07 October, 2012

Military Costume and Accoutrements in Ancient India

Military Costume and Accoutrements in Ancient India

By- Uma Prasad Thapliyal

The study of military costume and accoutrements in ancient India have not engaged the desired attention of scholars. Even important treatises on warfare have simply glossed over the subject.

An in-depth study, however, reveals an intimate connection between warfare and the military costume. Armour was devised at an early date to protect the body from arrow-shot, spear thrust or sword-cut. Even war elephants and horses were protected by armour. The shield was meant to ward off an attack at close quarters. The make, shape and size of armour or shield was again determined by the nature of threat to be encountered.

The choice of accoutrements was largely determined by the type of the weapons carried by the warrior. The scabbard was devised to carry a sword and a quiver to keep arrows. A waist-band and cross-belt were worn to tie-up the sword and quiver respectively. The art of war also influenced the choice of military costume. The Scytho-Ku¦ŒÄa mounted archer used coat, trousers and boots as these suited their tactics of war. The Indian soldiers tied up their loose dhoti in a manner so that no loose ends dangled below to impede the military maneuver.

This volume tries to explore the relationship between military costume and warfare through the ages and will be of immense interest to scholars of Indian military history.

ISBN  978-81-7304-955-2  2012   165p.   Rs.695/Pounds 35

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