Inspiration # 5, A Retainer from Gnezdovo

In the fifth part of Inspiration series, we will show a rich men’s costume from Gnezdovo, Russia. This time we will look at the costume of German reenactor Alexander Kluge. Alexander tries to reconstruct a retainer from Gnezdovo, 2nd half of 10th century. It is based mostly on grave C-160 from Gnezdovo.

At the pictures, we can notice a blue tunic, which is based on textile fragments from grave C-160 (see article from Mrs Ščerbakova). Knife, fire striker, whetstone, belt and a bag are replicas of objects found in the same grave. The belt and bag are better described by Muraševa in her book. Pants and leg wraps are based on Scandinavian finds and illustrations, because there are not any finds documented in Kievan Rus. The leg wraps are pinned with hooksone has been discovered in Rurikovo Gorodishche. His leather shoes are inspired by those found in Novgorod and Haithabu.

The third picture shows a green woolen caftan with bronze buttons. Since caftans are rarely preserved (only their closing parts), this is one of the possible variants. Some buttons are preserved in several graves in Gnezdovo (see this article). However, Alexander is not satisfied with his caftan and intends to remake it. The rest of his clothing and jewellery is based on findings from different graves in Gnezdovo (Alexander refers to literature: Фехнер М.В., Ткани Гнёздова // Труды Государственного исторического музея ; Каинов С., Древнерусский дружинник второй половины X века ; Авдусин Д. А. , Пушкина Т. А., Три погребальные камеры из Гнездова // История и культура древнерусского города).

Battle version of the costume is complemented with a helmet; replica of helmet so called Gnezdovo I, from 10th century (this helmet has its analogies in finds from Stromovka and Bojná), mail armour made of flat rings worn over padding, gloves with mail armour, wooden shield, replica of axe from grave C-160, and not very well-crafted sword, which will be replaced by Alexander.

I would like to thank Alexander Kluge for granting me permission to use his photographs and for detailed description of his costume. Here we will finish this article. Thank you for your time and we look forward to any feedback. If you want to learn more and support my work, please, fund my project on Patreon or Paypal.

27. dubna 2020

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