DISCUSSION

 

V.
T
HE ARMOURS
鎧 甲


 

 

D - Historic Re-Enactment

 

 

 

 

       When we see, for example, a statuary of Quang-Trung Nguyễn-Huệ Emperor from Tây-Sõn Dynasty (1788-1792), depicting him wearing an Armour from TRẦN Dynasty (1225~1400), this illogical anachronism - four-centurles interval - we have immediately an idea that the Historic-Re-Enactment of Armours is a fact which deserves to be encouraged. Even if it doesn't exist nowadays a cliver craftsman capable to forge Armours perfectly conform to historic models, on the fondamental architectural realization of Armours based on historic documents and relics of the past would be always a judicious thing.

Statue of Emperor Quang-Trung NGUYỄN-Huệ 1788~1792
wearing Đại-Việt Scales Armour « Khải-Giáp ».

( Photo Credit : Vietnam Magazine )
.

 

Statue of Generalissimo TRẦN Hưng Đạo (1213~1300)
wearing Đại-Việt Scales Armour « Khải-Giáp ».

( Photo Credit : Prof. Thái Văn Kiểm )
.

 

       Before setting about doing the Armour's Historic Re-Enactment, it's necessary for us, not only to know the Synoptique of the Armour's Evolution and to do the Armour's Comparative Study throughout the Periodes of Dynasties, but it's still necessary for us to know making the Distinction of Armour's Categories, to carry out Researches on Characteristiques of Armours in order to decide afterwards the category or categories that we want to realize the reconstitution.


       I - The Distinction of Armour's Categories

 


       The term Armour uses to designate commonly protector clothing of warrors going to battle-fields.

       In reality, the Armour is divided into several categories :


       I - The Category of Armours for on foot fighting, comprising two kinds :

            A - The one reserved to Infantry Generals and Infantry Officers, always owning Pauldrons (Thủ-Kiên-Giáp) on top of that the Helmet, the Breast-plate and the Back-plate :
                   a - the Pauldrons (Thủ-Kiên-Giáp) - that are pieces of armour using for the shoulder joint protection ;
                 b - theTassets of Crotch (Hạ Bàn-Giáp) - that are pieces of armour using for the protection of lower abdomen parts and of the lower back parts, during the moving legs further apart in fighting posture (Trung-Bình-Tấn, Đinh-Tấn) ;

             B
- The one reserved to Footsoldiers never owning Pauldrons and which divides up into two kinds of Armour :
                     1) Armour holding a Breast-plate (Hung-Giáp) but neither Cuishes (Đại-Thối Giáp) nor Back-plate (Bối-Giáp) ;
                     2) Armour holding Cuishes and Back-plate on top of that the Breast-plate (Hung-Giáp).


       II - The Category of Armours for on horseback fighting, comprising two kinds :

                 A - The one reserved to Cavalry Generals and Cavalry Officers, always owning Pauldrons (Thủ-Kiên-Giáp) on top of that the Helmet, the Breast-plate and the Back-plate, but which never owns Tassets of Crotch (Hạ Bàn-Giáp), because that is to fight on horseback ;

            B - The one reserved to Cavalry Soldiers owning no Pauldrons (Thủ-Kiên-Giáp) but holding Cuishes and Back-plate on top of that Breast-plate.

Statue of Đại-Việt Warrior in Infantryman Armour
with the long « Two-Handed Saber-Gươm »
Đại-Việt - 16th~18th Centuries
- LÊ Dynasty of the Renaissance (1533~1789) -

Credit Photo : Prf. Đặng Phương Mai

 

Statue of Đại-Việt Warrior in Cavalry Armour
with Particular-Arm « War Scythe Phãng-Náp »
Đại-Việt - 16th~18th Centuries
- LÊ Dynasty of the Renaissance (1533~1789) -

Credit Photo : Thông-Tấn-Xả Vàng-Anh

 



       II - The Characteristiques of the Armour from Đại-Việt (from three Dynasties LÝ, TRẦN and LÊ)

       A - War Helmet has these characteristiques following :

                1 - Helmet called Đâu-Mâu 兜 鍪 is with low Crest in roundness shape with no plume (Fig.01) ;

              2 - Helmet called Khôi-Mạo 盔 帽 is holding a pointed high Crest with plume, Ears Protection in Fire Pearl shaped and in addition Arches for protecting temples (Fig.03 & Fig.05), and even a fixed Visor in a Mask shaped (Fig.06) ; later, it's holding lateral protection in the form of Flying Phoenix Wings that is the reason of his name of "Flying Phoenix Wings (Phượng-Dực Mạo 鳳 翊 帽 )" (Fg.02).

Fig. 01 - Statue of Warrior with the Helmet "Đâu-Mâu" 兜 鍪
- Đại-Việt - Circa 17th Century -


 

Fig. 02 - Helmet holding Ears Protection in
Flying Phoenix Wings shaped
(Phượng-Dực Mạo 鳳 翊 帽 ).
- Đại-Việt - Circa 15th ~ 17th Centuries -

 

Fig.03 - Helmet holding Ears Protection
in Fire Pearl shaped.
(three-quarter profile view)
- (Đại-Việt - Circa 13th ~ 15th Centuries -

(Photo Credit : Nguyễn Ngọc Phương Đông)

 

Fig.04 - Helmet holding Ears Protection in Fire Pearl shaped
with Arches for protecting temples.
(backside view)
- Đại-Việt - Circa 13th ~ 15th Centuries -

(Photo Credit : Nguyễn Ngọc Phương Đông)

 

Fig.05 - Helmet holding Ears Protection in Fire Pearl shaped
and Arches for protecting temples.
(three-quarter profile view)
- Đại-Việt - Circa 12th ~ 13th Centuries -
(Not later than 14th Century)

 

Fig.06 - Helmet holding Ears Protection in Fire Pearl shaped
and Arches for protecting temples.
(backside view)
- Đại-Việt - Circa 10th ~ 12th Centuries -
(Not later than 13th Century)

 



       B - War Armour has these characteristiques following :

              1 - Shoulder Harness made up of Pauldrons (Thủ-Kiên-Giáp 頭 肩 甲) designed in cloud flakes shaped covering the shoulder joint (Fig. 07), sometimes in the Tiger-Head-shaped.



Fig.07 - Statue of Dharmapâla in Armour holding
Pauldrons "Thủ-Kiên-Giáp" 頭 肩 甲
in stylized cloud flakes shapes covering the shoulder-head.
(Thiên-Mụ Pagoda, Huế - Việt-Nam)

(Photo Credit : Xavier Manneville)

 

H.08 - Statue of Dharmapâla in Armour holding
Pauldrons "Thủ-Kiên-Giáp" 頭 肩 甲
in stylized cloud flakes shapes covering the shoulder-head.
- Thiên-Phúc Pagoda, Sơn-Tây -

Việt-Nam - 12th Century.

 

 

               2 - The Protection of the Chest, the Belly and the Back, i.e. of the Trunk (Thân-Giáp 身甲) comprises Thre Components :
                      a) The Chest Protection - Breats-plate Hung-Giáp
胸 甲 : it was designed very early in bygone days with fibers of Coconut or with Wicker. Then since the Bronze Period, the Breats-Plate was designed under the form of a Square or rectangular Plate, called Hộ-Tâm Phiến (Heart Protector Plate) (Fig.09 ; Fig.10). Well more later, it was since Iron Age that the Breats-Plate was designed in accordance with the model from medieval Armour Khải-Giáp ( 鎧甲).

 

Breast-Plate under the form of Square Plate, said "Heart Protector Plate" ( Hộ-Tâm Phiến).
- Hồng-Bàng Dynasty Period (2879~258BC) -

(Photo Credit : Ngọc Thắng)

Breast-Plate under the form of Square Plate, said "Heart Protector Plate" ( Hộ-Tâm Phiến).
- Hồng-Bàng Dynasty Period (2879~258BC) -

(Photo Credit : Ngọc Thắng)

 

Breast-Plate under the form of Rectangular Plate, said "Heart Protector Plate" ( Hộ-Tâm Phiến).
- Hồng-Bàng Dynasty Period (2879~258BC) -

(Photo Credit : Ngọc Thắng)


                     b) The Belly Protection - the Harness of Belly Hung-Giáp Phúc-Giáp 腹 甲 : at the very beginning about the Bronze Age, it was not still considered. It was more later since the Iron Age that the Belly Protection Phúc-Giáp was designed according the round shaped Plate with carved dragon headed and riveted rivetée onto a large leather Belt tighly fit around the waist.


Armour of Đại-Việt - 13th century
Statue of Generalissimo TRẦN Hưng Đạo 1213~1300 -
vanquisher of Toghan, Sogetu, Ariq-Qaya, Ogotaï
and Omar's Mongol Armies)

Credit Photo : Prf. Thái Văn Kiểm

Armour of China - 13th century
- Statue of Generalissimo -
Southern SONG Dynasty (1127~1279)

Credit Photo : Pakistan Defence

 

        

                     c) The Back Protection - the Back-Plate Bối-Giáp 背 甲 : it was designed since the beginning as those of the Breast-Plate under the form of a Square or rectangular Plate (Hộ-Tâm Phiến) previously quoted. Well more later, it was since Iron Age that the Back-Plate was designed in accordance with the model from medieval Armour Khải-Giáp ( 鎧甲).



                  3 - The Protection of the Upper Limbs : it is constituted by the Leg harness (Hạn-Giáp 釬甲) comprising Three parts :
                   a) The Rerebraces (Thượng-Bác-Giáp
上 膊 甲) (Upperarm Harness) under the shape of Spallières, holding Armpit Harness Dịch-Oa-Giáp 腋 窩 甲 made of leather straps flapping idly against the flank (Fig.09).
                     b) The Vambraces (Hạ-Bác-Giáp 下 膊 甲) (Forearm Harness) designed in rings welded into split cylinder-shaped (Fig.04 ; Fig.11) untill Circa 14th ~ 15th Century (Fig.04 & Fig.09), and later more advanced (Fig.13 ; Fig.14 ; Fig.17 ; Fig.10).
                   c) The Elbow Cops (Trữu-Giáp
肘 甲) (Elbow Harness) often in Fire Pearl or in Cloud Flakes stylized shapes (Fig.14 ; Fig.15 ; Fig.16).

 

Fig.09 - Silk Armour under NGUYỄN Dynasty
(still carrying relics of Armpit Protection "Dịch-Oa Giáp"
腋 窩 甲 and Knee Protection Tất-Giáp 膝甲).
- Việt-Nam - 19th century -

 

H.10 - Rerebrace (Thượng-Bác-Giáp 上 膊 甲) (Upperarm Harness)
and Vambrace (Hạ-Bác-Giáp 下 膊 甲)
(Forearm Harness)
- Việt-Nam - 12th Century -

 

 

Fig.11 - Vambrace (Hạ-Bác-Giáp 下 膊 甲)
(Forearm Harness)

Văn-Lang Kingdom - 2879~258 BC.

(Photo Credit : Nguyễn Ngọc Phương Đông)

 

H.12 - Ecailles de Broze - Đồng-Giáp 銅 甲
(Recouvrant l'Armure)

Royaume de Văn-Lang - 2879~258 trước CL.

(Crédit Photo : Bình-Định Sa-Long-Cương)

 

Fig.11 - Vambrace (Hạ-Bác-Giáp 下 膊 甲)
(Forearm Harness)

Đại-Việt - Circa 13th~15th Centuries.

(Photo Credit : Nguyễn Ngọc Phương Đông)

H.14 - Vambrace (Hạ-Bác-Giáp 下 膊 甲)
(Forearm Harness)

Âu-Lạc Kingdom - 258~207 Av JC.

(Crédit Photo : vozforums.com)

 

H.13 - Elbow Cops (Trữu-Giáp 肘 甲)
(Elbow Harness in cloud flakes stylized shapes).
Tất-Giáp 膝甲 (Giáp đỡ che Đầu Gối)
- Statue of Dharmapâla, Thầy Pagoda, Quốc-Oai - Hà-Nội -

Việt-Nam - 12th Century.

(Photo Credit : Xavier Manneville)

 

H.14 - Elbow Cops (Trữu-Giáp 肘 甲)
(Elbow Harness in cloud flakes stylized shapes).
- Statue of Dharmapâla, Thầy Pagoda, Quốc-Oai - Hà-Nội -

Việt-Nam - 12th Century.

(Photo Credit : Xavier Manneville)

 



              4 - The Protection of the Lower Limbs : it is constituted by Leg harness (Thối Giáp 腿 甲) comprising Three parts :
                     
a) Cuishes
(Đại-Thối Giáp 大 腿 甲) (Fig.15) ;
                     b)
Poleyns (Tất-Giáp
膝 甲) (Fig.16) ;
                     
c) Greaves (Tiểu-Thối Giáp
小腿 甲) (Fig.15) .

H.15 - Cuish (Đại-Thối Giáp 大 腿 甲),
Poleyn (Tất-Giáp 膝 甲 - Knee Protection)
and Greave (Tiểu-Thối Giáp 小腿 甲).
- Statue of Dharmapâla, Thiên-Phúc Pagoda, Sơn-Tây -
Việt-Nam - 12th Century.

 

H.16 - Poleyn (Tất-Giáp 膝 甲 - Knee Protection)
- Statue of Dharmapâla, Thầy Pagoda, Quốc-Oai - Hà-Nội -

Việt-Nam - 12th Century.

(Photo Credit : Xavier Manneville)

 

Fig.17 - Vambrace (Hạ-Bác-Giáp 下 膊 甲)
(Forearm Harness)

Tần (秦 - Qin) Dynasty - 248~207 BC.

 

Fig.18 - Greave (Tiểu-Thối Giáp 小腿 甲)
(Leg Harness
)
Tần (秦 - Qin) Dynasty - 248~207 BC.

 

 

H.17 -Grève (Tiểu-Thối Giáp 小腿 甲)
(Protection de la Jambe)

Âu-Lạc - 258~207 trước CL.

 


H.18 - Grève (Tiểu-Thối Giáp 小腿 甲)
(Protection de la Jambe
)
Âu-Lạc - 258~207 trước CL.

 


              5 - The Protection of the Feet : it is constituted by Feet Harness defended by Cothurnes (War Boots) comprising three parts :
                     
a) The Shin protection
(Fig. 19 ; Fig.20 ; Fig.21) ;
                     b) The Top of the Foot protection (Fig. 19 ; Fig.20 ; Fig.22) ;
                     b)
The Achiles Heel protection
(Fig. 19 ; H.22).

 

Fig.19 - War Boots (Shin Protection ;
Upper Protection ; Heel Protection)

(Statue in Thiên-Mụ Pagoda - Old Imperial Capital Huế).

(Tín-dụng ảnh : Xavier Manneville)


Fig.20 - War Boots (Shin Protection ;
Upper Protection ; Heel Protection)

from Đại-Việt'Armour
(Statue in Thiên-Mụ Pagoda - Old Imperial Capital Huế).


(Tín-dụng ảnh : Xavier Manneville)

Fig.21 - War Boots from
Minh-Quang Khải of China
MING Period (1368-1644).

 

Fig.22 - War Boots from
Minh-Quang Khải of China
TANG Period (618-907).

 


 

(To be continued...)

 

ACADEMIY
VÕ-TRẬN ĐẠI-VIỆT

Bình-Định Sa-Long-Cương
FRANCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       A - Synoptic of the Armour's Evolution

       B - Armour's Comparative Study

       C - The Historic Re-Enactment - (Photos Gallery)

       D - The Discussion about the War Horse Armour

       E - The Discussion about the War Elephant Armour

 

 

Return to Page HISTORY - The Võ-Trận Đại-Việt Department

 

 

 

 

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