Dagorhir Costumes: Regulation, Consumption, and Power Dynamics, 1977 to the Present

  • Sarah West Hixson orcid logo (Iowa State University)
  • Kelly L. Reddy Best (Iowa State University)


Dagorhir, established in 1977, is one of the largest and oldest documented live-action-role-play groups. Since the 1970s, the group has published three handbooks, which include regulation changes with much emphasis on costumes. Dagorhir’s interactive, leisure activities facilitate community building, identity negotiation, and creative storytelling. In our research, we examine how these costume regulations have influenced fantasy character and player identities, how the regulations have influenced costume authenticity over time, and how the handbook regulations have engaged with power dynamics related to intersectional identities. We analyzed costume-related content in the three handbooks while drawing upon content analysis and historical methods. We found that as the regulations evolved since the 1970s, the rules increasingly centered costumes indicating they were largely required to engage in these escapist communities. However, while these spaces centered on the costumed body, Dagorhir regulations reinforced a specific kind of body, ones in positions of power and privilege.

Keywords: LARP, roleplay, identity, medieval, handbook

How to Cite:

Hixson, S. W. & Reddy Best, K. L., (2022) “Dagorhir Costumes: Regulation, Consumption, and Power Dynamics, 1977 to the Present”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 79(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/itaa.15818

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Published on
31 Dec 2022
Peer Reviewed