Safia al-Khansaa

From EastKingdomWiki

The Great al-Khansaa
Resides: Shire of Barren Sands
Status: Active
Awards: Order of Precedence
Safia's arms.jpg
Per pale sable and gules, a willow tree blasted and eradicated argent, between three estoiles of eight points or.
Award & Office Badges
Companion of the Order of the Laurel Companion of the Order of the Maunche Companion of the Order of the Silver Crescent


Safia's first event was Pennsic 22, August of 1993. Her first SCA name was "Selena," which evolved into "Baby Selena." Around 2000, she changed her name to the current one. In 2005, Darius III, while on the throne, made a decree that every one was to call Safia "The Great al-Khansaa." This is now her nickname, especially with members of House Serpentius, who also call her "GAK" for short.



As a young girl growing up in Northern Persia, Safia's parents, saw that she had a natural ability for painting like many of the men in the family. Her father, being a bestowed potter and painter for the Shah, hid his talented daughter from the king's eyes by dressing her in boy's clothes when she worked with him in the shop. As she grew older, it was clear that Safia's painting skills would draw attention to her, so she chose to live her life as a man, meaning she would never be married, nor have a family. This was a somewhat common practice for noble women and royalty since at least the 13th century, BCE. Her talents led her to study with the great Mir Sayyid Ali, one of the finest painters in the empire. She traveled with him to India to establish the Mugal painting school, and while there she was fostered by an Indian merchant and his wife, Mika, who was also a painter. After many years she traveled back to Persia and became one of the bestowed painters of the Shah's atelier.


Offices & Positions

  • Coordinator of the Pennsic Youth Arts and Sciences Exhibition, 2006 to present
  • Southern Region Signet


Former Apprentices

  • Mistress Rozalynd of Thornabee on Tees (Ealdormere)

Former Laurel


Projects & Publications

  • Mistress Safia's Middle Eastern Garb Haven[1]
  • Safia, along with her colleague Roxane Farabi, have been working for more than 10 years in studying Persian culture, garb, and personas. They are also working on 13th century Mongolian garb, and hope to present this for the first time at Pennsic soon.
  • In 2008-2009, Safia worked with her apprentice Drueta de la Rosa in creating a fully period Elizabethan ensemble for Drueta's investiture as Baroness of Iron Bog.
  • Safia has been working for 10 years on period pottery forms, clays, glazes, etc. Her favorite pottery forms are 14th-15th century English/French, and 16th century Turkish (Iznik).
  • She has continued work for the Signet Office, her favorite style of illuminated manuscripts being 15th and 16th century Florentine, Milanese, and Paduan (Italian) and Dutch Tromp L'oeil.
  • Safia regularly helps out in making regalia for many of her friends' elevations.
  • Safia also makes coronets and medallions for various groups and individuals. She also has repaired several of the East Kingdom crowns, and recast/rebuilt the Blue Tyger crowns.

More Information