[Tidbits] The Hairnet and the Maenad

The Hairnet: A small fine net worn over hair to keep it in place.
sometimes referred to as a Snood. It has been shown that hairnets
have been found dating back to ancient Greece as well as Denmark and
Germany. They were also known upon occasion as Wimples though I tend
to think that’s a bit of a stretch.

Their uses are varied. In the service business they prevent hair from
contaminating food. They are part of the attire for female horse
riders in many equestrian events. Their purposes in these
circumstances are twofold. The Should the rider fall off the horse a
hairnet will ensure the hair is held in place assuring owner of said
hair that the horse will not trample on her locks and thereby
inadvertently scalp her.

They are used by people with greasy slicked back hair to keep in
place. It is a term used in the slang elements of society to describe
that sad situation with can occur when a man exits a body of cold
water and his now miniature trappings are momentarily entangled in a
mass of pubic hair. aka a Hairnet. This is–of course–a total
fallacy. Isn’t it? Isn’t it? Oh dear lord. please say it isn’t so. It
is also used to refer to women’s drawls (drawers) as they are used to
keep matted hair in place. (I ain’t making this stuff up folks). And
last but not least–oh how to I say this delicately–a hairnet is a
term occasionally used when a woman’s hair is inadvertently and
abruptly imbued (one would hope rarely) with the unexpected
showerings of Eau de L’Homme. Ye gads folks. I promise this has to do
with jewelry.

I digress to the Maenads. so much safer territory if you think about
it. They were the female followers Dionysus. The translation of
Maenads is “raving ones”. And raving they were. One look at their
lord and they were transformed into a state of ecstatic frenzy
expressed through dance and intoxication. They would gird themselves
with snakes and allow fawns and wolf cubs to suckle upon the snakes
as if they were infants at the breast. If the Maenads wanted milk.
they would simply scratch the ground with their fingers in order to
bring up the white fluid. In their frenzies they were known to run
through the forests tearing any animal in their way to shreds. If you
spied on them. they would rend you from limb to limb.

The Roman god for Dionysus was–of course–Bacchus. And when a
festival was nigh the god of wine and excesses drew in the maniacal
dancings of the Maenads to the sounds of crashing cymbals. And soon
they incited one another to greater and greater ecstasies. And this
was called a Bacchanalia. And now you know where “that” comes from.

Which brings us to an openwork hairnet with a medallion. Ptolemaic
dynasty, (Ancient Greece), circa 200-150 B. C. It is gold–of course.
Karat is not mentioned. It is a prime example of the skills of the
Hellenistic goldsmiths of the time. The medallion part of the hairnet
represents the head of a maenad wearing spiral earrings, a wreath of
vine leaves and grapes, and a panther skin.

So there it is. Everything you always wanted to know about Hairnets
and Maenads. Can life be more satisfying than it has just now become?
I ask you. Quick now. by the most secret of secret ballots. who
amongst you will vote to see this thing. A simple expression of Yay
or Nay will suffice for the official counter-of-ballots (that would
be moi ladies and gennulmen) to make the determination whether to show
it or not. Give me a second here. Okay. The Yays seem to have it. Who
woulda thunk it?

So. Thusly and therefore. for those of you who are new to this thing
called Tidbits. may I direct you to my home page at
http://www.tyler-adam.com where you will scroll down the left side
menu till you get to the area that says Current Tidbits. click on it.
and you will see represented on our pages an image of a golden
Hairnet with a Maenad on top.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch
you all next week. Benjamin Mark