash, in a careful and controlled way, albeit painfully and fearsomely. Do not endanger anyone's health; beat someone only for a grave fault."

It is likely that during the Kievan period female slaves would have been sexually exploited. The Orthodox Church imposed relatively light penance for fornication with a slave women, especially for a bachelor. The slave, as person outside of society, was probably viewed as a socially acceptable outlet for sexual desires. It is possible that the higher valuation of a female slave in wergild at this time is a reflection of this. On the other hand, society did afford some protection to female slaves, consistent with Slavic and Orthodox notions of female honor. A twelfth century treaty between Novgorod and the Germans provided that a master who raped his slave had to pay a one grivna fine and that if she got pregnant he had to free her.

Since Russians were enslaving one another, there was no racial or ethnic component to slavery at this time. It is likely, and suggested by period laws, that it was difficult to distinguish slave and freeman. About the only reference to a distinguishing feature is a mention in a modern costume book of short hair as a mark of servitude.

It is uncertain what work slaves did in Kievan Russia. In some parts of the world slavery was connected with large-scale agricultural production, especially in warmer climates. This was unlikely in Russia due to weather and ecological conditions. It is more likely that owning slaves was a display of wealth and status and had little or no economic benefit to the owner. The Domostroi, for example, admonished the head of household not to keep more slaves than he could afford: "Each person should acquire additional slaves only after thinking about how he will feed, cloth and maintain them so that they will live in peace of mind, fearing God and knowing good governance."

Various employments of slaves are listed in the Pravda. Almost all are connected with functions of a household (as opposed to agricultural estate). These roles included tutor, wet-nurse, caretaker of war-horses, steward, and housekeeper. The wet nurse and tutor were particularly valued under these statues. These same laws also show us that slaves were carrying out trade on behalf of their owners. The steward (perhaps equivalent of the major-domo or butler) was likely an elite slave. That is to say, he was charged with overseeing other slaves and organizing household affairs.

Societies which held slaves all wrestled with the paradox of people within their midst who were not fully recognized as human. This paradox was reflected in the Russian Pravda. An important principal of ancient Russian law was the wergild (or blood fee). If a murder took place, a large cash payment went to the victim's family and often a second fee to the prince. This wergild was a substitute for revenge killing. How the Pravda assigns wergilds is revealing of social values in a most basic sense. From Yaroslav's Pravda: Prince's retinue -- 80 grivna; Citizen, male -- 40 grivna; Citizen, female -- 20 grivna; Peasant -- 5 grivna; Slave -- 5 grivna; Slave, female -- 6 grivna; Slave, wet nurse (?) -- 12 grivna. The later version (c 1120) increases the fines for killing slaves and clarifies that it is not exactly a blood fee: "And there is no bloodwite (wergild) for either a male or female slave; but if a slave is killed without any fault of his, [the killer] has to pay amends for the male, as well as for the female, slave; and to the prince, 12 grivna fine."

The slave is neither a full, honored citizen on one hand, or a being without value on the other. The significance that the 12 grivnas is a fine, rather than a bloodwite, is that a bloodwite was payable to a person's kin or community. Clearly the slave was denied those connections. Their ambivalent place in Kievan Rus was best expressed in a law discussing return of stolen slaves: "If anyone finds his stolen slave and apprehends him, he must, as in the case of other property litigations, bring him along until the third confrontment; And he [the slave] is not a beast; [in this case] the buyer cannot say, 'I do not know from whom I bought him' [because the slave can talk]; and thus by the slave's word on proceeds to the end."

Historians have made the case that the Statutes of Vladimir Monomakh were part of an attempt to limit slavery. Of particular note is the article defining grounds for enslavement. We do not have enough information to say for certain. Mentions of enslavement during warfare are numerous in 10th Century accounts, then appear occasionally in the 11th and 12th centuries. If enslavement during warfare continued, as it seems to, then the border wars and unending feuds of the Russian princes would have guaranteed a steady source of slaves. Was internal enslavement curbed? There is scant evidence and I have found no documents, either secular or religious, forbidding slavery nor even describing means of manumission.

Like slaves everywhere, the hope for freedom was never abandoned. Throughout period documents are numerous laws and articles in treaties providing for the return of runaways. Of 29articles in the Pravda referring to slaves, at least ten refer to escapees. Russia was even then a huge country, with, at that time, a small population Slavic peoples regularly traveled great distances, and vanishing was a more feasible prospect than in Western Europe.

Running away must have been a common and serious problem for the owners. The fine for aiding an escaped slave equaled the fine for killing a slave: "If a slave runs away and his owner makes due announcement, and someone else, having heard the announcement or knowing about it and understanding that the man is a fugitive slave, gives him some bread or shows him the way [to escape], he has to pay for the male slave 5 grivna and for the female slave 6 grivna."

Desire for freedom and resistance to slavery is universal theme. Again and again the Pravda record these acts: "If a slave steals another's horse [the owner has to pay] two grivna."; "[If a runaway slave obtains goods on credit] the owner takes back the slave, [and assumes his debt], and also takes the goods."; and "If [a slave] runs away and takes any neighbor's property or goods, his owner pays the damages."

One wonders how status and wealth weighed against the vigilance and aggravation of being a slave holder. How deep or universal the institution was in Kiev Rus we do not know. Part of what remains is evidence of the deep desire of people everywhere for freedom.

The Union of Jadwiga and Jagiello: Part Three

By Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

In the spring, the married pair journeyed to Great Poland on one of those tours of inspection and loyalty gathering common to medieval royalty. A charming story claims that at one point Jagiello's boyars engaged in some forced procurement (it was the custom of the Polish crown to pay for all supplies, and so on, when traveling, rather than requisitioning them) and, when it was discovered, Jadwiga got Jagiello to make them return the cattle and other goods, and then mourned, "We have given the peasants back their cattle, but who will give them back their tears?" Again, a sentimental story which may or may not have a grain of truth in it. Jagiello was unlikely to have ordered such requisitioning; he was an astute enough statesman to understand that it was verboten. However, a little high-spiritedness among the retinue might have resulted in some such unpleasantness.

As soon as winter fell in 1386, Jagiello set out for Lithuania to begin Christianization. He removed the outward symbols of the pagan religion - dousing the sacred flame at Vilnius, felling the sacred groves, and disposing of the serpents. Apparently, no Lithuanian-speaking priests could be had, so Jagiello also instructed the people in Christianity -- primarily via the Lord's Prayer and the Apostle's creed. Mass baptisms were done. The whole country was made Christian at one fell swoop, though one must agree with the Teutonic Knights that it was unlikely to be a complete or even thorough conversion at this time.

Wladyslaw-Jagiello sent a mission to the Pope next, not only to offer his and Lithuania's obedience, but to be confirmed as king via ecclesiastical sanction and to request that the little matter of Jadwiga's betrothal be formally clarified and dismissed. This was especially urgent, as Wilhem of Austria, leagued with the Teutonic Knights, was still intriguing and campaigning to claim the Polish throne. This came to a head with the filing of a complaint with the Papal See in February of 1387, disputing the marriage and the conversion of Jagiello (which the Pope had already formally praised). Urban IV's response was that "The Pope acknowledges that the royal couple from Cracow are in the right, though for tactical reasons he suspects the case is not yet closed." For all intents and purposes, however, the case was closed by a Papal Bull of April 1388 granting Wladyslaw-Jagiello the elevated title of "Rex Christianissmus."

The disputes with the Teutonic Knights continued for most of the next century. Jadwiga, staunch advocate of peace, is said to have lost her temper at the grand master of the Order (which had been buying up Polish territories via mortgages and mounting attacks on Polish and Lithuanian territories) and said, "So long as I live, the Crown will bear your lawlessness with patience. But after my death, the punishment of Heaven will fall upon you." Certainly, after her death, the combined forces of Poland and Lithuania did defeat and nearly destroy the Order at the Battle of Grunwald and in the end the Order was dissolved.

It's unknown whether Jadwiga and Jagiello were happy together. The churchmen thought so, but we know they did not eat together. Jadwiga devoted herself to peacemaking and good works. Whether her activities were the amusements of a naive puppet queen, the actions of a saint, or the machinations of a peace-loving politician is disputed. Certainly, there is a certain element of "good cop/bad cop" in the combination of her political actions and Jagiello's. She is said to have brought about a temporary reconciliation between Jagiello and his cousin Witold (afterwards Grand Duke of Lithuania), which mitigated the continuing power struggles between the King and Witold over the country. Wladyslaw-Jagiello's more pious actions are also said to be a result of her influence. It's hard to see, however, how a queen so famed for humility could have been effective as a ruler (though that may be convention: her father was also praised for his humility) .

In the areas of charity and learning, Jadwiga made her mark while her husband struggled with enemies within and without. Not only was she famous for her personal charity and kindness, but she was an active patron of learning. She re-founded the University at Cracow which, founded by Casimir, had become defunct in the interregnum. This same University is now called the Jagiellonian and is the oldest in Poland. She also endowed a college in the University of Prague for Lithuanian students.

However, Jadwiga's life was cut short and her line extinguished. In 1399, she gave birth to her only child, Elizabeth, prematurely. The child lived only three weeks and Jadwiga followed her on July 17, 1399. As a result, the ruling Jagiellonian dynasty was descended from Wladyslaw-Jagiello's subsequent wives.

Wladyslaw-Jagiello lived a long life, having outlived four wives, and was forever remembered not only for defeating the Teutonic Knights, but for creating peace. The Polish-Lithuanian union was reaffirmed during Wladyslaw-Jagiello's reign, in the treaty of Horodlo on October 2, 1413. In the nearly two centuries of Jagiellonian rule, the Polish and Lithuanian nobility, and their states, grew closer and closer, culminating in the Union of Lublin in 1569.

Though it took centuries for the Church to acknowledge it, the people of Poland began venerating Jadwiga as a holy woman, even a saint, soon after her death. Several canonization proceedings were started for her, and eventually she was first 'beatified', and finally declared a saint by Pope John Paul II, on June 8, 1996. The final conclusion of this centuries-long process may have something to do with the fact that Karl Wojtyla was one of her adherents.

Jadwiga's life inspired several romantic biographies, including Lois Mill's So Young a Queen and Charlotte Kellog's Jadwiga, Poland's Grean Queen . Monica Gardner's Queen Jadwiga of Poland, is more pious, and the hagiographic Saint Jadwiga - Queen of Poland by Fr. Boleslaw Prybyszewski gives a detailed analysis of the legal documents, and some excellent illustrations. Oskar Halecki claimed that her reign was a pivotal point in history in his Jadwiga of Anjou and the Rise of East Central Europe.

Book Reviews

  • Majka, Christopher. Polish Folk Costumes. Halifax: Empty Mirrors Press, 1991.

    There are 20 full page (8 1/2" x 11") black and white, coloring book style illustrations, 19 of which show a man and a woman clothed in the appropriate costumes for the dances of the region. The costumes appear to be 18th to 19th century. The regions covered are Pomerania (1), Mazury (1), Mazovia (5), Galicia (1), Small Poland (5), Carpathians (2), Silesia (3), and Great Poland (1). The 20th costume illustration is for the Polonez (Polonaise), a stately dance. The English text ranges from 1/4 to 1/2 page, with 50% of that giving a very brief history of the area. The other half describes the costumes in the illustration. The Polish text runs 1/8 to 1/4 page, and appears to be a translation of the history section only. Also included are a short glossary of the costume terms, one paragraph bio's on the author and the illustrator, and a map of Poland and surrounding countries, showing the GENERAL locations of 12 (out of a possible 60) regions. There are a few illustrations which MIGHT be helpful for in-period costumes if supporting documentation could be found elsewhere:

    This book is written from the perspective of a folk dance troupe costumer, and is not particularly useful for our purposes. However, it has provided me with information I have not seen before, and was interesting to read and look at, so I'm not sorry to have spent the money. Bear in mind that I am NO expert in anything Slavic or period, so these are only my opinions.

    -- Ilijana Krakowska


  • "Land of the Winged Horsemen: Art in Poland, 1572-1764" A traveling exhibit, featuring nearly 150 items gathered from 35 public collections throughout Poland, is currently touring the United States and then heading for Poland. Highlights include the coronation regalia of Augustus III, a set of Hussar's armor, and one of the silver-encrusted images of "Our Lady of Czestochowa".

    The exhibit schedule is as follows: The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (June 5 - September 6, 1999); The Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL (September 25-November 28, 1999); The San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA (December 18, 1999-February 27, 2000); The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK (March 25-June 18, 2000); The Royal Castle, Warsaw, Poland (summer of 2000)

    For those unable to attend, a catalog is available. Further information can be found at

    Standard Disclaimer Stuff: Most of us are members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc (SCA) but our Interest Group and its newsletter are not officially affiliated with the SCA. Naturally, then, Slovo does not bear any intentional resemblance to anything that the SCA officially endorses.

    The original authors retain the rights to their works. Please contact them directly for permission to reprint. Uncredited material is the property of the publisher.

    The publisher and editor is Paul Wickenden of Thanet (Paul Goldschmidt), 3071 Cimarron Trail, Madison WI 53719, 608-288-0255, e-mail: There is no subscription fee and copies of this quarterly newsletter are available free of charge from the editor. Slovo is also available on-line at the Interest Group website ( ml).