Safia al-Khansaa

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Safia al-Khansaa

Resides: Barony of Bhakail
Status: Active
Awards: Order of Precedence
Per pale sable and gules, a willow tree argent between three mullets 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." The members of Clann O’Choda, her household, still call her by this name. Although, 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 was her nickname, especially with members of the former House Serpentius, who also called her "GAK" for short. She isn’t very fond of this name, as she views herself as anything but “great”.



Safia actually has two personas, a male and female. Her male name is Safi Abd’Ullah ibn Ali al-Tabrisi.

Born in Tabriz in 1530, Safia is a seamstress and embroiderer, who was taught at a young age by her mother. She works with her aunt and uncle in a tailoring shop in Tabriz, making fine clothing for the nobles of the Court.

Safi, Safia’s twin brother, is a bestowed potter and painter to Shah Abbas. He has made extensive travels, including India, where he went with the great Mir Sayyid Ali to establish the Mughal painting school. While there, he was fostered to a kind merchant and his wife, Mika, who was also a painter. Later, he traveled back to Persia and started a good Shia family, having several children, who also became artists in their own right.


Offices & Positions

  • Coordinator of the Pennsic Youth Arts and Sciences Exhibition, 2006 to 2016
  • Southern Region Signet, 2010
  • Deputy Chancellor Minor, 2014-2015


Former Apprentices

  • Mistress Rozalynd of Thornabee on Tees (Ealdormere)

Former Laurel


Projects & Publications

  • Safia’s preferred pronouns are She/Her or They/Them. (Whichever makes you more comfortable)
  • Safia loves surprises! (And chocolate)
  • Safia, along with several of her colleagues, have worked for more than 20 years studying Persian culture, garb, and personas. They are have also worked on 13th century Mongolian garb, in the hopes of bringing more period correct Mongol garb to the Society.
  • Safia offers her services to anyone in the Society who wants to learn who to create period Persian, Turkish, or Mongol garb, period pottery forms, metal smithing, or scribal arts.
  • 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 25 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 Persian, Florentine, Milanese, and Paduan (Italian,) Dutch Tromp L'oeil, and other more exotic and unusual styles such as Indian and Chinese.
  • Safia regularly helps out in making regalia for many of her friends' elevations.
  • Safia 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.
  • Safia is currently working on two research projects. The first is on Tang Dynasty Chinese garb, including makeup and hairstyles. She is working on an entire kit from this culture. Eventually she might teach a class on what she has learned. The second is to teach several classes on Islam, and how the religious and cultural tenets effect Islamic clothing and customs when portraying a West Asian (Middle Eastern) SCA persona.

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