Or why experimental archeology is sometimes better than pure research.
I could have wracked my brain & search-fu & the library hunting down references to the heuke & this elusive duck-bill cloak. (Hell, it’d be easier for this anti-gun pacifist to learn to shoot & then track down & kill an actual duck!) But I may never have understood anything more about this garment through pictures or text.
Because sometimes, nothing beats wearing a thing to figure out why a thing was done the way it was done.
You want to know why this type of heuke has a duck-bill on the front? Easy. So the cloak stays on your head! The bill is a counter-balance. Fucking brilliant & elegantly simple (ok, maybe not elegant, but rather simple). No chinstrap, ties, or pins required. Now, it does help if you have a nice, fat bun of hair in the back of your head to rest the cloak portion on, but the duck bill is essential for a perfect balance.
Last night, I finished sewing down the binding on the veil, & tonight, I pleated the veil & sewed it to the back of the bill. Then I pinned it down to a styrofoam wig head & steamed the ever-lovin’ crap out of the back portion to get a bit of a cup shape — aided by a heavy bowl in between steaming. I also curled the front part of the brim into the requisite shape.
I styled my hair in roughly how I plan to wear it on Saturday. While my hair is long, it is fine & slippery, which makes for a dinky little bun or skimpy little braids. I don’t currently have a large braid of fake hair in my stash & don’t have time to buy materials. However, I found a large scrunchie/rag-tie thing that can work like a hair-doughnut thing to create a fat bun. Over this, I wore one of my linen wired caps, & thanks to the bun, was finally able to tie the strings around my hair like you’re supposed to do. To properly wear the heuke, it’s important to have this bun & to secure the cap over it.
Finally, I put the heuke on. I thought I’d need pins, but nope! It felt perfectly secure. Amazing. Sure, I look ridiculous, but what’s new? The concept totally worked. It remains to be seen how well it stays on my head this weekend in windy weather, but I’m pretty confident, & will, of course, report back, as well as get pix of the complete outfit.