The Red Kaganate

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Norman J. Finkelshteyn

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Magyar Belt
Magyar Belt - generic reconstruction

Paul O'Donnell

The design of early (Honfoglalas period) Magyar belts is something that has as far as I'm aware, only been discovered within a few cultures of Eastern Europe and the Steppes.

Although similarly decorated to Persian styles of belt the method of fastening is unique in that it utilises an inner functional strap end and an outer decorative length of strap.

Rus Belt

There are basically three types of plaques worn around the belt, they will be numbered corresponding to the numbers on the illustration:
4 - Pierced - a small rectangular hole in the lower portion of the plaque which is used to hang small implements…bells, flints, small knives(the belt would have to be pierced also);

Plate Styles
6 - Decorative - no functional purpose;
5 - Looped - usually similar to the decorative plaque but with a small loop at the bottom for attaching a larger ring. This ring is then used as the point for attaching larger items such as bow cases, quivers, sabres etc.

Loop Plates
I am awaiting the documentation for small clips, which apparently enabled the wearer to quickly attach/detach items from the belt. This article will be updated when it arrives.

Rather than giving exact measurements that will fit me but not someone of a different body type I will give you the rule of thumb.

  • Firstly cut a length of strapping approximately 25mm wide and long enough to go from your belly button, wrapping anti-clockwise back around to your left leg looping under itself and hanging down to the left knee (make sure this is done over the clothing you intend to wear).
  • Attach the buckle at the left end of the belt and place the belt around your body, picking the point that is roughly the centre of your right hip on the belt. This is where you will attach the functional strap end.
  • Cut another length of strap the same width but only long enough to go from the centre of your right hip across to the buckle with only a slight over hang.
  • Attach the functional strap end.
  • All that is left is to decorate your belt now. Depending on how rich you wish to portray yourself, the plaques should be around 10-15mm apart unless you are really rich in which case you can put as many as will fit, joining them end to end.

N.B. The point at which the belt loops over and hangs down to the knee is where you will change the direction the plaques are placed on the belt so that the bottom of the plaques is always pointing down.

Persian Rider


Birka II:1, Systematische Analysen der Graberfunde, Ed. Greta Arwidsson. Chapter 16. Beutel und Taschen. Anne-Sofie Graslund. Almqvist & Wiksell International, Stockhol - Sweden 1984

Birka II:2, Systematische Analysen der Graberfunde, Ed. Greta Arwidsson. Chapter 10. Gurtel und Gurtelzubehor vom orientalischen Typ1. Ingmar Jansson. Almqvist & Wiksell International, Stockholm- Sweden.

Emlekezzunk Regiekrol, Kepes Tortenelem. Editor and date published unknown.


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