Kyrenaia has a long tradition of employing, in times past owning, handmaidens, alkhadima in Kyrenaian,



Altanafus min la Shay


Kyrenaian Handmaiden in one of the many variations of the Altanafus min la Shay' (the Breath of Nothing) without veil.

Handmaidens typically wear the Altanafus min la Shay, the Breath of Nothing, as their dress is called. While the exact details differ from household to household, there are a few general guidelines. Colour, generally, is white, but other colours are not unheard of.

The five courts of the different Ilkhans wear their white silk enwrought with thread in different colours, the Palace of the Azure Hall with barely noticeable silver thread, the Palace of the Golden Hall with orange-gold, and so on.

Sworddancer's Dress - Fustan Raqis Alsyf

Tariqa bint-Ilia

Tariqa bint-Ilia in Fustan Raqis Alsyf, around 1940.

The other, less typical dress of a very special league of Handmaidens is the Fustan Raqis Alsyf or Sworddancer's Dress.

Kyrenaian Handmaidens today

Some restaurants and hotels in Kyrenaia, or Kyrenaian-styled establishments of that kind in the whole world, still call their maids and waitresses handmaidens, oftentimes also including the dress.

The male equivalent are the Menials, a rarely found group these days. Butlers, if a household employs male servants, or people preferring their respective occupation's name (for example stable hands), are more common.

Special Positions

Handmaidens can attain or simply have positions of special purpose or consideration,

  • Tea Maid: Within the Kyrenaian Tea Ceremony, the Tea Maid is one of the most important actors as it is her who makes and serves the tea. It is not uncommon for households to employ one of the daughters of the household as Tea Maid.

In Culture


Contrary to foreigner belief, Kyrenaian Handmaidens were not sex-slaves (there were dedicated sex-slaves, but they were not Handmaidens). Much rather, the Handmaidens were held in high regard and esteem, experts in their fields and expensive, far too precious to be wasted like that. In addition, ever since the establishment of the Order of the Tabardariyya, Handmaidens came under their protection.

Notable Handmaidens

Several modern Kyrenaian Princesses were members of the Tributes of their respective academies to the Courts, either for a short time or for their entire school time at the Academies. Other then that, there are the following:

See also

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