Saturday, June 2, 2012

Belts II

An addition to this April Post on functions of belts & bands among early humans:

Belts & bands have played an enormous role in human technology prehistory.

Quipu of Incas of Peru were knotted strings hanging from a belt, for counting & codes, an alternative to written language. Quipu derived from female's 90 degree hanging string-fringe skirts, as seen on Denmark woman mummy (E. Barber) and here:


string skirt

Wampum were a form of message belt, corded warf threads with colored shells and weft. Wampum derived from 180 degree end-fringed male's loincloth, as seen in Urumchi mummies at Tarim Basin in China's west desert.
wampum belt

Tropical forest people usually used inner bark of tree, tapa cloth, pounded with a club or stone, wetted to lubricate.

Flax, linen, hemp etc. were first woven as grasses, later retted and splined/twined into threads and woven into cords/ropes/bands/etc.

Animal skins were pelted (pelleted/beaten) or chewed to soften to physically and chemically loosen the fibers.
Later, goat hair kemp & sheep wool were felted by wetting and pounding, the word 'walk' originated from foot-stamping felt.

Biblical Josephs' many colored coat was of bands of cloth (Afghan wool) woven by nomadic women who spun thread/yarn while walking with the flocks, then the bands were sewn together at camp into blankets, clothing etc. Persian banded shirts of silk were sewn the same way.

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