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"Iberian shield 'tassels' questions" Topic


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531 hits since 12 May 2019
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JAFD2612 May 2019 11:11 p.m. PST

Salutations, gentlefolk !

Many troopers on both sides, between the Moslem invasion of the Iberian Peninsula and the completion of the Reconquista, carried shields with 'tassels'. Questions:

1 – Did these have any purpose beside decoration ?

2 – What were they made of ? (rawhide, I'd guess ???) Left natural color, or dyed ?
(how ought I to paint them?)

3 – Heraldic significance ? Part of uniform ? Tribal identity sign ?

Puzzled and curious I am. Thanks for your help.

GurKhan13 May 2019 1:13 a.m. PST

The shield is the adarga (well, the heart-shaped version is; the tassels appear on round shields as well) discussed briefly at link and link

There are several surviving examples, but most are later Spanish and I am not sure if any have surviving tassels. The picture at link suggests the tassels are some sort of cord.

Uncle Goblin13 May 2019 7:10 a.m. PST

Hello. As Gurkhan already says, that shield is the Adarga. Answering your question fast and simple:

The use of tassel is decorative, different materials: simple rawhide, horse tail, silk, cloth..

These shields were made from leather so their durability in prolonged combat was not too long. For the normal troops their decorations, if any, would not be too elaborate.

Later the adarga was adpted by the spanish too and the heraldry would be shown as with any other shield.

About the arab heraldry I found this: link

It says: "The adarga usually was decorated in its exterior with silk tassels. Sometimes also was decorated with inscriptions in Nazari: "Only god triumphs", "hapinness for my bearer". Also sometimes they were decorated with palms or spirals, always in simmetry."

Found no reference at all to being used as an arab identification sign or part of any uniform.

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2019 10:34 a.m. PST

The tassels don't seem to be a uniform colour. I think the best source for painting them is
link
especially link

The light brown is presumably a natural leather. The white and red _could_ also depict shades of leather but the different coloured borders suggest at least some painting. There are also seals of Solomon on the shields of some in the Moroccan army – the current flag of Morocco has a similar albeit five pointed star.

There are also examples of the adarga without tassels, including this with the red hand of Fatima.

picture

Druzhina14 May 2019 2:27 a.m. PST

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