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The Éadach Obaire, or Working Clothes, are the other traditional clothes of the Selkie. Besides the traditional and more festive Geansai, the Selkie also introduced working clothes for the harder occupations, such as farmers or miners. They, in difference to the Geansai, do not show any allegiance of the wearer to any tribe, but are nowadays, if worn at festive occassions, mostly seen as a statement of ones birth and the pride in it, as well as his or her ability and will to fight for it.

Although it doesn't really look like this, the Éadach Obaire is a light and airy piece of clothing, allowing the wearer to breathe and to conduct hard work. Other then the much more form fitting Geansai, this piece reveals not much about the built of the wearer.

Parts

Core of the Éadach Obaire is the ceirt, a long-sleeved, wide and woolen overdress, usually reaching down to around the middle of the thigh (the female version down to the knees), a collar covering the throat lightly. Typically made of wool, the chest part is usually made of leather, a testament to the nature of the getup as working clothes. The ceirt is closed by a series of straps over the collarbone. Women sometimes like to add a second overdress, bóna, a collar-like piece with garnment reaching down and covering chest and stomach, as well as the shoulders and upper arms with a second collar of leather straps as a sort-of pauldron.

What is worn underneath is up to the wearer.

A pair of vambraces, usually either of leather or of steel, protect the lower arms and sometimes go up to the elbows. Many Selkie using the Éadach Obaire not as working clothes but as clothes for free time forego these and do not wear the vambraces.

Men wear a pair of short pants going to the knees, closed by a belt. Many Selkie, regardless of gender, wear a pair of stockings as a protection against the cold. The feet are protected by heavy boots.

Both men and women wear a belt around their waists, leather and offering two rows of pouches for the things usually needed. This belt can also be modified to accomodate a sword, a quiver or a holster.

The headdress is up to the wearer, but usual variants include hairbands, hats and headscarves. Ornaments, like feathers, can be worn in the hair as well.

History

Origins

During the Age of the High Kings, poorer warriors wore mostly leather shirts or quilted woolen armour, which protected them to some extend,

(See Military History of the Selkie in the Age of the High Kings for details.)

Armour during the Dark Ages

In a time, where there was a constant threat to life and limb, the Selkie on single and more or less isolated farmsteads began to wear a light armour in their everyday life, which later became the Éadach Obaire.

It was usually made of worked leather and padded to be more comfortable to wear, but it wasn't as solid as iron armour. Still being better then nothing, the Éadach Obaire evolved into a piece, which protected and permitted to work. In a way, it was the base for the first regular uniforms used in the Free Lands: During the Dark Ages, several mercenary companies are known to have worn these coloured in similar colours to identify them and each other. The Éadach Obaire of the Late Dark Ages is almost exactly the one of today.

Armour becomes Leisure Clothing

Armour during sports

With Swordriding, Horsearchery and Archery becoming sports, many Selkie adapted their war-fitted Éadach Obaire once more, this time going back to its original roots of being working clothes. They till the fields, fish, hunt, mine and generally work in these clothes, especially in harder areas of work, where the next fire is far away.

Still, some Selkie prefer to wear their Éadach Obaire while practicing sports, which is especially common among archers. Horsemen prefer actual sport-fitted armour, mainly because it is simply safer.

Worn today

Except as a festive alternative to the Geansai, the Éadach Obaire is still worn by many farmers, especially in the colder north, as well as by many boatmen and fishermen. The Cults of Carman Fea, Lodan Lir and Ladra have a variation of their Geansai's colouring as a sort of uniform in these areas. Some islanders prefer this kind of clothing as well, for it is simple and sturdy, as well as keeping warm.

Examples

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