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            The People and Dress Code of Cairhien

Cairhien is pronounced:  
Daes Dae'mar is pronounced:  
Dah-ess day-MAR

People from Cairhien are called 'Cairhienin'. (

Daes Dae'mar

Also known as the Great Game, or the Game of Houses.  This
is not truly a game, though Cairhienin children learn to
play it, whether of common birth or noble, with their dolls
and soldiers.  It is a complex system of political intrigue
and maneuverings, using the art of misdirection and hidden
meanings to gain power and status.  For a Cairhienin, even
the commonfolk, nothing is as it seems.  Everything has a
deeper meaning, a hidden motive.  Even those who claim not
to play the Great Game are not above suspicion, and at times,
they are even more suspect.  Daes Dae'mar can often turn
deadly, with the use of poisons, and assassinations in
order to open otherwise occupied positions of power for
those who consider themselves more cunning and capable. The
Great Game is a way of life for the people of Cairhien, and
the presence of the Dragon Reborn does little to sway them
from this historically destructive force, which is a large
part of Cairhien's volatile nature and internal strife.

Dress Code

The people of Cairhien are generally a stoic people, with
a strict desire to control everything, and have everything
in order precisely as it should be.

Cairhienin are short and pale-skinned, with dark hair and
usually dark eyes.  The ladies wear their hair tightly
coiffed into elaborate towers of curls, each designed to
suit the unique tastes of the wearer.  Men wear their hair
long, either loose or tied back.


Cairhienin noblewomen usually wear dark dresses and gowns,
in shades of black or dark blue or green.  The dark clothing
is relieved only by narrow horizontal slashes of color down
the front, and ivory lace at throat and wrists. Noblemen
usually wear coats in similarly dark colors, with slashes
down the front as well.  The slashes indicate rank in
Cairhienin society.  The more slashes, the higher the noble
is ranked.  For instance, a noble with only a few slashes
across the chest would be of low rank, while a noble with
slashes nearly all the way down would likely be a High Seat
of his or her House.  The King or Queen would have slashes
from neckline to hem.  The colors of the slashes vary, and
indicate to which House the noble belongs.

Formalwear among the nobility is much the same, except more
elaborate.  Ladies formal gowns are usually made of silk or
other finer materials, with skirts supported by hoops that
are so wide that they at times must turn sideways to pass
through a door.  Noblemen often wear bell-shaped or flat
caps of soft velvet.


Servants play a large role in Cairhienin society, and they
too are bound by the restrictions of their Lord or Lady's
dress code.  Their livery usually only has color in a few
stripes on the cuffs of the sleeves, and their House badge
embroidered on the breast of their coat or dress.  Some
liveries have house colors covering the collar or sleeves,
but rarely the entire coat or dress.  Upper servants show
more color on their livery than lower servants.


Cairhienin military dress, like the upper classes, follows
the same strict guidelines, but with a few additions.  The
Officers wear slashes of rank across their coats much as
nobles do, but they shave the front of the head and dust
it with white powder, leaving their hair hanging long in
back.  High-ranking officers wear ornate, gilded cuirasses
and gauntlets as well as large white plumes attached to
their bell-shaped helmets.  They also wear small banners
called "con" to indicate which lord they serve, and allow
others to easy locate and identify them.  Lesser officers
and soldiers wear plainer armor.  Regular soldiers wear
their hair cut short in a basic bowl cut.


In contrast to the rest of Cairhienin society, those
of the lower classes tend to dress in bright, festive
colors almost in defiance of the ordered customs of
their betters.  Not bound to conform to such rigid
restrictions, their clothing is often ill-fitted and
shabby, but colorful, with bright skirts and shirts, with
coats and shawls that are equally bright.


The only time Cairhienin break these rigid rules of
order and class is during the Feast of Lights, which
lasts for two days.  During this time, all social
barriers are discarded between nobles and commoners.
It is a time when the Cairhienin seem to make up for
their perfect etiquette and celebrate with wild and
careless abandon.

Any man can kiss any woman. Any woman can kiss any man.
It is common to see nobles and commoners together in
varying states of undress.  The streets are often filled
with dancing and music, with Illuminator displays at
night.  People run around half-naked.  No repercussions
are ever incurred for anything that might have occurred
during the holiday, and there is no acknowledgement that
anything did, in fact occur.  When the Feast of Lights
is over, everyone goes back to their normal lives, to
live behind their rigid masks of formality and propriety.

See Also:  Daes Dae'mar, Cairhien, Nations, Rulers

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