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Re: [SCA_India] Questions on 16th Century Persian-Indo-Malay armor

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  • Eric Munson
    Greetings Ii-dono, Wish i knew. That is spiff! The helm reminds me a tad of the Morion helms converted by the Japanese into the Momotaro kabuto, though I don t
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 24, 2010
      Greetings Ii-dono,

      Wish i knew. That is spiff! The helm reminds me a tad of the Morion
      helms converted by the Japanese into the Momotaro kabuto, though I
      don't suspect it is quite the same scenario. Certainly is reminiscent
      of Persian armour.

      - mo





      On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 7:40 AM, JL Badgley <tatsushu@...> wrote:
      > So, wandering through the museum in Kuala Lumpur the other day, I ran
      > across a set of armor that looked quite a bit like this:
      >
      > http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6221633
      >
      > (Google image search of "moro armor" will bring up more pics)
      >
      > Only the plates weren't metal--they were buffalo horn.  The maille was
      > all thick and butted, not riveted.
      >
      > My question to the room is whether or not we have similar armors *in
      > period* between India and the Malay penninsula.  I know for a fact
      > that there were similar armors in Persia, and the trade routes of the
      > time would have gone from Persia, along the southern coast of India,
      > and then over to SE Asia and Malaysia.  Furthermore, Middle Eastern
      > traders were quite common (especially after many of the rulers in SE
      > Asia converted to Islam).  So it doesn't seem a stretch to say that
      > this is a plausible armor type for a warrior on the Malay penninsula
      > in the 16th century.  What do people think?
      >
      > -Ii
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > SCA_India Mailing List Info:
      >  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SCA_India
      >                       or
      >  List owner:   SCA_India-owner@yahoogroups.comYahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >



      --
      "Honor is what no man can give ye, and no one can take away. Honor is
      a man's gift to himself."  - Rob Roy, 1995 film
    • Eric Munson
      Hi Ii, I grok, but I think you knew that. So, as to A, B and C. Is there any pictorial evidence to speak of? Or are we dealing with statuary? In India, by the
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 1, 2010
        Hi Ii,

        I grok, but I think you knew that. So, as to A, B and C. Is there any pictorial evidence to speak of? Or are we dealing with statuary? In India, by the 16th C. you have a lot of court painting, but I have no idea if anything like that susrvives in Thailand.

        BTW, I ran into a fellow at an event a month ago who was about to be shipped out to Korea and was lamenting that there is a very small struggling SCA group there. To paraphrase, "not like in Bankok. They have a really strong group goiong there."

        So, your reputation has spread far and wide, my dear baron. Yosh!!!

         - mo


         



        On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 9:38 PM, JL Badgley <tatsushu@...> wrote:


        I'm asking from the standpoint of trying to piece together the history of SE Asia, particularly for our local members who may not know much about their own and neighboring cultures, to try to give them some options as far as fighting and other activities that would show them that they can do the same thing we do with European history here in SE Asia.

        I completely understand the difference between possible and documentable.  I'm rather asking more "plausible".  E.g. if I see evidence of garment X in A, B, and D, but not C, which is between B and D, but I do see that many other cultural ideas and artifacts were shared between A, B, C, and D, then I can say that it is *plausible* that you would find the garment (unless there is specific evidence to the contrary).  This has a lot more to do with making the "reasonable" attempt vice just doing something that is *possible* but so unlikely that it really doesn't help.

        In this case, I know that the armor is seen as "traditional" Malay, and I know that iron objects just don't last very long in the Malay climate (not to mention finding it in the forests and jungle), so I'm trying to figure out what it might have been like back in the 16th century or earlier.

        -Ii


        On Sat, Sep 25, 2010 at 2:50 AM, Margaret Polson <mlpolson@...> wrote:
         

        There is a difference of "possible" and documentable.  Yes it is possible, maybe even probable, but that does not make for documentation.  So are you asking "can I make this argument in an A&S competition?"  or are you asking "I need some armour that I can make a reasonably strait faced argument that it would be possible somebody from the Malay area wore in period?"



        From: JL Badgley <tatsushu@...>
        To: SCA_India@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Fri, September 24, 2010 5:40:52 AM
        Subject: [SCA_India] Questions on 16th Century Persian-Indo-Malay armor

         

        So, wandering through the museum in Kuala Lumpur the other day, I ran
        across a set of armor that looked quite a bit like this:

        http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6221633

        (Google image search of "moro armor" will bring up more pics)

        Only the plates weren't metal--they were buffalo horn. The maille was
        all thick and butted, not riveted.

        My question to the room is whether or not we have similar armors *in
        period* between India and the Malay penninsula. I know for a fact
        that there were similar armors in Persia, and the trade routes of the
        time would have gone from Persia, along the southern coast of India,
        and then over to SE Asia and Malaysia. Furthermore, Middle Eastern
        traders were quite common (especially after many of the rulers in SE
        Asia converted to Islam). So it doesn't seem a stretch to say that
        this is a plausible armor type for a warrior on the Malay penninsula
        in the 16th century. What do people think?

        -Ii








        --
        "Honor is what no man can give ye, and no one can take away. Honor is a man's gift to himself."  - Rob Roy, 1995 film

      • JL Badgley
        ... The Portuguese helmets were definitely a part of Malay armor after the Portuguese came. It is suspected that the Malay Kingdoms (and Siam--and basically
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 3, 2010
          On Sat, Sep 25, 2010 at 2:49 AM, Eric Munson <theridion@...> wrote:
            Greetings Ii-dono,

          Wish i knew. That is spiff! The helm reminds me a tad of the Morion
          helms converted by the Japanese into the Momotaro kabuto, though I
          don't suspect it is quite the same scenario. Certainly is reminiscent
          of Persian armour.

          - mo
           
          The Portuguese helmets were definitely a part of Malay armor after the Portuguese came.  It is suspected that the Malay Kingdoms (and Siam--and basically everyone the Portuguese came in contact with) adopted the Portuguese breastplate into their local armor at least for the high-end armors.
           
          Here in Thailand we are trying to draw a picture of the history of armor on the penninsula.  We have some great images from Angkor of the more mainland SE Asian arms and armor by the 12th and 13th centuries, which seems to really be our first reliable clues.  There is some Dvaravati art that I've seen depicting weapons, but it is usually either faded enough to not show much detail, or just shows people in a basic loin-cloth with sword and shield (if there was any clothing painted on beyond that, it has long flaked off and gone away).  Our Thai members tell me that there is a lot of speculation on leather armor of some sort, which has since just rotted away; we have iron helmets that have remained, but that seems to be about all that has survived from that period. 
           
          We have lots of stuff from the 17th century and later (isn't that always the way of it?), so the attempt is to pull together as complete a picture as we can, along with "tradition" of what people wore, in an attempt to recreate something plausible to bridge the gap.  I figure we need to look at all of the neighbors:  Malaysia, Myanmar, S. China (Sipsongbanna and most of Yunan), Laos, and Cambodia.  I'd include Vietnam, but traditionally Vietnam/Annam seem to be more heavily influenced by China, with the mountains between Vietnam and Laos forming a fairly substantial barrier to direct contact, though there was definitely some.
           
          -Ii
           
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