databas cerddi guto'r glyn


Costumes would be decorated with fur, whether on the edges of a garment or the inside lining, and fur became a visible sign of high status. The commonest word for fur used in the poetry is gra, which is derived from gris ‘a kind of grey fur’.[1] However, it also became a word for fur in general by the fifteenth century.

White fur was particularly expensive because it was not as common as other furs, especially fur made from the white winter coat of the stoat (ermine). White fur was often used to decorate the edges of women’s gowns. Guto’r Glyn describes Elen daughter of Robert Puleston in a costume decorated with white fur:

Elen deg o Lëyn dir: 
Gwraig, oedd yn gwisgo gra gwyn, 
Gruffudd, ben-llywydd Llëyn. 
fair Elen from the land of Llŷn:
the wife of Gruffudd, chief ruler of Llŷn,
wearing white fur.

(poem 53.26-8)

Fur could also indicate a post or status within a profession, especially fur caps, see Headwear.


[1]: The Oxford English Dictionary’, s.v. gris, n.
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