This post contains spoilers for New Spring.
The fashion of the various nations are explored within New Spring. Some are only mentioned in general, while others are described in greater detail. We are given several examples of Taraboner fashion.
Common features of Taraboner men’s fashion are mustaches and the use of transparent veils. One of the Green Warders “had a thick Taraboner mustache” (p. 115). Among the travelers in Tar Valon were “Taraboner men from the far west, wearing veils that covered their faces to the eyes, and were transparent enough to show their thick mustaches clearly” (p. 63).
Women’s Taraboner fashion included beaded braids. Ludice Daneen, a Yellow Aes Sedai, had her face framed “by brightly beaded Taraboner braids that hung to her waist” (p. 120). Cetalia Delarme, a Blue Aes Sedai, wore her “steel-grey hair in a multitude of blue-beaded braids that hung to her waist” and that rattled “softly as she tilted her head thoughtfully” (p. 174-175). “A multitude of thin Taraboner braids” surrounded the face if the Accepted, Sarene Nemdahl, who was unconscious of her great beauty and had “remarkably little tact for a shopkeeper’s daughter” (p. 71-72).
Pale tones may have been popular in Taraboner fashion. Cetalia wore “sky-blue silk” (p. 174). In Siuan Sanche’s Accepted room was “a small, square Taraboner rug woven in faded blue and green stripes” (p. 37). While a rug is not clothing, it could be an indicator of popular colors and designs.
Taraboner fashion may have a preference for pale colors. For men, mustaches and veils were typical; and for women, waist length, beaded braids were common.
This post contains spoilers for New Spring
The fashions of the various nations are described in New Spring. While some are explored in greater detail than others, it still provides a more complete depiction of the people of this world.
In general, the people of Altara are described as olive-skinned, but they are varied. Myrelle Berengari, from Altara, was “olive-skinned and beautiful” and nearly as tall as Siuan (p. 44). There was a Green Warder who was “very dark, perhaps a Tairen or a southern Altaran” (p. 115). “Tarna Feir was from the north of Altara, close to Andor” and had “pale yellow hair” and “cold blue eyes” (p. 47).
Embroidery and bright colors were emphasized in Altaran fashion. “Altaran men in heavily embroidered coats, Altaran women clutching their cloaks, bright red or green or yellow, to shield what their low-cut dresses exposed to the icy air” (p. 64).
A main feature of those from Saldaea was their eyes. Natasia, a Blue Aes Sedai, was “a slim Saldaean with dark tilted eyes and high cheekbones” (p. 171). Another Blue Aes Sedai from Saldaea, Sheriam was “fire-haired” (p. 202).
Very little is offered with regards to their actual fashion. A “skinny, hook-nosed fellow” from Saldaea was a “coatless groom” (p. 261). A Saldean tradesman or craftsman wore a “plain woolen coat” (p. 63). It is possible that in general they tended toward plain attire.
In “New Spring,” we are provided with a few glimpses of Arafellin fashion and its appearance in general. Those from Arafel were apparently dark haired, incorporated silver bells into their hair, even as decoration to their clothing, and liked bold colors.
An Arafellin man wore “his black hair dangling down his back in two braids decorated with silver bells” (p. 64). One of the Green Warders wore “silver bells in his dark Arafellin braids” (p. 115). A Yellow Aes Sedai, Yuan, was from Arafel and was described as having gray eyes. The dark hair is evident, but it is unclear if fair eyes were common, or a rarity.
Their fashion seemed to like bold colors and emphasized decoration of the sleeves. An Arafellin man wore “a coat with red-slashed sleeves” (p. 64). The style of Arafel was also adopted by others, such as Ryne Venamar, a Malkieri who was raised in Arafel since he was 15 years old. “His hair fell in two long bell-laced braids, and more silver bells lined the turned-down tops of his boots and ran up the sleeves of his yellow coat” (p. 224).
References to Arafellin fashion are limited in “New Spring.” However, we can see the emphasis of the braids decorated with silver bells and that these same bells can also adorn their dress.
Horses play an important role in “New Spring.” They are companions to characters and serve as a main source of transportation. Various characteristics are described, including build and coloration.
The rider from Tear rode a horse that “had the arched neck of good Tairen bloodstock” (p.7). Meilyn Arganya had a tall dappled gelding, and Elaida rode a “fine-ankled bay mare” (p. 84). A bandit rode “a white-stockinged brown gelding with a look of speed about him and a prancing step” (p. 292). When Moiraine entered Chachin she arrived in “a yellow-lacquered carriage behind a team of four matched greys” (p. 326).
Some of the equine encountered were named and served a greater role. Bukama had a “yellow roan gelding, Sun Lance” (p. 10). Moiraine rode Arrow and Lan rode Cat Dancer.
“Moiraine had purchased Arrow to celebrate attaining the ring” (p. 59). The bay mare “was not tall” but “could keep running long after larger horses had tired out. A fast mount was good, but a mount with endurance was better. Arrow was both. And she could jump fences that few other horses would even try” (p. 59). When Moiraine left Tar Valon on the vessel “Bluewing,” the mare was “hoisted aboard by a long wooden boom, with straps beneath her belly” (p. 210). She rode Arrow while in search of the reborn Dragon.
Lan’s Cat Dancer was a bay stallion. He was half-trained, but “even a half-trained warhorse was a formidable weapon” (p. 10). The stallion was “standing still and alert” while Lan dealt with guards when entering Canluum (p. 217). During a bandit attack, Cat Dancer remained still “knowing what dropped reins meant” and so waited for “the pressure of knee and heel” (p. 284).
Horses served an important capacity in “New Spring.” Some, like Arrow and Cat Dancer, were named and described in greater detail. Others, such as those hauling carriages and ridden by bandits, still served a role.
When I first joined TarValon.Net, I was happy to have found a community of fans who enjoyed the world created by Robert Jordan. I became a Citizen, and then applied to join The Tower. As a Novice, I continued to read the series and meet members of the community. Upon passing my test, I became Accepted and began my Guesting journey.
As an Accepted, I continued my education. I participated in Classes and in various Events and activities. I was sure my goal was to be Aes Sedai and find which Ajah would be my home. Guesting is as much about self exploration as it is about exploring the groups that make up the community. I was determined to be open minded and explore all the groups.
My first round of Guesting was complete, and I had multiple groups I felt very comfortable in. Guesting allowed me to find appreciation for aspects of all the groups. I went through a second round. I was determined to find my home. I still felt there were multiple places I could fit in. This was with Ajahs and Companies.
The Mistress of Accepted and Soldiers (Kitan Tataru) and my mentors (Alenya Al’Roran and Ashara Koh’inor) were wonderful. They helped me find ways to reflect on my discoveries so that I could determine where my home was. Our home is not just where our friends are or where our ideal self would be, but is a place that we can serve and help to form the whole.
The Pack had chosen me. Deep down I knew this long before I actually admitted it. Once I came to that realization, I eagerly submitted my request to Aspire to the Val’Cueran. Thankfully I did not have to wait long. I am still excited to know I have found my home.
They welcomed me from the start. I had become a part of the pack before I even started Guesting. They emphasize Brotherhood, Loyalty, and Honor. They are the Heart Guard of TarValon.Net. And at some point the concept of They had become We. We are there for one another and are there to protect and serve. We are there to light the bonfire that draws us together, to celebrate victories and to face challenges.
Activity with the Pack might wax and wane, but its values remain. We know how to have fun, and when to be serious. I will enjoy the bonfires and the s’mores and happily provide coffee and steaks to my pack mates.
I am happy to say I am an Aspirant of the Val’Cueran. Someday I will be proud to be Gaidin. But for now, I am honored to be part of the Pack and to have my “Brothers and Brosters” around me. I will continue to train and to strive to be worthy of my place with the Company.