Further Notes on Being Rus in these Current Middle Ages
1 March 2009
There are various things one can do to be a more proper Rus in these Current
Middle Ages besides knowing what kind of money you would have used, etc. Obviously, one should pick an appropriate name, learn to
pronounce it well and dress the part, but you can go beyond that.
The following information came from posts on the Slavic Interest Group
email list, and my own research.
A Russian Accent.
First, there is full obeisance in the Byzantine
manner before the Tsar - kneeling and bringing the forehead to touch the
Second, symbolic obeisance by bending at the waist while bringing
the right hand from the heart and down to touch the ground in a smooth,
flowing motion. This is probably the most appropriate for court in the
Current Middle Ages.
Third, a more informal bow or half-bow with the right hand over the heart.
This could also work in court, especially if you have problems securing your
headgear, or if you have a bad back.
The last two "bows" for men are done with hat in (left?) hand to be safe.
Legend has it that Ivan the Terrible had some Turkish
ambassadors' hats nailed to their heads when they neglected to take
them off in his presence.
(This legend is also told about Vlad Drakul)
The curtsey seems to be un-Russian in period.
The fall-down-on-your-knees-and-bang-your-head-on-the-ground/floor, as is
depicted in many movies and told of in tales *may* be a late-period
affectation, or maybe not. Such an obeisance may have been reserved for special prayers and situations in Church and Court.
From: "petzserg": I've never seen beads, but there is a woven leather implement known as a
LESH-in-ka(?) which is used in the Old Orthodox/personal services to help
count the number of bows one does. Its about 1/2" wide, and its links
form cylindrical cross bumps that actually form the "counting surface". It
forms a loop, and has a triangular piece of leather at the start/end. Sound
familiar to any one? Not sure if I'd be able to point to any icon that
would show it, but I seem to remember it in some period art work. With my
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