The Garments of the Lake-men.

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Darnokthemage
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The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Darnokthemage » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:51 pm

The men of Dale and Laketown are rarely depicted by tolkien in word or text. He describes Bard with a simple "Grim" and no mention are made of his clothing. This is of course quite typical of Tolkien, so nothing new. But it means we have to go to his other sources, the drawings and paintings made in watercolour. Here we find greater luck, as he has depicted four, or perhaps five of these men of Lake-town.
Image
These, are certain men of Esgaroth.

But what are they wearing?

I'll be starting from the right, with the oarsman in the end of boat.


Oarsman #1 Image
(I remade him)
This man screams authority. he is wearing a jacket lined with beaver or squirrel, with decorative bands. His fastners are similar to the ones of Bilbo. It is dyed with strong Woad.

The undertunic is short, dyed with woad and likely of thinner fabric.

He also has a Skjoldehamn hood, made out of gray Wadmal, to protect from hard weather. Maybe it is inspired by the ones the Dwarves wore? Or maybe it's the other way around.

The trousers are of thorsberg design, fitted with woven bands at the calves. The fabric is dyed with woad.

I like the idea of the cap being a status symbol, showing that this man is part of the elite, maybe part of the Guard?
It is stiffer then the rest, felted and stiffened with a leather and linen under-cap. It might also serve as protection, maybe a low iron skullcap could be worn under it. There is a decorative bronze dragon to top it off.


Oarsman #2
Image

This man was easier, it is quite clear that he is wearing a cape, maybe a bocksten cape?
Under that ive chosen to put a tunic with short sleeves, instead of having him wear a sleeve-less one. You can see two small markings on the arm, which i took as a sleeve.

Ive put him in a pair of trousers, similar to the man on the raft. The wrappings are just there because it looks great.

Shoes are like the raftsmans shoes, low and quite pointed ones.

The cap is very different from the ome the first oarsman os wearing. It is much more like a felted, or perhaps naalbound one. Perhaps something like this, with a taller pipe?
Image


Oarsman #3
Image
This oarsman seems much richer, with a surcoat and a nicely decorated cape.
The hat was a quite interesting mystery, i tried to go with an stiff brim, inspired by the almost square shape of the lower half of the cap.

This oarsman has the clearest cutoff between the arm and torso, so i went with a surcoat, inspired by drawings of kievan rus. It is lined with sheeps fur.

The cape is a shorter then most others, it is one of the most clear detail on the drawing.

Under the surcoat is a linen tunic, quite standard.

the trousers are quite tight with leg wrappings.

Shoes are standard.

Oarsman #4
Image

This man is likely poorer then the rest, wearing a coarse wadmal vest, lined with red wool.

His undertunic is short and from woad-blue wool.

The trousers are also from home-woven coarse wadmal, later processed and stamped in the water mills of the river running. The wrapped bands are to make it easier to take on and off high boots.

The hat is similar to one of the ones i posted, from wool and decorated with bands. a short tassle is at the end of it.

I will be continuing this post on Monday, and draw the other men. But meanwhile please discuss and give me some feedback.
Last edited by Darnokthemage on Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:45 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Iodo
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Iodo » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:49 am

Fascinating :P I've studied this drawing a few times, trying to figure out what they're wearing, after all, for Iodo, Laketown is close to home, at first glance it almost appears like the oarsman is wearing a tailcoat like jacket which had me puzzled, your interpretation is much more convincing

I always took the description of "Grim" to be meaning that Bard in particular was Grim rather than it being the look of his clothing

I think your color choice is spot on, Laketown in it's hayday was a trading town and I imagined that a bit of that past was still around, all the splendor of the markets lost but that the market type styles would still be around so faded but bright colors and patterned fabrics would be common place
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Darnokthemage » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:58 pm

The colours are all based on plant dyes, the jacket and trousers are dyed with woad. I like the idea of them using a lot of woad, as it is very popular in Finland, which mirrors the enviroment of Lake-town quite well.

The jackets might also be similar to the ones the dwarves have. I suspect the whole pack might look similar to this viking reenactor, though with shorter jacket. The cap also fits perfectly, and is likely one of the many variations that was used in Laketown.

Image
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Iodo » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:07 pm

I'm thinking that would look pretty identical if the belt were around his linen tunic and the over-tunic was hanging loose, neat find, it's as if this guy deliberately dressed as the picture :mrgreen:
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Darnokthemage » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:25 pm

He's one of the best viking reenactors around.

edit: Burr Öhrström

When i think about it more, the jackets might be of the same origin that the Dwarves wear. In the years between the fall of dale and the Hobbit it might not have changed much, for the cuts of already good garments do not change much.

I suspect that many of them were lined with black squirrel, hunted in Mirkwood, or traded with the elves. Squirrel was popular in medieval scandinavia, and i suspect it was one of the goods that would be highly priced down south.
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Udwin » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:47 am

Excellent stuff, darnok! I've peered at the Professor's Lake-Men drawing far too long for a past newsletter, so I'm really digging what you're putting out. It's especially fun to see that there's already a norse precedent for pointy hats!
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Darnokthemage » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:08 am

Image
Viking Reenactors, these caps are very tall, and fit perfectly for Lake-Men.

Image
Thor, or God from Iceland.

Image
Anglo Saxon depiction of Nobles.

Image
Image
Image
These three are Sami caps from Sweden, and i think they fit the Lakemen perfectly.
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Darnokthemage » Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:46 pm

Have updated the post, should i remake Oarsman 2 and 3 too?
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Darnokthemage » Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:18 pm

One other interesting question i had is if the clothes we see tolkien draw the Dwarves in are in fact the ones that were sewn for them in Lake-Town. If that is so, would the lakemen give the dwarves the same breaches as is in use in the west, styled in the same style as the ones they wore earlier? or is it infact new clothes, based on Laketown fashion? I tend to go with the earlier one, but it is not impossible that the jacket we see the dwaves wear are in fact styled as the first oarmans jacket.
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Darnokthemage » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:07 pm

Image
Image
Two srawings of Lake-men warriors at the battle of Five Armies.
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Udwin » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:20 pm

Lovely sketches! I can definitely imagine them en masse, forming up in front of the Lonely Mountain.
(Maybe it's the ink-and-watercolors, but I feel like they have a very Tolkien feeling to them!)
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Odigan » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:45 pm

Outstanding stuff, and I really appreciate this as Lake Town is near to my heart as well.
While I've no doubt you're much closer to the mark in terms of headgear, what I personally always saw in that image were 18th C. Grenadier mitres. Now, that may not make much contextual sense (or maybe I'm missing some insight and it does), but I still can't shake the image. We're used to the form as often fitted with that massive metal regimental plaque on the front which serves to keep it upright, but often the simpler ones were stiffened from the inside. Here's a few examples:

Grenadier_cap_1.jpg
Grenadier_cap_1.jpg (21.79 KiB) Viewed 476 times
Grenadier_cap_2.jpg
Grenadier_cap_2.jpg (98.83 KiB) Viewed 476 times
Grenadier_cap_3.jpg
Grenadier_cap_3.jpg (17.42 KiB) Viewed 476 times
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Darnokthemage » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:16 am

Hah, always have had the same though for the first oarman, with the flat front for his cap/hat! The hats of the EasternNorthmen seems like an idea worth exploring, i like the idea of it culturally tied with the Northmen identity, but having local versions and designs.
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Straelbora » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:04 pm

[quote="Darnokthemage"]


Oarsman #2
Image

This man was easier, it is quite clear that he is wearing a cape, maybe a bocksten cape?
Under that ive chosen to put a tunic with short sleeves, instead of having him wear a sleeve-less one. You can see two small markings on the arm, which i took as a sleeve.

Ive put him in a pair of trousers, similar to the man on the raft. The wrappings are just there because it looks great.

Shoes are like the raftsmans shoes, low and quite pointed ones.

The cap is very different from the ome the first oarsman os wearing. It is much more like a felted, or perhaps naalbound one. Perhaps something like this, with a taller pipe?
Image

I ordered one of these caps after seeing it here on the MERF site. I love it, and now it has a 'home' in Middle-earth.

I did like how in the "Hobbit" films, they went for a medieval Novgorod style for a lot of the Dale clothing.
Vápnum sínum skala maðr velli á
feti ganga framar því at óvist er at vita
nær verðr á vegum úti geirs um þörf guma
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Re: The Garments of the Lake-men.

Postby Elleth » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:39 pm

Really liking the Rus vibe. :)


SO SO SO much better than WETA's bizarre Holland approach.
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