Our name - Kiena
Did she exist? Well true to say we are not sure, but we would like to think that she did. It is certainly a medieval name although not common. So, what's the story about her. She was Saxon, born in the Kingdom of Wessex about 1045 AD. Her family would have been of chieftain stock, with offshoots around Wessex and distant connections, by marriage, to the powerful "Godwinsons" line. She would therefore have known Edith, the wife of Edward the Confessor. Queen Edith was a highly educated lady, skilled in languages and the arts and was influential in encouraging her husband Edward to appreciate fine jewellery. Edith had great connections with Wilton Abbey, where she lived for sometime. Wilton was an important place of learning in Wessex where the practice of the crafts would have attracted many people, particularly in the making of jewellery and decoration which was practiced by fine goldsmiths.
Here,she would have learned at first hand the crafts, particularly gold fashioning, as members of her family would have been also masters of the crafts. Thus Kiena was associated with fine jewellery, bracelets, necklaces and brooches. Doubtless she would have also been familiar with fine weaving and embroidery and probably, as her family and relations, wore fashionable clothes.
More will follow.
© Jane Allwright
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