A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea
Now showing glossary items relating to materials & fabric
Buildings in towns or cities in the central region of the Archipelago are typically constructed of dressed stone, with roofs of slate or red tile. Bricks are also commonly used, for example, in Pendor, Orrimy on Hosk, for the barracks of the Samory mines on Havnor and a mixture of brick and stone for stables on Way. Rural huts are usually constructed from wood, with thatched rooves. Elsewhere in Earthsea, other materials are used: plastered clay in Hort Town, hurbah-twigs for thatch in Lorbanery, wattle in Astowell, yellow clay bricks on Atuan, marble in the Court of the Terrenon on Osskil & Re Albi mansion house on Gont, plastered stone, cedar, red-veined marble & gilt in the Kargish temples on Atuan. The wealthy Havnor City boasts towers of white marble & alabaster, bridges faced in mosaic work, and roofs of tile and bronze; even the quays are marble
Related entries: Houses, town
Sources: Hort Town, FS; Lorbanery, FS
Clothing fabrics mentioned include silk, satin, fur, sheepskin, wool, fleecefell, felt, leather, linen, velvet, cloth of gold, cloth of silver, gauze and lace. Feathers are used for decorative purposes, eg on a headdress in Hort Town and on dress armour/helmets in the Kargad Lands. Although fabrics are traded and sold in eg Hort Town market, much clothing throughout Earthsea appears to be made by women on handlooms at home. The Children of the Open Sea make a fabric from nilgu fibre (brown seaweed).
Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q; Hort Town, FS; The Children of the Open Sea, FS; Hawks, T; Finding Words, T; Home, T; Palaces, OW
Kargish warriors wear tall red plumes on their helmets and their lances are decorated with plumes; their court armour (at least at the time of the High King) is silver mesh armour interwoven with feathers. Possibly in imitation of this style, Seserakh's carriage and its horses' headstalls are decorated with tall red plumes in Havnor City. A feathered headdress is worn by a market tradeswoman in Hort Town. The raft of the House of the Great Ones (the temple of the Children of the Open Sea) bears tall poles at its corners, decorated with tufts of sea-bird feathers. Feather or down coverlets and mattresses are mentioned in the cold climes of Gont and Osskil
Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; The Hawk's Flight, WoE; Hort Town, FS; The Children of the Open Sea, FS; Winter, T; Palaces, OW; Dolphin, 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]
Wood appears to be the most common fuel in most places. Coal is also mentioned occasionally. Lookfar has a little charcoal stove, and charcoal is burned in the temples on Atuan. Peat fires are mentioned, eg on the High Marsh on Semel. Oil lamps are sometimes used, for example at Hare's house in Hort Town, and lamps burning attar of roses (an essential oil) are used in the Temple of the Godking on Atuan. The people of Astowell in the East Reach, lacking wood, burn goat-dung and broom-faggots. Other fuels, such as mineral oil or gas, are not mentioned
Related entries: Lights
Related entries: Decorative arts
Steel and iron are commonly used for implements on the wealthy central islands. Metals are scarce in the Kargad Lands; Kargish soldiers use weapons and armour of bronze, wood and leather, though court armour at the time of the High King is silver mesh. Despite the scarcity of metal, many iron objects (including chains, chests, bolts, keys, a key ring and an iron door) are mentioned at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan, as well as a dagger and ceremonial sword of steel. Many islands in the Reaches, such as the Hands and Obehol, use bronze, copper, wood or stone implements. On the island of Astowell, in the far east, there is no wood, and tools of stone and shell are used, while the ocean-dwelling Children of the Open Sea (raft people) make their implements from whalebone, wood and nilgu (seaweed).
Related entries: Building materials
Also known as: Wicker
Sources: Bettering, T; Winter, T; Palaces, OW
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