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Category: History

The Vietnamese military suit during an era of Le (1428-1789)

v. A. Vetyukov


Work is presented by the sector of the Far East of the St. Petersburg branch of Institute of oriental studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Research supervisors - the candidate of historical sciences S.A. Shkolyar, Candidate of Philology E.Yu. Knorozova

Article is devoted to such low-studied subject as history of the Vietnamese military suit. Leaning on the source of "Record about military science" created by the famous Vietnamese scientist-Confucian Fang Hyui Chu (1782-1840) and also on illustrative sources from art fund SPBFIVRAN, the author describes the headdresses and clothes used by soldiers of an era of Le (1428-1789).

The article is dedicated to such a poor-investigated theme as the history of Vietnamese military dress. The author makes a description of hats and military dress, used by soldiers of Le period (14281789) basing on "The notes about warfare", created by well-known Vietnamese Confucian scientist Phan Hui Chu (1782-1840), and on the illustrative sources from the collection of St.Petersburg branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of RAS.

History of traditional military science, and, in particular, a military suit in the Far East, in the countries relating to an area of distribution of the Chinese culture (first of all, in China and in Japan),

already for a long time attracts great interest in our country and abroad. In Russia for the last two decades many monographs, scientific and popular scientific articles on this problem appeared.

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Vietnam - this very influential country of the Indochina peninsula, apparently, was absolutely ignored the scientists who are interested in the history of the Far East military tradition. Both in Vietnam, and beyond its limits, there are no serious researchers who devoted the activity to this problem yet. This circumstance especially is a pity that the history of Vietnam is literally oversaturated by military events.

In the present article the attempt of reconstruction of the Vietnamese military suit of an era of Le is made (1428-1789). This era in the history of the country was time of intensive development of military science. The dynasty of Le ascended to a throne during the anti-Chinese liberation war (1407-1428). The founder of a dynasty Le Tkhaille and his closest descendants held numerous events for strengthening of armed forces which result were successful wars with the state of Champa in the second half of HOU-go of century. Collisions between feudal clans in HU1-HU11 of centuries were followed by gradual introduction in military science of the European innovations. The final stage of board of a dynasty of Le is characterized numerous a cross - the yansky disorders and revolts which developed into full-scale national war during which the power was taken in hand by Nguyen Hue - the leader of insurgent army Teyshonov (1789). Under its leadership the Vietnamese the same year successfully beat off attempt of the Chinese invasion on the country North.

During this period many elements of military tradition of Vietnam - military ideology, martial arts, a complex of arms and, including, a traditional military suit were finally issued. By the end of the 18th century it gained the "initial" shape in which look and remained before colonization of the country by the French a century later.

Studying the Vietnamese military suit actively was not carried out so far. One of the reasons of it, on -

to seen, insufficiently big circle of sources on this problem is. Generally it is graphic sources and also not numerous museum pieces relating by the time of board of a dynasty Nguyen (1802-1945). As for the previous period, on it it is necessary to recognize data as just poor. It is authentically known that in the period of dependence on China (111 BC is-938 AD old) the vyeta borrowed the Chinese suit and modified it. It is natural that the last strongly varied, depending on social accessory and welfare of the owner. The average clothes on prosperity of the citizen or peasant included trousers, a light shirt with, as a rule, full sleeves, a headdress in the form of a turban from wrapped up several times around the head made of cloth lenty1. The world-famous Vietnamese conic hat from palm leaves which is called non protected from the sun. It, however, could be produced from other materials (for example reed). Standing light wattled sandals or "slippers" of the Chinese sample were worn. Peasants and poor citizens often went barefoot. Only wealthy people holding administrative posts were able to afford expensive silk dressing gowns, intricate headdresses and comfortable boots. The military suit was modification of civil clothes. In parts of regular army some of its details were regulated. More or less detailed description of such elements of a military suit gives us the composition entitled "Records about military science", belonging to authorship Fang Hyui Chu.

Fang Hyui Chu (1782-1840) is the glorified Vietnamese scientist-Encyclopaedist. Its main work - "Pour a Chiyea Hiyen Chyong Loay Chi" ("The classified records on stories of last dynasties") 2 was created for ten years - from 1809 to 1819. It consists of ten thematic sections in which the different parties the figure - are considered in the development

Nosta of governors of Vietnam with X on HUS-y centuries. One of sections are "Bin che chi" ("Records about military science") which can quite be considered as the independent composition.

"Records about military science" consist of three volumes broken into thematic chapters (total number of heads - seven). The structure of each chapter is identical. In a chronological order everything that was made in that sphere to which the head is devoted, at each governor of the country is stated. At first the name of a dynasty is specified, then the throne name of the sovereign, his motto of board follows, number of year under this motto is given and reported what event took place at this time what decrees were issued. Speaks that induced the sovereign to issue any given decree, the text of the document is often cited. From time to time comments on the events stated by chroniclers of the past are given. At the end of each chapter the author's comment of the above information is given.

Chapter 4 of "Records about military science" devoted to questions of equipping of the Vietnamese armed forces opens the section on a uniform. It is interesting that the speech goes only about headdresses here. Clothes it is never mentioned. Probably, in those days, in question the headdress was the basic "uniform" element in the soldier's suit.

As Fang Hyui Chu reports, at the beginning of board of a dynasty Din (938-979) its founder Din Bo Lin decided that soldiers of ten dao3 all have to carry "a flat quadrangular headdress" - mu you fyong bin din4. Quadrangular, extending from top to bottom, the cap flat from above was produced from skin. Interestingly, what origin of a headdress of so strange form. It is known that the cap edged below by fur with flat square top was a national headdress of many nomadic Turkic people. Perhaps, Din Bo Lin saw similar caps at the nomads serving in ranks Chinese are -

Mia, also decided to borrow their original form. With definiteness it is difficult to answer a question of origin of this subject. Fang Hyui Chu adds that corners of a cap "were sewed with each other". Probably, they strongly acted forward, bent them upward and connected.

Fang Hyui Chu gives more detailed data on an era of Le (1428-1789). He writes that in the period of Hong So (1459-1497) the regulations of uniform headdresses according to which soldiers of household troops wore "hats of the water ghost" - non tkhyu ma and the hats covered with red varnish non with to were entered. Both those, and others, apparently, had conical shape as are called a word non5. The first kind of hats was spun from water reed Guy Nyok, and they, probably, differed from usual country hats a little. The second were probably produced from skin and on top became covered with red varnish.

Very brightly (1509-1510) new model of a headdress entered by the sovereign Tyong Zyk into government of Hong Tkhu-an for guardsmen looked. It was the red cap with ornament in the form of the wings of a phoenix made of sheet zolota6.

At the beginning of an era of Chung Hyng (1533-1789) soldiers of the parts of a tkha of Hau protecting the military governor of a chu from Chin7 clan wore reed hats which were made. When hats wore out, soldiers received new reed from the Justice army sluzhby8. The headdress of soldiers of provincial troops ngoay bin9 was made of skin of a buffalo and became covered red lakom10. Governors of provincial districts a tub and administration of the capital markets bore the state duty on preparation of the buffalo skin necessary for production of soldier's hats. Probably, the speech goes about objects of the same style here, as mentioned above skin - ny conic attires non with to, Hong used in board So. They were the sizes less reed and represented not only a uniform headdress, but also option of an easy shelm.

It is interesting that the small conic hats made of skin and varnished existed in Japan HU1-H1H of centuries where they were worn by ordinary infantrymen to an asigar. Researchers of the Japanese arms are inclined to call them shlemami11.

We can draw a conclusion that in the 15-18th centuries of uniform per se in the Vietnamese troops did not exist yet. The soldier dressed a usual secular suit and an armor if they were available. From the composition Fang Hyui Chu we can conclude with reliability that the authorities regulated only a headdress of the military personnel. And, initially it concerned only Guards divisions lodging in the capital district. In XVI-

XVII centuries of unification underwent also headdresses of soldiers of provincial troops. Nevertheless, there is a question of whether other elements of a military suit were regulated.

That in Vietnam XV-

Centuries a certain similarity of a uniform for the serving exclusive divisions existed XVIII tell the data relating to the period Nguyen (1802-1945) who, especially at the initial stage, was closely connected by traditions with the previous era. According to data of the French authors, in the 19th century the Vietnamese guardsmen wore bright silk shirts with long sleeves ("tunics", according to L. Bezasyer) which color was regulated according to types of military forces (at gunners - red, at horsemen - yellow with a blue border, at "naval crew" - red with patterns and a wide blue border) 12.

As for Le's period, it is necessary to mention that in the last, the chapter 7 of "Records about military science" Fang Hyui Chu, describing the parades and ceremonies with participation of military units which were taking place in the end of XVII - the first half of the 18th century, reports that soldiers of privileged capital troops Kuang chong everything were dressed in caps from rami13 and light blue clothes from fine silk, spetsial-

but vydavashuyusya for similar meropriyatiy14. Thus, we can conclude that at the final stage of board of a dynasty of Le - during an era of Chung Hyng (15331789) for capital troops there was a regulated ceremonial uniform.

Visually to present how the solemn attire Vietnamese gvar - deyets of a turn of the 18-19th centuries looked, we can from the curious graphic source which is stored in a meeting of Art fund of Hand-written department SPBFIVRAN. It is an album of watercolors on which the ambassadorial procession which arrived from Vietnam to the yard of the Chinese emperor is represented. On inside of a cover there is a sheet of paper pasted for the upper edge with an inscription by hand in Spanish. Follows from an inscription that this album is created by a certain Manuel Palomino - professor of painting of Royal academy San Fernando. The leaf is signed the first of April, 1804. by

As to us managed to be established p during the research of the images which are contained in an album and hieroglyphic inscriptions, the document is illustrative "report" on arrival to Beijing of the embassy sent For Long (1802-1819) - the sovereign of Vietnam, the ancestor of a dynasty Nguyen, to the yard of the Manchurian emperor Jiaqing (1795-1820) at the end of 1802. Chapter of the military order of Vietnam Le Coing Din15 headed a mission. The purpose of embassy was in bringing to the master of Celestial Empire gifts and to receive at it the document and the special press which confirmed powers of the new Vietnamese monarch. Departure of such embassies to China was tradition and practiced from 11th century

Among the participants of embassy represented in an album there are Vietnamese guardsmen-security guards. They are dressed in white head bandages turbans, spacious shirts and oplechya different flowers with a bright edging and white trousers. They have no footwear. Shirts and oplechya are embroidered by gold patterns. Primary color of shirts - blue and green,

more rare - pink. It has something in common with the text Fang Hyui Chu who writes about attires from light blue silk. At several soldiers on the heads it is possible to make out small white conic hats tra-

a ditsionny form, decorated with the sultan in the form of a red brush (fig. 1, 2).

Similar suits can be seen also on images in the French literature across Vietnam of X1X-XX of centuries, on national a bass -

Fig. 1. The Vietnamese guardsmen in white Fig. 2. The Vietnamese guardsmen in conic

bandages turbans headdresses with red brushes

Fragments of images from an album "The Visit of Embassy from Vietnam Fits Well the Chinese Imeprator" from a meeting of Art fund SPBFIVRAN (inventory number H-15):

ka and even on participants of modern folklore ensembles from the city of Hue (the capital of the country in board of a dynasty of NSU-en). We can recognize such breed as traditional for a national Vietnamese military suit.

Thus, from the sum of the data which are available for us we can draw a conclusion that the military attire in board of a dynasty of Le was rather various. The headdress of the serviceman was subject to a strict regulation. As a rule, it had

a form of a conic hat was also made of reed or skin (in the latter case it became covered with red varnish). Under a hat the head was tied with a tape turban made of cloth. As for a uniform, for it the regulations existed, most likely, only for solemn occasions, and only in divisions of privileged capital troops. A role of a uniform was played by lungs (as a rule, silk) the shirts of green or blue color supplied color oplechyam.

1 Huard P., Durand M. Connaissance du Vietnam. Paris; Hanoi, 1954. P. 179 - 183.
2 This name is also translated into Russian as "The consecutive description of last dynasties" (see: Modern history of Vietnam. M, 1980. Page 601), "The classified description lips -

novleniye of last dynasties" (see: Traditional Vietnamese philosophy and social thought in modern historico-philosophical science of SRV. M, 1989. Page 95).

3 Dao - military districts into which all territory of the country was divided. I.e. it is about all soldiers of armed forces of Vietnam of that time.
4 Fang Hyui Chu. To pour a chiyea hiyen chyong loay chi (The classified records on stories of last dynasties). T. 4. Hanoi, 1961 (in Vietnamese). Page 24.
5 In the same place. Page 24.
6 In the same place. Page 24-25.
7 During an era of Chung the country Hyng was actually divided between the conflicting feudal clans. The Chin clan which took the ruling dynasty of Le which reserved only the formal power over the country under protection was approved in the north of Vietnam. The head of clan had a title of a chu - the military governor. Governed the South a chua from family Nguyen.
8 Fang Hyui Chu. Decree. soch. With 25.
9 Provincial troops - in the Far East military system of division, lodging garrisons through the whole country, out of the capital district.
10 Fang Hyui Chu. Decree. soch. With 25.
11 K.S. Nosov. Arms of Samurais. SPb., 2001. Page 78-79.
12 Bezacier Louis. L&art et les constructions militaires annamites//Conférence faite au Musée Louis-Finot, a Hanoi, le 3e Février 1941, sous les auspices de la Société des Amis de l&Ecole Française d&Extreme - Orient. Without place, without date. P. 334.
13 Rami - "the Chinese nettle" of which fiber is made special durability.
14 Fang Hyui Chu. Decree. soch. Page 35.
15 G.F. Murasheva. Vyetnamo-kitaysky relations of the 17-19th centuries of M., 1973. Page 112.
Charles Hernandez
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