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>Costume Studies
>>1899 Boxer rebel
Subject: rebel
Culture: Chinese
Setting: Boxer Rebellion, eastern China 1899-1900





Context

*


Costume

* Heath ill. Perry 1994 p32
"As all of the Boxers were civilians, they wore no real uniform; the closest thing to a uniform was a piece of red cloth somewhere on their person.  This piece of red cloth could be a turban, apron or waist sash.  Some men embroidered Chinese characters on the fronts of their jackets.  Many ... chose to wear the character Yung (Brave).  If the turban was not worn, a straw 'coolie' hat would have been the usual replacement.  The Boxers could be barefoot or could wear slippers or sandals."


* Knight ill. Scollins 1990 p12
"Most wore the ordinary peasant dress of white or blue cotton tunic and trousers, and like all Chinese, they wore the front of their heads shaved and their hair in a queue, a compulsory badge of allegiance to the Manchus instituted generations before.  By the time the movement had advanced on Beijing many Boxers sported items in red as badges of their allegiance to the Yi-ho quan: either a red head-scarf, a red waist-sash, a red apron, or red ties around the ankles or streamers from their sword hilts.  Their leaders wore no distinguishing marks, although a few affected the dress of Court officials, and the yellow riding jacket worn only by senior Quing [sic] commanders."

* Knight ill. Scollins 1990 p45-46
"Most Boxers were young men who wore  their ordinary peasant costume, with perhaps a few items of red insignia to show their allegiance to the movement. ... The red aprons -- one variant of the Boxer insignia -- varied considerably in length and cut, some appearing as a panel on the chest, others hanging to the knees.  It was common practice to wear the queue tied up around the back of the head."



Weapons

* Heath ill. Perry 1994 p32
"Boxers disliked Western weapons.  Their movement preached the overthrow of 'foreign devils' through the use of the martial arts and traditional Chinese weapons.  Most Boxers preferred to carry swords, spears and halberds.  The swords were wide-bladed chopping weapons, some requiring two-handed use.  The spears had long curved blades, while the halberds were of purely Chinese design and did not resemble the halberds of medieval Europe.  Some men carried wicker or brass shields."

* Knight ill. Scollins 1990 p46
"Rejecting Western weapons, they were poorly armed with swords, spears and halberds."

























Cf.

Bodin & Warner 1979
Cohen 1997
Esherick 1987
Harrington 2001
Keown-Boyd 1991
Knight & Scollins 1990