This particular section of the La Mision website is where I will be sharing my research into the actual dress/costume of the Friars of the La Florida missions and the process of replicating in as exacting detail as possible the said outfit(s).  Recently I finished my prototype habit, and will be adding pictures of it along with my posts on topics such as "Having a cow-l ?: Two styles of Habits" and "Men of the Cloth and Their Fabric of Faith: Rediscovering Sayal Wool" among others.  The only exception I made in my prototype habit was that I used the closest machine woven wool that I could find to the historical materials (and I got it REALLY close), but as the purpose of this project is to replicate the mission experience as accurately as possible and then use the recreations for high quality educational programs on cultural contact, I hope to eventually build an authentic loom and handweave the appropriate fabric for habit #2....a fabric which has not been produced in almost 300 years.  The habits during the mission era had their own distinct style, and I hope that this section of the website will be informative to those who try to replicate a Franciscan friar between 1560-1750 as a polyester "Friar Tuck" costume from a shop just is not accurate....and to be accurate is to be respectful of our forebears as it is an attempt to portray who exactly they were, and their actual experiences as honestly as possible.    

-Fray Adam
Kim Corbin
6/17/2012 11:45:47 pm

Thank you for your research and this detailed information! I am costuming a play that takes place in San Antonio, Texas in 1731 and includes Franciscan friars at the missions. Can you recommend a resource for a pattern for habit and cowl that would be as historically accurate as possible? Thank you, and I look forward to more posts on your subjects!

8/30/2013 02:31:35 pm

Mrs. Corbin,

I want to begin by apologizing for my tardiness in reply, as the project went on hold while I pursued my graduate studies. There is currently no authentic pattern available for a friars habit for the 1730s era. A sketch of one of the St. Francis tunics is available online, but that is appropriate for the 13thC...and while many have argued that "a tunic is a tunic" and most people have a hard time telling one friars habit apart from another, the reality is that habits in the 1730s had some unique features (most notably shaped sleeves). I am assuming your play has already occurred, but if you are still in need of a pattern please let me know and I will try to get the article on habit construction composed and up as soon as possible.



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