Thursday, January 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I've actually dressed as an Ancient Egyptian twice, thanks to a childhood of surprisingly enthusiastic Passover seders.

Here, I was all decked up in a dress (thrift store find) with some abstract designs.  To me, the figures look more like the human figures on Geometric vases.  I had an awesome collar made from a donut cut out of some sheer fabric.  My bracelets, serpent crown, and my crook (I seem to be missing a flail) were made from aluminum foil.  I remember being really excited that I got to wear mom's dangly gold earrings.  Being ever the pragmatist, I finished the ensemble with a pair of dorky sports sandals.

Funerary amphora, 750-480 BCE - note the human figures in the center

Throwback Thursday Sum-Up

Age at Time: Third grade?  Fourth grade? Between 8 to 10 years old.

Costume: Ancient Egyptian pharoah 

Event: Purim 

Level of embarrassment (sale of 1-10, 10 being deathly embarrassing): 6.  I would be fine with this, except for the shoes.  They're killing me.

My mom just came over and read over my shoulder.  She maintains that I was adorable and that she deserves a shout out for starting me off in historical costuming from a young age.  Here's your shout out, mom.  HI MOM!  YOU'RE AMAZING!

This second one also utilizes thrift store finds (the dress and the pants, I think) and the same kind of donut-of-fabric as a collar, but with a different fabric.  I have a rake because I was portraying a farmer for a history presentation in 6th grade.  I really went for the part of a glamour farmer and I did up my eyes in the classic Eye of Horus design with some eyeliner and wore my mom's leather sandals.  I think my glasses and my watch were nice final touches.

Throwback Thursday Sum-Up

Age at Time: Sixth grade, 12 years old.

Costume: Ancient Egyptian farmer

Event: Ancient Egypt history presentations in sixth grade 

Level of embarrassment (scale of 1-10, 10 being deathly embarrassing): 8.  Just, urgh.  Middle school years are embarrassing, regardless of circumstance.

And now, because I am an art history nerd, I'm doing something new-ish for Throwback Thursdays.  When a costume is historical, I'll write a little bit about the clothing of the time period.  At some point I'll update the past posts so they, too, can be mocked for their inadequacies.

I do not know of any extant Ancient Eygptian garments outside of what was placed into sarcophagi with mummies.  (If I've missed some new find, let me know in the comments!)  I'm relying here solely on sculpture and fresco, so I am missing any written record of clothing that could exist.

Pharaoh Menkaure and His Wife, 2490-2472 BCE

Though Pharaoh Menkaure is clearly wearing a kilt-type garment, the only evidence that his wife is even clothed is the hem of her dress.  I'm not sure if that's her real hair or a wig.

Prince Rahotep and His Wife Nofret, c. 2580 BCE

Nofret is wearing a white robe/garment thing; her hair is a wig.

Isis Leading the Queen Fresco in the Tomb of Nefertari, c. 1199 BCE

I hesitate before using something that has any kind of mythological subject because I don't know how much of the clothing is symbolic or is just the artists' imagination.  In other words, I have no idea what's up with the brownish red dress.

Meryt Before Sennufer in the Tomb of Sennufer, c. 1410 BCE

The straps of Meryt's draw here are separate from the rest of her dress and she wears a wig.  Dress is form fitting, but opaque.

Banquet Scene in the Tomb of Nebamun, c. 1370 BCE
The noblewomen seated in this banquet scene wear sheer white dresses.  They have stylish wigs and not-so-stylish domes of wax on their heads.  The wax would melt in the heat and release nice aromas.

Bust of Queen Nefertiti, c. 1348-1335 BCE
I added this bust of Queen Nefertiti for no other reason than it makes me happy.  The bust was made as a model for workshops so the queen herself would not have to stand in every time they wanted to make a likeness of her.  It was buried when Amarna (the city) was destroyed and is in remarkably good condition today.

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