Obtaining prestige and prestige has been very important to all human societies that have arisen in history. Because the dynamics of social life were largely shaped by the social conditions of almost every period. However, in different periods of human history, very interesting things have been used as status symbols. Almost all of these things indicate that the people were rich and powerful. Some status indicators mean that the person has become significantly cut off from the majority of society academically and culturally. Here are 9 interesting things that have been used as status indicators throughout history, from cocoa beans to parchment…
Pineapple is a fruit that many people love today. But long ago, it was much more than an ordinary fruit. It was used as a sign of wealth and status, especially in British society.
In 1668, England and France were in a dispute over control of an island called Saint Kitts. Therefore, there was evident political tension between the two countries. Here is the second king of England. In order to gain a political advantage over the French, Charles decided to use a very interesting fruit: the pineapple!
Second. At a dinner to which the French actor was invited, Charles asked to prepare a meter-long “pineapple pyramid”. Because pineapple was an extremely rare, precious and expensive fruit at that time…
The dinner, in which the pineapple pyramid played a leading role, quickly made the pineapple a status symbol in England. The British, who saw the pineapple as a symbol of wealth and status, were willing to pay thousands of pounds for a single pineapple. This is why the British who owned pineapples preferred to display the fruit to spoil rather than consume it.
Even the most prominent names in high society sometimes carried this precious fruit with them on their strolls through the streets! However, the fact that the pineapple had become such an important status symbol led to the emergence of a special larceny zone that was only concerned with “pineapple theft”.
2. A wig
The wig has been used as an important status symbol in various societies for thousands of years. One of the most important factors determining the value of wigs was the material from which they were made.
In ancient Egypt, for example, people at the highest levels of society wore wigs made of human hair. Only citizens of ancient Egypt of lower social status could use wigs made of wool or various plant fibers. Wigs continued to be used as an important status symbol, especially in Europe, hundreds of years after antiquity.
Books were very rare before the invention of the printing press. Therefore, even thinness was very expensive. Because before the invention of the printing press, books were written by hand as a result of long efforts. This situation caused manuscript books to become an important status symbol…
To own a collection of books or a large library of manuscripts meant belonging to a very high social class. Because a library, especially before the 15th century, was something only the really wealthy could have. On the other hand, scrolls also mean that their owner has a high level of intelligence and culture.
The Renaissance was a period that greatly affected the entire world. Great changes and developments took place in many different fields in different parts of the world, especially in Europe, and the world was moving towards a new era with the Renaissance. In this period full of innovations, a new status indicator has appeared: Tanks!
These objects, also called “cabinets of curiosities”, were instruments in which objects belonging to different fields such as archaeology, geology, natural history, art, and religion were displayed. The more unusual things are in the closet, the more status they will provide. As a result, the European nobility was in great competition to obtain as many cabinets of curiosities as possible.
Today, many experts say that sugar is a food that should be taken with suspicion due to its harmfulness to human health. But in medieval Europe, rotting teeth from sugar was considered a happy thing!
Sugar has been an expensive and scarce commodity for hundreds of years due to its high production costs. For this reason, only the wealthy segments of society can consume sugar.
The tulip was planted in Iran at the beginning of the eleventh century, and it became one of the most beloved plants of the Ottoman Empire in the following period. The Ottoman palaces were famous for their stunning tulip gardens, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries. The tulip, which became one of the symbols of the Ottoman Empire, one of the prominent political actors of the time, aroused great curiosity in Europe in the sixteenth century.
However, access to tulips in Europe at that time was very difficult. So much so that in some periods tulip bulbs were sold at a house price! That’s why tulips have become status symbols, just like the other rare items on our list.
7. Cocoa beans
Cocoa has played a very important role in civilizations for thousands of years, especially in Mesoamerica. So much so that some human societies in Mesoamerica used cocoa beans as currency. On the other hand, Europe really met cocoa at the beginning of the 16th century.
In the 16th century, Europeans produced drinkable chocolate from cocoa beans, and this new drink became the most important indicator of social status. In the XVII century, King XIV of France. The fact that Louis made chocolate a popular drink at court did not go unnoticed by the European nobility. Thus, the cocoa bean became a status symbol, often consumed by the nobility and the wealthy to distinguish themselves from the poor.
8. Board games
Board games are one of the popular entertainment tools today. However, in ancient civilizations, it was a status symbol rather than a means of entertainment. In ancient Egypt, it was believed that those who owned a board game were rich and valuable. The richer the person, the more valuable the board game he had was made of materials. However, board games were among the best gifts to be given to royal families in ancient times.
Purple has been one of the most important indicators of wealth, prestige and power since ancient times. For this reason, it was used as an important status symbol until modern times. There were even laws in ancient Rome regulating who could use the color purple! Purple was considered a status symbol until it became viable for industrial production in the 19th century.
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