Monday, August 22, 2005

Useful re-enactment stuff - Part I

The main reason I do re-enactment is to gain insights as to how artefacts, clothing, etc., were actually used. This informs my archaeology, but also my writing (when I do it!)

With the previous ruminations over mail shirts, one of the useful things I found out was the use of a belt. Chaps use belts to help distribute the weight of the mail shirts. To get out of a heavy mail shirt, you need to lean forward and let the shirt drop off (after you've wriggled to get it loose) Watch your hair, otherwise it'll get entangled! Personal experience here ...

There are lots of types of mail, including all rivetted, one butted/one rivetted, and all butted. Mail can come unlinked, but quick field repairs can be made. Some sort of padding under the mail helps with deflection of weapons. Again, it also helps to distribute the weight, otherwise mail has a tendency to 'suck' in against the body. A fully armoured man is generally an overheating one - submarlis & mail are effective defence, but come at a price. During shows, we always have water with us. Major shows have specific water carriers. Otherwise, heat exhaustion sets in fast. The first thing a fighter wants to do after an event is shed the ole mail shirt.


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