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Author Topic: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?  (Read 22360 times)

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Offline Cobaltblu

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Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« on: May 10, 2009, 04:46:46 PM »
Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?

I have seen a lot of people wearing these but is there a specific reason someone would wear one, or multiple ones?

I ask because I am considering getting one and hope it isn't like the "Horga'hn" statue which Captain Picard was given before he went to Risa on vacation, lol.  If you don't get the reference google "Horga'hn".

Regards,

CB
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Offline Ozium

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 04:50:56 PM »
Here is one reason.

More than any other garment, the flea fur helps us to understand just how different living conditions were in sixteenth-century Europe. People of the period did not bathe very often, and they rarely washed their clothes or bedsheets. The conditions were perfect for infestations of fleas, small bloodsucking insects that live on the bodies of warm-blooded animals like humans. Even the wealthiest people had to endure frequent bites from fleas. One of the ways that they combated the pests was with flea fur.


A flea fur was made from the pelt of a small furry animal like a mink, an ermine, or a ferret. It was worn about the neck in the hopes that the fleas would prefer the thick and smelly fur of the animal to the smooth and smelly skin of a human. Wealthy people added ornaments to their flea furs, including jeweled clasps and golden chains. It is unknown whether poor people wore shabbier flea furs made from the pelts of rats and other less desirable rodents or simply endured the flea bites.
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Offline NoBill Lurker

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 04:53:28 PM »
http://www.renaissancefestival.com/forums/index.php?topic=3182.0

Here's a link to a old thread on this subject  ;D
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Offline Captain Jack Wolfe

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 05:01:15 PM »
Last year, a lovely patron asked my name.  I told her truthfully (quit laughing) "Captain Jack Wolfe."  We chatted, and then about an hour later she found me and presented me with a magnificent (artificial) grey wolf's tail.  She said it should serve as a warning to any woman that they are indeed talking to a wolf.  I immediately added it to my garb, and it's been a staple ever since.

Honestly, I don't think women need a warning flag flown about chatting with me.  Really, they don't.  At least I don't think they do.  OK, maybe a little.  Or a lot.  Damn, does this thing flash neon or something?  I should get it checked...  what does this do?  WHOA!!  Aircraft strobes?  Really?!  Come on!  That's a bit much!!  So much for subtlety.   ::) :D
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 09:52:14 PM by Mad Jack Wolfe »
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Offline Ozium

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 05:04:08 PM »
Well CB you got the front end of the fox, you just need the back end now.
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Offline Cobaltblu

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 05:06:03 PM »
Well CB you got the front end of the fox, you just need the back end now.


You know I didn't think of that.  I definitely need that fox tail now to hang off the back of my belt.

Maybe I could dye some fox tails custom and give them to women to wear from the back of their belt to signify they are my "ladies".

Regards,

CB
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Offline sealion

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2009, 07:43:34 PM »
The theory put forth here: http://art.thewalters.org/viewwoa.aspx?id=20181 that the marten was a symbol of fertility (and included in portraits of wealthy women to indicate that they were pregnant) sounds much more plausible to me than the idea that nobility would want to advertise that they had fleas or that a fle would prefer a dead pelt to a warm blooded person.
As for why people wear tails at faires I believe it is mostly so people will look at their tail and/or make crude jokes about wanting a piece of tail.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 07:44:49 PM by sealion »
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Offline FortuneRose

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2009, 07:44:46 PM »
I wear a tail because I can. I like it.

But my two-pence here--I think any woman worth her independent thinking would balk at wearing a tail to signify they 'belong' to someone.  :)



well said Welsh, well said...

I, too, wear my tail because I can and I think its just adorable.  And I also wouldn't wear a tail to show I belonged to someone.



I need to rechain mine, though....this past year it snapped from its cheapo little chain that it was bought on.
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Offline Ozium

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2009, 08:07:17 PM »
Don't think i have heard that theory before Sealion. But i can tell you i take a warm blooded person
over a dead pelt.
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Offline Cobaltblu

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2009, 09:29:14 PM »
I wear a tail because I can. I like it.

But my two-pence here--I think any woman worth her independent thinking would balk at wearing a tail to signify they 'belong' to someone.  :)



well said Welsh, well said...

I, too, wear my tail because I can and I think its just adorable.  And I also wouldn't wear a tail to show I belonged to someone.



I need to rechain mine, though....this past year it snapped from its cheapo little chain that it was bought on.

I must apologize; I wasn't entirely serious with my comment.

Regardless of whether the fox tail means nothing, means I'm looking for tail (much like the Horga'hn in Star Trek), means I am pregnant, means I have fleas or means I want to be a furry...I think I'll get a fox tail anyway.

Regards,

CB
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Offline Blue66669

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2009, 09:00:01 AM »
I wear a tail because I can. I like it.

But my two-pence here--I think any woman worth her independent thinking would balk at wearing a tail to signify they 'belong' to someone.  :)


I may object, depending on whom I was belonging to at the time LOL.

Some men are WORTH belonging to..... *wink*
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Offline DonaCatalina

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2009, 09:33:43 AM »
It's a renfaire things which has no real historical basis. The Flea Fur is a modern costuming myth.

But some people like wearing them and there's no reason not to....since faires are for having fun.
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Offline WindChime

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2009, 05:38:07 PM »
I wear 6 tails. I have a Rainbow colored one, a all black one, a all white one, silver fox one, and 2 half fox tails that broke last year and now are used as kind of a bussle for the other tails to make them look fuller.  I love the attention I get from little kids when they see all my tails.
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Offline Molden

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2009, 06:54:10 PM »
I wear a tail because I can. I like it.

Wenchie said it best...so I'll just say Ditto!  :)
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Offline Sabrina Black

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Re: Why do people wear fox tails at renaissance faires?
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2009, 12:37:00 PM »
I just think tails look cool so I got one at TRF last fall.  It's all black and I just love it.  Gonna wear it at GA faire in a couple weeks. :)
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