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Brawn Barber




Location: In the shop
Joined: 20 Nov 2008

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Kidney Belt Question         Reply with quote

Having made so many of them, I never really thought about it. I apologize in advance if the question has been addressed before, but is there any historical evidence of the Kidney belt being employed as piece of functional armour?
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
Joined: 17 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nothing in my (admittedly limited) experience and readings leads me to think the kidney belt has historical precedence as a functional piece of armour. Please keep in mind there are many others here who have much more knowledge on the subject than I do.

While looking at your web site, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that you supplied some of the "armour" for the St. Paul, MN Winter Carnival "Fire King Rex and his Vulcan Krewe". If you've never seen these guys in action, they get away with stuff during the carnival that is illegal in most states!

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Brawn Barber




Location: In the shop
Joined: 20 Nov 2008

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's been cast about in the armouring world numerous times about Vikings and Kidney belts so I was hoping there was something there, but in the cursory research I've done I can't find anything.

Minnesota must be wonderful. I should be living there, but you've got to work with the cards you're dealt, I guess.
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i know of no such creature other than the early Greek type bronze belt and the late roman wide belt
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Somewhere in the Archaeology of Weapons; Oakeshott described a very wide Migration Period leather war belt worn on the exterior over padding & armor. It was re-enforced with metal strips and had hanging rings to mount weapons to.

Also, the Romanians still use a type of kidney belt called a chamir worn over a padded gambeson that was derived from Roman and Dacian precursors. The belt is hardened leather, re-enforced with metal studs:



At any rate, these appear to be very early examples to do more in the way of disbursing weight or offering support than for actual protection - as nothing I have seen extends up to protect the actual kidney region. I don't know about functional, but it was figured out by some cultures that they worked for something.

Both of these have been discussed here before. I'd try to get the links up later! Happy

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 678

PostPosted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 9:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That belt that Sarge posted; I want it! Laughing Out Loud
I guess it's kind of like the question "Did pourpoints exist in the 11th-13thC.?", we can't know for sure, but if it seems feasible to a degree then it should be alright. If taken with a pinch of salt.

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
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Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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Romulus Stoica




Location: Hunedoara, Transylvania, Romania
Joined: 26 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 22 Jul, 2010 10:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That belt is called "chimir" (spelled like - kimir, in romanian "chi" sounds like "ki"). It is still worn by men in the mountain villages and you could still buy it at the rural fairs, especially at cattle fairs. It's 2 or 3 layers of hardened leather, with or without metal studs and often with decorative stitches and models molded in the hardened leather. It was used from ancient times and in many ballads is described as a form of armor, every hero wears it Happy ... It is strong enough to protect against slashing and cutting blows. It will surely stop a knife or a dagger and even a light sword I believe.
The flap you see on the side, is a pocket on the inside of the chimir, for small valuable tings like keys or money. Both my grandfathers still wore a chimir and one my uncles did wear it sometimes.
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Jul, 2010 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Romulus Stoica wrote:
That belt is called "chimir" (spelled like - kimir, in romanian "chi" sounds like "ki"). It is still worn by men in the mountain villages and you could still buy it at the rural fairs, especially at cattle fairs. It's 2 or 3 layers of hardened leather, with or without metal studs and often with decorative stitches and models molded in the hardened leather. It was used from ancient times and in many ballads is described as a form of armor, every hero wears it Happy ... It is strong enough to protect against slashing and cutting blows. It will surely stop a knife or a dagger and even a light sword I believe.
The flap you see on the side, is a pocket on the inside of the chimir, for small valuable tings like keys or money. Both my grandfathers still wore a chimir and one my uncles did wear it sometimes.
Wow, great information Romulus. Never a day goes by that I don't learn something new on this forum. Just Googling "chimir" turns up tons of information. I find it very cool that you have a direct, tangible connection to this ancient belt/armour. Happy
...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Brawn Barber




Location: In the shop
Joined: 20 Nov 2008

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Fri 23 Jul, 2010 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, a lot of great input here however I guess the question as to whether it was ever an actual piece of armour is still up in the air.
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Fri 23 Jul, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am digging for the links, but I have seen really wide belts being worn over armor in 13th or 14th century European art before. I just have to find out where because I do not readily recall. I will keep looking... Happy
J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Michael Ekelmann




Location: Seattle Metro Area, USA
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Jul, 2010 11:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In Peter Connolly's Greece and Rome At War there are pictures of some armour from the early Roman period, before the entire Italian pennisula was under Roman control. The Samnites wore armour that had a wide bronze belt to cover what the bronze pectoral left exposed. Osprey's The Scythians has some illustrations of bronze lammellar girdles worn as an element of a full lammellar kit. It's an Angus McBride illustraion, so YMMV.
“Men prefer to fight with swords, so they can see each other's eyes!" Sean Connery as Mulay Hamid El Raisuli in The Wind and the Lion
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