For as long as people have needed to carry things; papers, currency, Bibles, holy relics, keys and any other pertinent personal items, people have needed a way to carry them. A simple pouch was created for this use. The earliest use shows pouches were used to carry seeds. In the 1400s women were known to carry ornate bags called “handmoneys” or “tasques.” Around the 1500s more thought was put into the pouches as evidenced by decoration and utilization. They were commonly associated with marriage; a man would often give a woman a pouch decorated with love stories as a bride gift. Knights would often carry purses called “chaneries” filled with game or food for their falcons. Men and women alike used the pouches, usually worn on a leather strap around the waist. In the late 16th century to early 17th century pockets became popular in clothing and men's use in the pouch declined. In later years the pouches evolved to handbags, clutches, and purses.
The sporran in particular originated around the 12th century in the Scottish Highlands. The men wore kilts made of long tartan, about two yards wide by four to six yards in length. Gathered around the waist and held with a tight belt, it fell to the knees and was fastened with a broach or pin over the left shoulder. As the tartan held no pockets the sporran was born out of necessity. Early sporrans were simple in design, usually made of leather or skin, gathered at the top with a simple drawstring or by thongs ornamented with small tassels. Starting in the late 17th century metal clasps of brass or silver were fitted to the sporrans, along with flap-tops and large tassels with a variety of hair and furs, and completed with a badgers head. The sporran is still in use today.
If you are going to the Renaissance Faire you don't want to worry about losing all of your personal items. Why not tuck them away in a Renaissance Belt Pouch? Need a little bit more room than just a belt pouch? Alright then, how about trying one of the Scottish Sporrans? Pearson's Renaissance Shoppe has a pouch or sporran for every style from Medieval drawstring pouches, to leather Elven pouch bags, to sporrans with braided tassels, to Pirate pouch bags, and even Medieval bags etched with steel.
So make sure that if you are browsing the marketplace for Renaissance pouches and sporrans that you stop by PearsonsRenaissanceShoppe.com. You will love our wide selection of pouches and sporrans that are sure to keep your personal items nice and safe at Renaissance Faires and LARP events!
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