Feathers as decoration in European history- IELTS Answerkey
BOOK CAMBRIDGE IELTS 16 GENERAL TRAINING
|TEST 3 (THREE) GENERAL TRAINING READING SECTION 3 (THREE)|
Feathers as decoration in European history- IELTS Answerkey-
A. Today ,we do not generally associate features with the military in Europe, yet history shows that in fact features have played an intriguing role in Europe military clothing. The berasaglieri of the italian Army ,for example,still wear a bunch of long black features in their hats hanging down to on side ,while British fusiliers have a clipped feather plume whose colour varies according to their regiment .the royalists in the english civil war adorned their headgear with ostriche faethurs. Historically , feathers were an incredibly expressive accessory for men , 1 observes Cambridge historian , professor ullinka rublack . Nobody has really looked at why this was the case. That’s a story that! Want to tell.
Rublack is beginning to study the use of featherwork in early modern fashion as part of a joint project between the Universities of Cambridge, Basel and bern ,to the outsider , it’s preoccupation (her co- researchers are studying gold, glass and veils) might seem surprising . Yet such materials sustained significant economies and expertise .
B. Rublack has stopped that something unusual started to happen with features during the 16th century. In 1500, they were barely worn at all in Europe , in prosperous trading centres , the citizens started wearing hats bedecked with features from cranes and swallows . Headgear was specially manufactured so that feathers could be inserted more easily . By 1573 ,plantins Flemish-French dictionary was even obliged to offer words to be describe people who chose not to wear them , recommending such terms as, the feathers less and unfeathured .
Featherworking became big business . from prague and Nuremberg to Paris and Madrid , people started to make a living from decorating feathers for clothing. Impressive efforts went into dyeing them. A 1548 recipe recommends using ashes , lead monoxide and river water to create a very beautiful black , for example.
C . Why this happened will become clearer as Rublack’s project devlops. One crucial driver ,however was exploration -the discovery of new land’s , especially in South America . Compared with many of the other species that early Europian colonists encountered , exotic birds could be captured , rransported and kept with relative ease . Europe experienced a sudden bird -ceaze , as exotic birsd became a relatively common sight in the continents largest market.
Given the link with new territories and conquest , ruling elites wore feathers partly to express their power and reach. But there were also more complex reasons. In 1599 ,for example ,duke Frederick of wuttemerg held a display at his court at which he personally appeared wearing a costume covered in Exotic feathers and representing the America’s. This was not just a symbol of Power ,but of cultural connectedness , Rublack suggests : the message seems to be that he was embracing the global in a duchy that was quite insular and territorial .
D. Nor were feathers worn by the powerful alone. In 1530 ,a legislative assembly at Augsburg imposed restrictions on peasants and traders adopting what it clearly felt should be an elite fashion . The measure did not last , perhaps because health manuals of the era recommended feathers could keep the wearer safe from ‘bad ‘air -cold , miasma ,damp or excessive heat- all of which were regarded as hazardous . During the 1550s , Eleanor of Toledo had hats made from peacock feathers to keep her dry in the rain. Gradually , Feathers came to indicate that the wearer was haelthy and civilised . Artists and musicians took to wearing them as a mark of subtlety and style.
E. As with most fads, this enthusiasm eventually wore off. By the mid 17th century, Feathers were out of style , with one striking exception . Within the armies of Europe Feathers remained an essential part of millitary costume. Rublack thinks that there may have been several reasons for this strange contradiction . It’s associated with the notion of graceful warfaring , she says . This was a period when there were no standing armies and it was hard to draft soldiers. One solution was to aestheticise the millitary ,to make it seem graceful and powerful . Feathers became associated with the idea of an art of warfare . They were also already a part of millitary grab among many native American people’s and in the Ottoman Empire. Rublack believes that just at some of these cultures considered the feathers of certain birds to be highly significant , and sometimes sacred , European soldiers saw the Feathers as imparting noble passions bravery and courage.
F. In time , her research may therefore reveal a tension about the ongoing use of Feathers in this unlikely context . But , as she also notes , she is perhaps the first historian to have spotted the curious emotional resonance of Feathers in military fashion at all. All this shows a sea- change in methodologies ; historians now chart the ways in which our identities are shaped through deep connections with ‘ stuff ‘ – the material objects that are parts of our lives.
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