Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

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Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

Postby finnobreanan on Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:06 pm

Most of us are familiar with the eonar's illustrated in Derrick's image of Ireland that look more like a balerina's tutu. Concensus between scholars, and most of the discussions here, is that the illustrator got it wrong. I agree with those observations. The one illustration from Derrick's book where the eonar looks plausable is the image titled "The English army is drawn up for battle, while Sidney himself parleys with a defiant messenger from the Irish (Donolle O'Breane) http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/ ... 59_jpg.htm

While sorting old photographs from events, I came across a photograph of my self wearing my eonar. The pouching of my leine has pushed the pleats of my eonar slightly upward and as time has gone by, the pleats have relaxed, also contributing to a bit of a flare outwards. This little bit of experimental archiology might explain how the illustrations in Derrick's book became exagerated?
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Re: Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

Postby Stephen Curtin on Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:36 pm

Nice observation Scott, this does make sense of the tutu effect in Derricke's woodcuts. To add to this I would say that the reason we dont see this in earlier artwork such as the ashmolean print, is because ionar from this time seem to be shorter, reaching only about half way down the torso. So the longer ionar, like the one from kilcommon, might have appeared like those pictured in Derricke's Image of Irelande, when worn over the bloused part of a leine.
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Re: Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

Postby finnobreanan on Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:57 am

To display a better idea of how my eonar has evolved through usage, here is an image when it was first completed about six years or seven ago. It has seen constant use and has never been washed (Me? wash living history garb?)
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Re: Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

Postby brendan on Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:48 pm

Cool...so he wasnt all that thick then
Did you notice the staff he is carrying? My reckoning is that this suggest hime to be a filid being used in a diplomatic role by his lord; but then I could be missing a wider role of the staff in this sort of situation. Very distinctive with the thorns etc
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Re: Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

Postby Stephen Curtin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:53 am

Hi Brendan, about the staff the messenger is carrying. I've always taken this to be a fairly rough spear or javelin. A poem from around the mid 16th century called "kern of the narrow stripes" mentions a poor kern with three javelins of fire hardened wood, makes sense to me, as why would a poor person wish to throw away a javelin with an expensive iron or steel head.
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Re: Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

Postby finnobreanan on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:38 pm

Interesting observations. I had noticed the thorns on the staff, but had missed what appears to be a spear or javelin point at the bottom. An unusual method for carrying a weapon. There also appears to be a cord or vine by his hand where he is holding the staff.
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Re: Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

Postby Stephen Curtin on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:45 pm

Hey Scott I dont think that this cord was used for carrying. I think that this was actually used to impart a spin on the javelin when thrown, thereby increasing it's range. This was done in many cultures at one point or another. It works like this, you wrap the cord around the shaft, then loop it around one of your fingers, then when you throw it, the cord unwinds and spins the javelin.
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Re: Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

Postby brendan on Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:06 pm

Not sure that I agree with the idea of the 'thorny' stick being a Javelin, despite the pointy end.
I guess we would have to check with different types of throwing stick and Javelin head to verify what did or didn't work though.
For me it sort of depends on who the emissary is. Is he meant to be some lowly soldier sent to insult the lord or is he meant as a higher rank diplomat type? If the latter then the depiction in what is obviously enough low status Kern grade clothing could be a pointed comment on the person in that role...all speculation of course. Some research into emissaries might help clarify that one.
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Re: Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

Postby Stephen Curtin on Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:53 pm

Hi Brendan, I'm not really sure what it is your saying here, but I'd say that the messager is a regular low class kern
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Re: Derrick's Eonar/Ionar or Tutu, mystery solved?

Postby brendan on Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:05 pm

Probably rambling then :)
I guess I am wondering out loud how likely it is that a low class kern would be sent as a messenger is all
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