Friday, March 15, 2013

Straight Razor Tonsure

I have generally three personas that I use when doing period reenactments.  Recently I've been doing a Franciscan Friar more and more often.  Each time I do it I do a little more research and try to take the role a little more seriously.  The SCA, which is the reenactment group I play with most often has a huge annual event called Pennsic.  Thousands of folks come from all over the place and dress in  all kinds of manners depicting all types of personas.  Due to family obligations I have only been able to attend this huge event once.  This coming July will be my second trip to the Pennsic War.

I have decided to cast off EVERYTHING modern and adopt fully and completely the role of a late 12th century friar.  To prepare for that 6~7 full immersion I started experimenting in period hygiene tasks.  First and foremost (in my mind) was how would I have cut my hair.  As I understand it when the grey friars went out on a pilgrimage that would typically travel in very small groups, but not usually alone.  I would, therefore, expect to have a traveling companion.  One of us might carry a church owned razor and we would each take turns tonsuring each other at least once every two weeks.  As I am the only friar I know I will have to come up with a good back story as to why my two partners have left but in the end I needed to figure out how to shave my head with a period style razor... by myself.

These pictures were taken by my daughter, who is NOT a fan of this hair style.  While she hates when daddy cuts his hair like this, she does like to take pictures of me doing stuff.  This was my first attempt at a straight razor tonsure and it turned out rather well and no blood was shed.  next time I'll do it with only period soap, and no modern shaving cream!