Re: Runic Symbolism in Gloranthan Art and Culture.

From: donald_at_DSqcDs2mMHn4K44hSl9Zq1i1Dzge0sz_csDog8zeqiFqoxaVZgCp8tKCT80pGLl66SZbp
Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2008 13:57:03 GMT

In message <> "continuum2008" writes:

>So I was just considering how the runes, especially their shapes
>and forms, influence everyday items that Gloranthans use. Not just
>their sacred or cult relics but common tools, weapons, armour,
>implements, or clothes.
>I am not talking about the crinkle-cut runes painted on but more
>the shape or form of the rune used in the design and function of
>the object in question. One example is the use of the Mastery Rune
>in the design of a crown. The crown will have three prongs denoting
>the Mastery Rune as the crown is the symbol of mastery of the wearer
>over their subjects. Though each crown will be made and constructed
>differently, a Heortling Tribal King's crown would look very different
>from a Dara Happan Emperor's crown, it would have the common feature
>of three prongs just like a Mastery Rune. Of course crowns would also
>differ as other runes may be used in their construction but the key
>thing is that they would three prongs and not four or five as that
>is the number of prongs on the Mastery Rune.

I'd suggest a Heortling leader would *not* use the mastery rune in their crown. Heortlings aren't subjects of their kings. Their kings are chosen by tradition and acclaim.

>I am guessing that Ernaldans would use many implements that are square
>or cubes as the sacred Earth Rune is square. So their jewellery, head
>scarfs, hats, cloaks, and clothing would be square and not round or
>circular in shape as circles are more associated with Sun, Storm or
>Mobility Runes. Orlanthi men would have clothing and armour based on
>circles and round shapes as their key rune is circular in shape.
>A Humakti would use a sword with hand guards as that would make the
>sword look more like a cross. Lunars use scimitars that look like a
>crescent moon. Yelmalions use large round shields that look like the
>round Sun.
>Would a Heortling warrior use a square shield calling on the protection
>of the Earth or a round shield for the powers of Storm or Mobility?
>Would it be down to personal preference or more of a clan's traditional

I think this sort of thing is going to vary a great deal between individuals and from place to place. Devotees will tend to use items with appropriate runic shapes but most people won't bother. Equally local traditions may overrule general symbolism. Remember most people have associations with several runes and will chose the one they feel most appropriate.

Then there are practical aspects - cooking pots will generally be round as it is a much easier to make robust pottery without corners. Clothing will tend to be made from rectangles because circles and curves waste a lot of cloth. Of course special clothes or those made for the rich may well be curved precisely to show off that wealth.

Donald Oddy


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