A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items relating to clothes & personal effects


See Headgear

Clothing, men's

Typical male winter clothing consists of a linen or woollen shirt, leather or sheepskin tunic or jerkin, woollen leggings or trousers, laced sandals and a woollen cloak, sometimes described as belted. A farmhand is described as wearing a smock and leggings. Leather or sheepskin coats are commonly worn; leather jackets, jerkins, breeches and gaiters are mentioned. As footwear, laced shoes, leather boots and moccasins are also mentioned. Wealthier men's clothing includes a tunic, shirt and breeches, sometimes made of fine materials such as silk, cloth of silver or gold, and fur: 'a tunic of silk and cloth-of-silver like a lord. ... boots of glove-leather and a cloak lined with pellawi-fur'a; more sober garments including leather breeches and a linen shirt embroidered with gold thread are also mentioned. Merchants from the Inner Lands wear dark robes of heavy silk. Lebannen wears a gold-weighted state robe. Students at the School of Wizardry on Roke wear dark-grey woollen cloaks, with hoods, clasped with silver at the neck for those who had gained the sorcerer status, while the Archmage wears a white woollen hooded cloak. Wealthier people might have fur-lined or -trimmed cloaks. Andradean merchants typically wear red cloaks trimmed with pellawi-fur. Children in Ismay wear fur capes in the snow. In the Dark Years, a wizard on Havnor is described as wearing 'a long robe of Lorbanery silk, scarlet, embroidered in gold and black with runes and symbols, and a wide-brimmed, peak-crowned hat'b, which might have been typical garb for wizards at that time.

Manan, one of the eunuch Wardens of the Place of the Tombs on Atuan generally wears tatty black robes, though he wears a belted gown of white wool when participating in Arha's dedication ceremony. Court dress for Kargish warriors during the time of the High King is silver mesh armour interwoven with feathers, with plumed headdresses.

The chief of the Children of the Open Sea (raft people) wears only a loincloth, and Ged is once described as wearing a loincloth and makeshift turban of sailcloth aboard Lookfar. Slaves in the heat of the roaster tower of the Samory mines wear only a breechclout and moccasins

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; The Hawk's Flight, WoE (a); Light under the Hill, ToA; Going to the Falcon's Nest, T; Mice, T; Home, T; Winter, T; The Finder, TfE (b); Dragonfly, TfE; Palaces, OW

'His clothes were those of any winter traveller or pilgrim, a short heavy cloak, a leather tunic, leggings of wool, laced sandals; there was a light pack on his back, a water bottle slung from it, a knife sheathed at his hip.'

[Light under the Hill, ToA]

Related entries: Headgear; Footwear

Clothing, women's

Peasant women in the Archipelago & the Kargad Lands commonly wear a skirt or trousers under a jacket or shift, with a shawl for warmth. Much peasant clothing appears to be homespun, coarse and undyed, described as 'plain as mud'a; however, dyes such as red madder are mentioned for finer wear. As a farmer on Gont, Tenar owns two dresses, worn over a shift. Irian wears a farm-woman's shift over trousers on Way. A full apron or white ruffled overdress of linen sheeting for best as well as an orange-brown apron for everyday use are mentioned for a child's wear on Gont; a shopkeeper in Gont Port wears a broad white apron; dairy farmer Emer also wears an apron on Semel. Typical peasant clothes on Atuan are described as 'a country-woman's brown skirt and jacket, and a large red woollen shawl.'b A Gontish fleecefell, 'a great cream and brown square, woven of the silky hair of the goats of the north-eastern isles'c is suggested for a woman's winter shawl. Goods sold in Hort Town include hats, hosiery, purses, shawls and woven belts. The only underwear mentioned is the shift.

Wealthy women wear dresses of embroidered silks; the dresses of ancient princesses in the Kargad Lands are described as 'soft white silks, embroidered with topaz and dark amethyst'd, and this seems very similar to the dress of princesses in present-day Havnor. Tehanu wears a silken shift and overskirt at the court at Havnor. Lady Serret of the Court of the Terrenon is dressed in white and silver. Trousers are not mentioned for wealthy women's wear in the Archipelago.

The priestesses at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan generally wear long-sleeved robes and hooded cloaks in rough homespun black wool, and sandals or bare feet; the One Priestess's garments also include a horsehair belt, a ring of keys and a small dagger. Arha wears a straight white shift with bare arms and legs during the ceremonies of dedication to the Nameless Ones. Well-born women of Hur-at-Hur in the Kargad Lands wear the feyag, an all-encompassing veil attached to a flat-brimmed hat or headdress; such veils don't seem to be worn elsewhere in the Kargad Empire. Underneath, Seserakh is described as wearing a long shirt and soft trousers

Sources: Light under the Hill, ToA (d); The Western Mountains, ToA (b); Hort Town, FS (c); Hawks, T (a)

'…her dress was of turquoise-coloured silk, bright and soft as the evening sky. It belled out full from her hips, and all the skirt was embroidered with thin silver threads and seed pearls and tiny crumbs of crystal, so that it glittered softly, like rain in April. … "It's like a gown I saw a princess wear once, at the Feast of Sunreturn in the New Palace in Havnor."'

[The Great Treasure, ToA]

Related entries: Headgear; Footwear; Dyeing

Crown of Morred

Crown used in the coronation of the King of All the Isles

Sources: Home, T

Elfarran's ring

See Ring of Erreth-Akbe

Erreth-Akbe, Ring of

See Ring of Erreth-Akbe


A painted silk fan is an heirloom of Weaver Fan of Gont, given to his grandfather by a pirate. Very large and fine, it depicts figures in Havnor City on one side and dragons on the other; possibly linked with legends of the Vedurnan

'The delicately painted men and women in their gorgeous robes of rose and jade and azure, the towers and bridges and banners of Havnor Great Port, were all familiar to Tenar as soon as she saw the fan again. Visitors to Re Albi were often brought to see it. It was the finest thing, all agreed, in the village. … Dragons moved as the folds of the fan moved. Painted faint and fine on the yellowed silk, dragons of pale red, blue, green moved and grouped, as the figures on the other side were grouped, among clouds and mountain peaks. … [T]he two sides, the two paintings, made one by the light flowing through the silk, so that the clouds and peaks were the towers of the city, and the men and women were winged, and the dragons looked with human eyes.'

[Hawks, T]


Stiff, tent-like, all-enveloping veil worn by well-born women of Hur-at-Hur in the Kargad Lands; the wearer is called feyagat. Shorter veils are worn by serving ladies. The feyag is not worn in the city Awabath on Karego-At, or on Atuan

Sources: Palaces, OW; The Dragon Council, OW

'She was veiled, entirely veiled, as was, it appeared, the custom of well-born women in Hur-at-Hur. The veils, red with lines of gold embroidery, fell straight down from a flat-brimmed hat or headdress, so that the princess appeared to be a red column or pillar, cylindrical, featureless, motionless, silent.'

[Palaces, OW]


Silky material made from the fine underwool of goats from the north-eastern isles, including Gont and the Andrades; Gontish work is finer, having six or more warp strings to the finger's width, while Andradean work has only four. Also shawls and similar made from the fabric, suggested for female winter wear

Sources: Hort Town, FS; Worsening, T

'…a great cream and brown square, woven of the silky hair of the goats of the north-eastern isles.'

[Hort Town, FS]


Laced sandals are typical footwear for both sexes and all classes, both in the Archipelago and on Atuan, eg Ged wears laced sandals travelling on Atuan; Tehanu wears light sandals at the court on Havnor. Laced shoes are also mentioned, eg Lebannen wears them in Hort Town. Boots of glove-leather are worn by the wealthy, while Ogion wears goatskin boots in the winter snow of Gont. Wooden clogs are mentioned on Way. Moccasins are worn by slaves in the roaster tower of the Samory mines on Havnor. Country people and the Children of the Open Sea (raft people) commonly go barefoot, as frequently do the priestesses at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan; the Hur-at-Hur princess Seserakh also goes barefoot on board ship. Cobblers are mentioned in Thwil on Roke island. Knitted woollen stockings or leggings are common legwear among rural people; the former at least cover the feet

Sources: The Hawk's Flight, WoE; Light under the Hill, ToA; Magelight, FS; The Finder, TfE; On the High Marsh, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE; The Dragon Council, OW


See Inalkil


See Headgear


Also known as: Hats, Caps, Headdresses

Hats are among items sold at the market in Hort Town on Wathort; velvet caps and hair ribbons are carried by Medra as a peddler on Pody during the Dark Years. Felt hats are worn by farmhands, knitted watch caps by shepherds, wool caps by sailors; the tramp Handy wears a leather cap. The king's messengers from Havnor wear hats. Ged once wears a makeshift turban of sailcloth aboard Lookfar. Well-born women in the Archipelago are often described in some form of headdress, such as the net of silver crowning Lady Serret's hair, and opals bound in the hair of the Lady of O; a female market trader in Hort Town wears a feathered headdress decked with tiny mirrors. Cloaks for both sexes frequently have hoods. A wizard on Havnor during the Dark Years is described as wearing a wide-brimmed, peak-crowned hat, which might have been typical of wizards at that time.

High-born women of Hur-at-Hur in the Kargad Lands wear the feyag, an all-encompassing veil attached to a flat-brimmed hat or headdress; such veils don't seem to be worn elsewhere in the Kargad Empire. The Godking's soldiers wear red-plumed helmets, probably bronze; warriors of the High King in court dress wear plumed headdresses

Sources: Hort Town, FS; Sea Dreams, FS; Going to the Falcon's Nest, T; Mice, T; Home, T; The Finder, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE; Palaces, OW

Horsehair belt

One of the One Priestess's traditional garments on Atuan. Incidentally, the only mention of horses in the original Earthsea trilogy

Sources: Voyage, ToA


Also known as: Greenstone, Inalkil the Greenstone

Great emerald belonging to the Lords of Pendor; part of the dragon Yevaud's hoard

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q


Ged carries a light pack on his back in Atuan, with a water bottle slung from it; he and Lebannen carry light packs in The Farthest Shore containing clothing, packets of bread, water bottles and fishing lines. Tenar and Tehanu carry light leather packs containing a water bottle when travelling on Gont; Alder carries a thin pack walking on Gont. A pack closed at the top by cord running through eyelets is mentioned on Gont. Presumably peddlars and travellers generally carry goods & baggage in packs on their backs, as beasts of burden appear rare on most islands

Sources: Light under the Hill, ToA; Lorbanery, FS; The Stone of Pain, FS; Going to the Falcon's Nest, T; The Master, T; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW

Related entries: Pouch


Also known as: Scent

Rose perfume is sold in little brass jars in Hort Town market, apparently used for sweetening the breath, while the whole town smells of incense. Burning scented oils forms part of the death-related customs of the Archipelago. Some forms of healing involve burning herbs to produce scented smoke; for example, a herb burning with a smell of dark earth under pine woods is used on Roke to induce sleep. On Atuan, scents of musk and incense characterise the temples; rose oil is stored in brass stoppered jars at the Place of the Tombs and attar of roses is burned in the Temple of the Godking; gifts of incense and an ancient iron chest of musk are stored in the temple treasuries; scented vinegar is used to wash the hair of the One Priestess as part of her dedication ceremony, and sage-scented water is mentioned for washing hair. Seserakh's serving ladies from Hur-at-Hur are described as perfumed

Sources: The Prisoners, ToA; Hort Town, FS; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW; Dolphin, OW


Deyala, the Master Herbal, carries a many-pocketed pouch in which he carries plant specimens. Heleth carries a pouch containing food and a wine bladder

Sources: The Bones of the Earth, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE

Related entries: Pack

Ring of Erreth-Akbe

Also known as: Erreth-Akbe, Ring of, Elfarran's ring, Morred's ring, Bond Ring, Ring of the Runes, Ring of the King's Rune, Ring of Peace, Rune Ring

Silver woman's bracelet or arm ring, pierced with nine holes and decorated with a wave-like pattern on the outside and nine True Runes on the inside, including Pirr, Ges and the Bond Rune. Its origins are lost in the mists of time: it was given by Morred to Elfarran and was said to be old at that time. It passed to her son Serriadh and thus down through the house of Morred to Aiman, who gave it to his wife, Queen Heru. Heru, then Queen Mother, gave it to Erreth-Akbe to take to the Kargad Lands as a sign of peace. It was broken in two by High Priest Intathin of the House of Tarb, in Awabath on Karego-At, destroying the Bond Rune, the sign of peace. Half the Ring was given to Tiarath, daughter of Thoreg of Hupun, and found its way into Ged's hands after Ensar and Anthil, the last descendants of the House of Hupun, were stranded on an islet by the father of the Godking ruling in The Tombs of Atuan. The other half was placed in the treasury of the Tombs on Atuan, and stolen by Ged to remake the Ring, restoring the Lost Rune. Used as betrothal ring between Lebannen, King of All the Isles, & Seserakh, High Princess of the Kargad Lands in around 1066

Sources: The Ring of Erreth-Akbe, ToA; A Description of Earthsea, TfE; Rejoining, OW

Ring of keys

An iron ring bearing thirteen keys is among the One Priestess's traditional garments on Atuan. The key to the Treasury of the Tombs is small and silver with a dragon-shaped haft; that to the red rock door is 'a long shaft of iron with two ornate wards'a

Sources: The Prisoners, ToA (a); Voyage, ToA

'Since the rites of her coming of age, Arha had worn on her belt an iron ring on which hung a little dagger and thirteen keys, some long and heavy, some small as fishhooks.'

[The Prisoners, ToA]


See Perfume



WoEA Wizard of Earthsea
ToAThe Tombs of Atuan
FSThe Farthest Shore
OWThe Other Wind
W12QThe Wind's Twelve Quarters
TfETales from Earthsea

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