Another thought on boots...

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Elleth
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Another thought on boots...

Post by Elleth »

... I'm *not* saying this fits well for Aragorn's "supple leather."

But I'm getting more and more intrigued by the clothes the dudes in this Russian song/video are wearing:


https://youtu.be/0JQ0xnJyb0A
(look especially at the guys at the 2:50 mark)

... looks like linen tunic and trousers, tablet-woven belt, and medium-heavy cattleskin boots.
Leaving aside that that's a look that's just incredibly dashing on most guys.. :mrgreen:


It all seems very long-river / Lakemen were I to think of it in a "Tolkien" context, but my eyes keep going to those boots.... They don't at all fit my prior conception of a Dark-Ages-Britain look, but at the same time given that kind of thing was everywhere in '80s fantasy art so it does feel rather familiar.

More practically.... I've cheated and worn my barn muck boots on hikes and they worked surprisingly well until the rubber gave out. I'd have thought they'd slide and blister all over, but... nope.
I've been tempted to replace the rubber muckboots with leather ones someday, just to try the idea out properly.

Anyone played with boots like that in - say - WWI/WWII reenactments? If so, how would you say they were for the woods, compared to the turnshoe-based patterns we all seem to be drifting towards?

(For what it's worth, I still think the turnshoe approach is "right" for Eriador - this is more academic/woods-romping curiosity)
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SierraStrider
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Re: Another thought on boots...

Post by SierraStrider »

My god, I've never seen anything more slavic...
Thank you for sharing that video and improving my day, regardless of what insights it may bring.
Regarding the boots, my first thought is that hard leather soles like that are quite slick without hobnails, but I guess you could just add hobnails?
The heels are interesting. I'd welcome correction, but it's my understanding that heels on boots prevent the boot from slipping through the stirrup when on horseback. I'm not aware of any other functional purpose. That said...horses play a large role in Middle Earth. It's not out of the question that heeled boots would be worn for that benefit alone.
Wait, do the saddles of Middle Earth have stirrups?
Elleth
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Re: Another thought on boots...

Post by Elleth »

Ha!

I love this one to...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbBU06irWT8

... I swear, I can't understand a word, but in character they remind me *so* much of Alaskan folk musicians. I guess it makes sense, given Russians were settling up there before we were.

Anyhow - boots.

What got me thinking was less the built-up heel than the stiff(ish) cowhide shaft - just slip your foot in and go. No openings for water to get in, no strapping to come undone or catch tangles... I could imagine with the right sole they'd work pretty well.

Regarding Middle-earth and stirrups though: apparently so. The Black Rider had them:
Round the corner came a black horse, no hobbit-pony but a full-sized horse; and on it sat a large man, who seemed to crouch in the saddle, wrapped in a great black cloak and hood, so that only his boots in the high stirrups showed below; his face was shadowed and invisible.


I've a vague memory Bilbo had boots by Laketown, but can't recall where they came from... Beorn?


edit - also, anyone have any idea what's going on in those videos with the bundle of greenery? It looks like they use bundles of that plant in several of their videos, and it looks like it might be alluding to a "cleansing" context (like as I vaguely recall Romans(?) using rosemary).... but I can't tell for certain.
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Iodo
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Re: Another thought on boots...

Post by Iodo »

Elleth wrote: I've a vague memory Bilbo had boots by Laketown, but can't recall where they came from... Beorn?
Finally a law question I can answer :lol: I was researching this a few weeks ago:
JRR Tolkien, Letter 27 wrote: There is in the text no mention of his [Bilbo's] acquiring of boots. There should be! It has dropped out somehow or other in the various revisions—the bootings occurred at Rivendell; and he was again bootless after leaving Rivendell on the way home. But since leathery soles, and well-brushed furr feet are a feature of essential hobbitness, he ought really to appear unbooted, except in special illustrations of episodes
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: Another thought on boots...

Post by Will o’ the Wild »

I’m guessing the bundles of greenery are used for whacking your comrades in the sauna. Banya is the Russian term for sauna if I remember right. I’ve never experienced it, but they say a light pummeling about the shoulders whilst in the banya improves circulation and other such benefits. I suspect it makes you feel better because it’s part of a relaxation ritual. I think the Finns might do something similar.
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caedmon
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Re: Another thought on boots...

Post by caedmon »

Good 20 second look at them in this video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HtvH34CmZY

I had a pair of these in the 90's, The calves were way to small but I loved the hell out of them.

It could be too much Hildebrand art as a kid, but this is what I always figured what Tolkien had in mind

But I just can't go there myself.

Now, Forchel? Mid-winter you NEED Valenki.
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Elleth
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Re: Another thought on boots...

Post by Elleth »

Oh goodness those look toasty!

Looking at the wiki I'm curious about the assertion that they were a "rich person" thing originally though: it seems felted booties would be cheaper to produce than knitted socks... unless it's just the sheer quantity of wool?
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Elleth
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And also belts!

Post by Elleth »

Another thing I keep noticing watching these videos: just about everyone in traditional costume may be wearing (what look like) tablet woven belts:
traditional-woven-belts.jpg
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Men, women, boys, girls - it seems a universal option.

Now, I don't know if that's the Russian trad equivalent of a reenactorism, BUT I recall when studying reports of buckle finds of the Saxon era that strap ends far outpaced buckles... I'd have to go looking to find the ratio, but it was a marked difference. *Way* more than you'd expect if everyone was wearing buckled leather belts with metal strap ends.

Which leads me to wonder: maybe these tablet-woven tied belts should be more common among the "civilians" of Eridaor?
I seem to recall 18th century longhunters* went through a similar shift from belts to woven sashes about twenty years ago based on more readings from Draper.

It could be that woven sashes rather than leather belts have always been much more common than our - or at least my - mental image expected.




*edit: "18th c. longhunter REENACTORS went through a similar shift... "
Last edited by Elleth on Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cimrandir
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Re: Another thought on boots...

Post by Cimrandir »

It's very interesting that you bring up tablet-weaving Elleth as for the last three months or so I've been following a handful of tablet-weaving groups on Facebook and have been strongly considering adding some to the kit plans. In fact, I was planning this week to start a thread on Middle-earthy patterns for tablet-weaving to draw inspiration from for the group. Serendipitous timing!
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Manveruon
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Re: Another thought on boots...

Post by Manveruon »

Honestly, that makes a lot of sense. I feel like tablet-woven belts/girdles/sashes are extremely under-represented in fantasy. Maybe leather just looks “cooler.” But we definitely know tablet woven belts have been widely used for centuries. I probably wouldn’t want one with my specific kit, but I feel like they’re perfect for a more “casual civilian” look.
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Re: Another thought on boots...

Post by Udwin »

Always More Sashes! I got into fingerweaving a couple years ago to make some hemp tumplines for an Ewok packbasket, and I've been intending to replace my Beorning's inkle-woven plain sash with a fingerwoven chevron-pattern (geometrics!) sash in more persona-appropriate colors. It might be time for me to dig it out and give it another try!
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA
Elleth
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Re: Another thought on boots...

Post by Elleth »

Ah! found the reference:
It is thought that buckles in both the late Anglo-Saxon and Viking-age worlds may have been worn by both men and women, in sets with strap-ends (Kershaw 2013, 173-5) although, as strap-ends vastly outnumber the buckles, most belts must have been knotted or otherwise fastened without buckles (Thomas 2000, 265-269 and 279).
https://finds.org.uk/counties/findsreco ... s/buckles/
I've been following a handful of tablet-weaving groups on Facebook and have been strongly considering adding some to the kit plans. In fact, I was planning this week to start a thread on Middle-earthy patterns for tablet-weaving to draw inspiration from for the group. Serendipitous timing!
I WOULD SO LOVE TO SEE THAT!!

Fingerweaving - ooh! Udwin, that sounds awesome.
Arthritis-inducing, but awesome. :mrgreen:
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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