One of the advantages of Soviet school textbooks on stories for the 5th and 6th grades there were beautiful color illustrations, real paintings, which cannot be replaced completely with color photographs in modern textbooks. And children need such a bright and colorful picture so that they can make a story on it, or at least describe it with articulate words. Here, as you see, our very, most distant ancestors are depicted. Since they lived in Africa, where it was warm and damp, they did not know clothes for a long time!
“And the Lord God made leather clothes for Adam and his wife ...”
Genesis 3: 21
Genesis 3: 21
Culture of clothes. We are starting a new topic, so to speak, of a cultural and educational plan, designed for the widest audience and devoted to such an aspect of the material culture of mankind as clothing. We will consider the most different clothes. Ancient clothes - time travel, and clothes more or less modern, but of different countries, different from ours - travel in space; clothes for the world and for war ... Well, we will begin by looking at the most ancient clothes of mankind - the clothes of the Stone Age.
But this is the Neolithic era. Crops are reaped with a sickle with flint inserts, on the man’s shoulder there is a drilled stone ax, women have ceramic dishes, a cow, a pig and a dog are domesticated, people know the fabric ...
To begin with, archaeological finds allow us to state quite convincingly that clothes were known to our ancestors already in the Paleolithic era. But the most important sources of information about the clothes of this era are the cave paintings found in Spain and the south of France. Modern ethnological comparisons of the life of people of the Stone Age and primitive peoples, which until now still retain their "savage" cultural level, also have a certain meaning. Although, of course, it is impossible to completely compare it. Then and now these are still completely different historical eras, and what is now can only give us a hint, no more.
Dogu. Gimet Museum in Paris. Many horizontal slots in the eyes of these statuettes are considered by many to be snow glasses, since they look like “glasses” worn by Inuit to protect their eyes from the reflection of the sun in the snow. But maybe it's the closed eyelids of people in the world of the dead? A hairstyle with crown-shaped hair adorns the head, the nose is represented only by a hole between two eyes without eyebrows. The body with harmonious bends, wide hips and shoulders, is elongated and decorated with the image of spirals. Such dogu most often found in the northern regions of Japan at the end of the Jomon era, mainly in the areas of Tohoku and Kanto in Aomori Prefecture. Interestingly, the analysis of clay showed that they were made at low temperature (800 ° C) and that they are hollow inside. Usually they are found in graves near villages, sometimes they are deliberately defeated and scattered, possibly for religious purposes. Their feminine forms may connect them with the cult of fertility, and their goal is the connection between the supernatural world and the earthly world. Interestingly, in the next period of Japanese history, the Yayoi period (300 BC - 300 AD), this type of figurine completely disappears. That is why, along with ceramics, they are one of the most typical forms of Jomon art.
But if we summarize everything that we know from finds and monuments of art about the clothes of the Stone Age, we find a curious fact that the two most important items of clothing of today, a women's skirt and men's trousers, were invented by people of the Stone Age. Also, by the way, like a sewing needle, which was also already known in the Paleolithic era. Moreover, the eye of these bone needles could be as thin as a modern steel needle. And since there are needles, it can be assumed that they sewed something!
"The Great God of the Martians" from the Sahara. I don’t know how God is, and how great he is, except that by its size. But clearly this image says only one thing. What clothes the ancient inhabitants of the Sahara ... had!
But there was not one “god” there, but in the company of the same “gods” he participated in a dance procession. For some reason, alien lovers do not remember about this picture ... Probably, due to its frivolity. A kind of African letka-yenka ...
People already knew the bow and arrows ... This is the same place and the same time ...
But what exactly was sewn up - that’s the question? And they sewed the skin and skins of animals. When it became colder on the planet or people themselves wandered to where the change of seasons took place, they naturally began to warm up. The meat of the slaughtered animals obtained by the hunters belonged to the entire tribe. This was the key to his survival. But it was impossible to divide the skin between the whole tribe, and it was from this that ancient types of clothing began to be made. At first, they simply wrapped it around the hips to cover the dangling shameful parts, which in the same forests otherwise got both from branches and from animals. That is why the skirt, short or long, was so popular with many peoples, from the ancient Egyptians to the inhabitants of Europe, who were drowned in Danish swamps in the Bronze Age.
And here is the "woman from the movie" Million Years BC "of 1966. Famous actress Rachel Welch. So dressed in the stone age?
The skin of a deer from which such bikinis were sewn. Tlingit Indians. National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
If we look at the famous frescoes of Tassili Ager in the Sahara, it will be obvious that already in the Mesolithic and Neolithic era people used a variety of types of clothing, and there’s nothing to say about jewelry. Even in children's burials of this period, drilled shells are found, and by no means in the neck area. And if so, then they were sewn onto some decayed clothes, that is, even the children had those clothes, and she was decorated.
Aleutian park could well be the primitive clothes of people of the glaciation era. National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
Buckskin Comanche Shirt. The same, but for the summer. Oklahoma. National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
And these are leggings - the famous pants of the Indians, in this case the same Comanches. They were separate legs, attached to the waist of a loincloth. There is an apron in front and behind, so for “big things” you don’t need to take off your pants or lower them, which is convenient. National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
Was this clothing colored or natural? Let's think ... Clothes made from the fur of predators, most likely, were not dyed so that everyone could see what kind of animal the hunter could kill and they were afraid of his strength and courage. But here are the skins of herbivores ... why not decorate them with strips of colored fur to make it more elegant? Moreover, we know that the same red paint was known even to Neanderthals. It was used for cult purposes and for painting the body, and it was customary to sprinkle dead bodies with red ocher. However, the same Neanderthals used not only red, but also yellow ocher. It is known that colored powder was stored in processed tubular bones, and ocher pieces were also used.
Pueblo Indians buckskin shirt. They did not paint them, like Comanches! (National Museum of the American Indian, Washington)
By the way, this raises an interesting question: what came before: clothes or jewelry? Today the opinion of scientists is such that already in the era of the ice age people looked very ... decorative. They painted the body, and maybe subjected the skin to cauterization and scarring. Judging by the drawings on the walls of the caves, they used feathers, skins, flowers, but in the ground we find shells, ivory, amber, drilled bones, animal teeth, clearly serving as ornaments. The fossil ammonites were drilled and worn as ornaments, it was also our so ancient ancestors who were the first paleontologists.
Whoever killed the grizzly bear wore this peculiar piece of jewelry around his neck. No-Perce National Historic Park
Of course, feather headdresses similar to the headdresses of the Indians, which were supposed to report on the successes of its owner on hunting or in battles, served as decorations for ice age men, so it’s no coincidence that men in ancient images look like this - “more charming” than women. Amazingly, pieces of shells, amber and other materials used to make Stone Age jewelry are often found thousands of kilometers from their places of extraction. A Stone Age man must have exchanged them, or made distant campaigns "for prey." The latter presupposes the existence of a certain “trade", which in this very early era was supposed to satisfy the need for precious jewelry to complement clothing.
Beaded Dakota Moccasins. Museum of Ethnography at Hovburg Palace, Vienna
Moreover, the border between jewelry and clothing is much more difficult to draw than it seems. For example, many Australian natives going to war simply painted their bodies and ... that's it! Miklouho-Maclay wrote that he had met a girl in the simplest suit one could think of: it was a mother-of-pearl shell hanging in front of her hips on a lace of coconut fibers. Some researchers even suggest that the clothes developed precisely from jewelry, and that they are primary in the past, and clothing is secondary!
If your hands freeze, then you can’t do without gloves! Gloves of the Tlingit Indians. East coast of the USA. National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
By the way, the fur of the same tiger at the same time could be an ornament and clothes, just like a fur cloak from a bear skin. But the claws of a bear, say, of the same grizzly bear, very much appreciated among the North American Indians, could only be an ornament. They could not warm!
Well, then we move on to the Neolithic era, when the development of agriculture and animal husbandry revolutionized the social development of society and created new material foundations for the improvement of clothing. It was in the Neolithic era that two artificial materials were created that had not previously been on earth. This is ceramics and fabric.
It was in the Neolithic era that a loom was created, the principle of operation of which has not changed to this day. True, in Neolithic Europe people knew only flax and wool. But the most ancient finds of fabrics come from Asia Minor, from where, probably, flax spread to the north and west. Cotton and silk were produced only in Asia and only much later came to Europe to the Greeks and Romans.
Colored Navajo Woolen Yarn. Arizona. National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
And the wonderful rugs they made from such yarn! National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
And here it must be emphasized that both wool and flax played a huge role in the development of social relations in society. Flax is a demanding culture, it requires developed agriculture. Material suitable for spinning from raw flax is not so easy to obtain. It takes a lot of work and time. Preparing the wool for spinning was also a difficult task, since the scissors were not yet known, which means the wool had to be plucked or combed, and it was necessary to wash it in warm water. To work with fibers of flax and wool, it was necessary to come up with tools, work on which greatly influenced the development of the human imagination. Well, let alone the most primitive loom. It was already a real machine (!) And it was created all in the same stone age, even at its very end.
Well, the Tahumara Indians did this on their looms. Piedras Verdes. Casas Grandes, Chihuahua Mexico. National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
Stone or clay weights were preserved, with the help of which the warp threads were weighted. Which, incidentally, allows us to conclude that already during this period on the European continent there was a vertical loom, that is, those that were depicted on Greek ceramic ware millennia later. For convenience, the width of the fabric was small, a maximum of 70 cm, which, in turn, required a master cut!
Such sandals were most likely ubiquitous. Wooden "slippers" of the Mojave Indians. National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
Hat from Alaska made of birch bark. National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
Wooden helmet of the Haida tribe. Such "helmets" could well be worn by people of the Stone Age! National Museum of the American Indian, Washington
The oldest fabric on earth was found during excavations of the city of Chatal-Hayuk (Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara)
The wicker sandals found in North America tell us that shoes also already existed at that time. But then they wore shoes made of skins, similar again to Indian moccasins, and put warm grass into it for warmth! "Old Etzi", frozen in ice in the Alps, although it should be attributed in time to the era of copper and bronze, most likely lived in the Eneolithic - the Copper Stone Age, so that his clothes, fortunately, well-preserved, told scientists a lot.
Here is what Etzi looked like during his life and what he was wearing ... A reconstruction of the appearance of Etzi made for the documentary "The Man from Etzal and His World." By the way, it was made from goat and bull skins. (Museum of Natural History in Vienna
To be continued ...