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Structure of the Red Kaganate
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Belts were an important part of a nomad's equipment. They were used to carry their bowcases, quivers, knives and swords. They were also used as a gift to signify a person's standing with their Khan, Sultan, Amir or Leader.
Belt Buckle. Greater Iran 12th - Early 13th Century, Bronze.
The buckle above is one I photographed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a good view of the rear of the buckle to see how it joined together. From what I could see I would say the right hand ring slots into a catch on the back of the lion.
This could just be away of allowing it to slide on the belt to adjust its position. Equally it could be that the buckle arrangement is behind the face perhaps a hook or knob. The other thing to note is that the first buckle/plaque has a size of 5.6 centimetres, which would make for a fairly wide belt.
I've also included two umbons, which are from the "Lebedevka burial ground Uralskaya district. XII-XIV centuries. Excavated by N. Bagrikov. Museum of Archaeology of Academy of Sciences". Again we have one that is fairly large which either means a very wide belt or it was used for something else.
This is a restructured and reorganised version of the information on Steppes Nomad Belt fittings presented at Steven Baker's Steppes Nomad Resource Site - http://www.oocities.com/qilich.
Silk Road Designs - http://www.oocities.com/normanjfin/silkroad
Where Author is specified, Copyright is retained by Author with express permission for use by "The Red Kaganate" organisation. Where Author is unspecified, Copyright is retained by Norman J. Finkelshteyn.