José Cabrera de Castilla

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La nobleza no se conoce fronteras --Ramon Lull

File:Jose and Ana 2011.jpg
Twelfth Night, 2011
Twelfth Night, 2014


José Cabrera de Castilla is mundanely known as Ryan.

The name José Cabrera de Castilla is a properly researched, documented, and approved SCA name (March 2008). It is historically accurate to 16th century Spain. The name José is the equivalent of the English name "Joseph". Cabrera is a familial surname, and de Castilla is a locative byname. In combination, the compound surname represents José's origin. See the Persona History section for more information.

Having been awarded a lordship, José prefers to be styled señor or su señoría rather than lord.

My SCA name is actually an homage. I chose the name Cabrera for two reasons; primarily, it stems from when I was a teller for Oregon Community Credit Union and one of my favorite members to assist was a hispanic gentleman whose last name was Cabrera. The ironic part is in the etymology of the word "Cabrera" itself. Un cabrón is a goat, and una cabrera is a goatherd. So I find it hilarious to portray a pompous, well-dressed Spaniard whose name means "The goatherd of Castile."


José pursues a number of SCA-related interests.

Heavy Fighting

José acquired his first suit of armor in time to fight in the Acorn War in 2006. He attended the Three Mountains Fight Practice for several years, and now attends the Dragon's Mist Fight Practice as he is able, and has migrated from his starter set into a matching 16th century harness. José sometimes fights with a sword and buckler, in an attempt to emulate the style of the Spanish rodeleros. He also favors a greatsword in war.

José is a member of the Iron Ring and also the Captain of the White Dragons, the levy of the Barony of Dragon's Mist.

José is a senior marshal for heavy armored combat and is authorized with all weapon combinations.

Music and Dance

José attends the Dragon's Mist Friday Night Revel on occasion, and is happy to dance at any event that includes one.

José grew up learning the saxophone, and finds the recorder very similar. He and Ana own both a soprano and an alto recorder. He enjoys music and has the books necessary to learn period European music. He also intends to learn how to play the recorder part of various dances so he can accompany dancing live.

Scribal Pursuits

José has undertaken to help the barony of Dragon's Mist create scrolls and charters for its awards. He did graphic design for the Order of the Einherjar award, and digital composition on many others.

He has also been involved in publications such as the Dragon's Tongue while holding the office of Chronicler.


Tailoring is the primary skill that José practices as often as possible within the SCA.

José studies the cut and construction of mid-to-late 16th century clothing for both men and women. In men's clothing, he has learned to draft patterns for doublets, hose, trunkhose (slops, pantaloons, breeches), shirts and capes. Using final drafts of custom-fit patterns, he designed court garb for himself and his lady wife for Twelfth Night Coronation XLIII/2009.

He completed an outfit of green doublet and hose that match the lacing points of the first outfit, ensuring the interchangeability of the pieces. Subsequently, he has completed a brown outfit that is compatible with the court garb and the green outfit, granting more flexibility to the overall wardrobe. Plans are underway for bronze and white garments as well.

José works hard to make accurately shaped bonnets, tall hats, toques, and other headwear of the 16th century in both men's and women's styles. Rather than work from completely period materials, he focuses on durability and retention of shape so that the work he creates can survive rough treatment by its owner. He's also produced a set of hats for the Wilsonville High School production of Taming of the Shrew.

He is proud to have patterned and sewn two complete outfits for Nicolai Rabenis Von Tachov, patterned and assisted with outfits for Iuliana de la Sara and Helena Zancani, and been heavily involved in the project to make outfits for the entire Iron Ring in 2008. He is excited about completing an unusual (by continental standards) 16th century Irish outfit for his lordship Eoghan ÓBriain.

See the Other Images section of this page for examples of José's progressing skill.



In 2006, José created a set of 8 wooden benches for the Iron Ring. In the five years since then, 4 of them have suffered accidents and been destroyed. Not bad for pine, all things considered. He's concocting a plan to make a set of sedia a tenaglia (folding chairs) for himself and his lady wife, if not for the Iron Ring and maybe the barony of Dragon's Mist. He has also tried his hand at crafting chests, making one for the barony's first rapier championship in 2012.

In 2013, José began work on wooden folding chairs for the Iron Ring.

Irons in the Fire

Sometimes I find it motivational to be held to my stated word. With that in mind, here are the things I'm working on. If you meet me, ask me what I'm working on and how it's going.

Current and Upcoming Sewing Projects

For myself:

  • Replacement arming doublet / padded jerkin / padded pansied slops
  • White linen shirts (1 of 3 complete)

For others:

  • 14th c. outfit for Tim
  • 15th c. outfit for Briel
  • Tellerbaret for Ana

Other Projects and Ideas

  • An article on fabric weaves available now that were also available in period.

Completed Projects

Images for these projects can be found at the bottom of this page

  • Green doublet and hose for myself. The doublet is all-new but the hose are a re-work of the ones featured in my first garb showcase at the Realm of Venus.
  • Black and bronze doublet for Nicolai, paired with blue-paned over white "turkey leg" hose. A blue jerkin with skirting completes this outfit.
  • Brown and bronze doublet for myself, with leaf-shaped piccadils. Paired with "turkey leg" hose with decorated pockets and side-seams.
  • Arming doublet. Padded doublet to wear under my armor. Later added a placket to it with a hidden zipper. Lace-on sleeves that can be removed in case of emergency or as a fashion element.
  • A white linen shirt. Then attached my ruff and cuff set from the Renaissance Tailor to it. Now when I wear the ruff and cuffs, they will be part of a shirt like they are supposed to be and they won't gape at the wrists and neck any more.
  • Eoghan's Irish outfit. Ionar, leine, braies and hose/chausses/trews. Everything but the braies are visible in photos on Eoghan's FB profile. Compare to Irish outfits in the Image of Irelande.
  • Escoffion (cap/caul/coif) for Ana. Pictures online at Ana's Facebook album. Just needs to have barretts or combs sewn into it wherever she likes.
  • Great coat for Nicolai in the style of Henry XIII and other wealthy gentlemen of the mid-16th century. Pictures are available via Facebook.
  • Cream doublet for Nicolai. Looks good with the blue hosen.
  • Dress for Morgan. Meant to be SCA garb as well as for a renaissance faire she'll be participating in as one of Queen Elizabeth's maids. Did this one in a very basic style with a corset and bodice that both backlace and a French rounded front. No trim so she can check with her Ren Faire people about how to decorate it and then hand sew some trim on.
  • A wooden chest emblazoned with the arms of Dragon's Mist to be a prize for the rapier championship at Carnevale di Venezia XLVI/2012.
  • A linen shirt
  • Green wool and linen doublet and trunkhose.
  • Eoghan's English outfit. Rapier legal.
  • Nicolai's Henrician outfit.
  • Black-on-black court garb for myself.
  • Spanish court outfits for Styrkarr and Stjarna.
  • An article on pattern drafting men's slops. (updated September 2017)
  • Wool tunic for Velinn

SCA Event History

File:Jose CdC in Armor 2011.JPG
José in armor at Faire in the Grove, May 2011. Proud of the way the armor has come together in the last year.

Events 2005-2016

José Cabrera de Castilla Event History


  • 12th Night 2017 (Portland, OR) Gate Captain
  • Carnevale, February 2017 (Beaverton, OR).
  • May Crown, May 2017 (Moses Lake, WA).
  • Faire in the Grove, June 2017 (Forest Grove, OR).
  • 3M/DM Championship Tournaments, June 2017 (Hillsboro, OR).
  • July Coronation, July 2017 (Maple Ridge, BC). First ever travel outside of the USA.
  • Sport of Kings, August 2017 (Rainier, OR). Elevated to baron of Dragon's Mist.
  • Beaverton Farmer's Market Demo, August 2017 (Beaverton, OR).
  • September Crown, September 2017 (Surrey, BC).
  • Baron's Ball, October 2017 (Richland, WA).
  • Summits Winter Investiture, December 2017 (Grant's Pass, OR).
  • Tri-Barony Yule, December 2017 (St. Helens, OR).


  • 12th Night 2018 (Pasco, WA)
  • Stromgard Founding Revel LII (Camas, WA)


José is the son of Tomas Cabrera, a wealthy tailor, and Analucia de Castilla, a member of a minor branch of a larger noble family. He was born in Barcelona. The marriage was arranged to both bolster the fortunes of Analucia's nearly impoverished family and provide Tomas' children with a station above his own. Despite being an arranged marriage, the couple were relatively happy with each other as spouses.

José learned his father's trade of tailoring from a young age. At his mother's insistence, he was given basic training in swordfighting, reading and writing, and courtly etiquette including dancing. After his father fell ill, José took over the tailoring trade despite his mother's many protests. He continued this business for nearly two years before his father recovered sufficiently to attend his own affairs again.

Shortly thereafter, José was sent to Milan to establish interest and control over a number of guilds and trades. At this time, the Spanish Habsburgs had recently come in control of Milan, so it was an opportunity for the family to seize some power and influence. In addition to learning something of the woodworking trade while there, José became attached to a unit of rodeleros in defense of Milan against aggression from neighboring states.

Once his term of service ended, José remained enamored of his experience in war. He sought out a company with which he could continue his military training, and encountered the Iron Ring on one of its many maneuvers into Italy. After securing the loose ends of his family's growing wealth and power in the hands of other members of the family, José took up with the mercenaries and quickly gained rank, becoming a sergeant.

Despite active campaigning throughout Europe and especially An Tir, José and Iuliana have found time to begin a family, and had their first child in December of A.S. XLIV.

Un Hombre de Barcelona

I am beginning to use an actual Spanish accent at events. On and off. It's not too thick, so that people still understand me. For instance, I'm aware of the heavy lisp that gets applied to soft 'c' sounds. Like gracias is correctly pronounced closer to 'grathias' . But this is also heaviest in the central part of the country. My persona is from Barcelona, a port city, and has spent years in Italy, coloring his pronunciation somewhat. It's part of the theatricality that I enjoy bringing to the SCA and I hope everyone else enjoys it too.


The Spanish had an obsession with the purity of their Spanish blood; specifically, they were concerned by the 16th century with whether your bloodline was polluted with Moorish (Moriscos)or Jewish (Marranos) ancestors. Pure, noble Spanish blood was referred to as limpieza (literally "cleanliness"). It represented not only the quality of the family, but the worth of the individual. It was not unheard of for people to lie about their quality in order to appear more noble. In my case, I am investigating the mindset of someone who was this concerned with family honor and purity of blood. If, at an event, you meet me and I appear to be using a Spanish accent, do not be offended by my bluster or aloofness. It's part of the persona and I don't mean to ever give genuine offense.


José Cabrera de Castilla is a member of the Iron Ring, living in the Barony of Dragon's Mist.

José is married, both mundanely and in-persona, to Iuliana de la Sara.

The Iron Ring device

Rank and Station


  • Chronicler of Dragon's Mist (April 2012-May 2014)
  • Webminister of Dragon's Mist (April 2012- August 2014)
  • Armored champion of Dragon's Mist (May 2015-October 2015)
  • Camp Master of the Iron Ring


  • Baron of Dragon's Mist
  • Captain of the White Dragons (Dragon's Mist baronial war levy April 2014-present)
  • Senior marshal for Heavy Armored combat


Event Stewardship

Other Achievements

  • José's work has been featured on the Realm of Venus in a garb showcase.
  • José debuted a filk called The Tailor Sensible's Song at Carnevale.
  • José's work has again been featured on the Realm of Venus in another garb showcase, this time for the twelfth night garb seen on this page. This outfit subsequently won the Silver prize in the 2009 Rose Awards.
  • An article on chain-stitched button loops, published in The February/March 2010 Dragon's Tongue.
  • An article interviewing Dr. Toby Capwell in the April 2009 issue of the Dragon's Tongue.
  • An article interviewing Drea Leed in the May/June 2009 issue of the Dragon's Tongue.
  • Debuted a filk called Stuck in the Kitchen With You at Carnevale II.
  • Taught a class, Introduction to Persona Development, at DM Revels in October 2012. Subsequently published an article in the October Dragon's Tongue newsletter on the same subject.
  • Digital composition artist for most of the awards used in Dragon's Mist as of 2014. This role involved taking separate scans of art and calligraphy and merging them into finished awards, often involving alterations in the process.
  • Taught Men's Breeches class, A&S Day February 2015.
  • Taught Men's Breeches class, Carnevale at the Baron's Keep XLIX/2015, March 2015.

Garb/Personal History

File:Jose acorn war 2005.jpg
First season in the SCA, 2005
File:Jose first trunkhose 2007.jpg
First doublet and trunkhose, 2007
File:Jose scary black armor.jpg
Scary black armor of doom, 2007ish
File:Jose Cabrera de Castilla.jpg
"Fancypants" FitG Demo, 2008
File:Jose Armor 9-14-09.jpg
Armor FitG Demo, 2008
File:Jose UnitGarb.jpg
Iron Ring Unit Garb, 2008
Court garb, Twelfth Night, 2009
Dragon's Scale at DMDT, 2009
File:Jose Court Garb Demo.jpg
Court garb at BFM Demo 2009
File:Jose Brown Outfit.jpg
Brown doublet and hose, Twelfth Night, 2010
File:Jose armour 4-3-10.JPG
José in armor at war practice, April 2010
File:Jose CdC in Armor 2011.JPG
José in armor at Faire in the Grove, May 2011. The leg armor makes all the difference.
Black-on-black court outfit, January 2014.

Project History

A cap for Ana
1540s-1550s Bohemian outfit for Nicolai
1580s Irish outfit for Eoghan
Elizabethan dress for Morgan
A chest for DM's rapier tourney prize; a joint project with Ana and Nicolai
File:Einherjar Award - Final.jpg
Order of the Einherjar award for Dragon's Mist
File:20130309 165836.jpg
Folding chair for the Iron Ring
A second complete outfit for Nicolai, Jan 2014
Eoghan's English outfit, Jan 2014