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>Costume Studies
>>1520 Vijayanagara ravuttan
Subject: ravuttan cavalry
Culture: Indo-Turkish
Setting: Vijayanagara empire, 14-16thc





Context

* Chase 2003 p130
"[I]n southern India, the population was spreading from the fertile river valleys and coastal regions to the arid upland plateaus in the center of the peninsula. Pressure from the Bahmani sultans of the Deccan contributed to the rise of the powerful Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagara in the mid-1300s.  For over three centuries, from the mid-1300s to the mid-1600s, four successive dynasties ruled the greater part of southern India from their capital on the plateau.  Vijayanagara halted Muslim expansion by borrowing Turkish techniques of mounted warfare and by attracting Turkish horsemen into its own forces."

* Doniger 2009 p560
"'Ravuttan' designates a Muslim horseman, a folk memory of the historical figure of the Muslim warrior on horseback, 'whether he be the Sufi warrior leading his band of followers or the leader of an imperial army of conquest.'"


Helmet

* Elgood 2004 p57
"There are a number of metal helmets from south-west India with 'anchor' nose guards."

* Robinson 1967 p106
"This large nasal is almost certainly a feature of southern Indian armour and a means of identification."


Armor

* Elgood 2004 p55
"We have in sixteenth-century Vijayanagara a tradition of padded cloth armour for man, horse and elephant (augmented in the higher ranks with metal plates) but no mention of mail.  This form of armour continued in use until the nineteenth century in Hindu society ...."

* Elgood 2004 p56
"[T]he warrior riders depicted on the pillars of Vijayanagara buildings in the sixteenth century have a raised rib pattern on their upper and lower garments like widely spaced courduroy.  This occurs so frequently that it appears to be a standard item of equipment; the presumption must be that it represents some form of cloth armour since it is clearly flexible and the design is inconsistent with metal armour."