A Janissary's Headgear and Footwear
(Ottoman Military Hat "Bork" a.k.a. Bektasis or ketche16th, 17th, 18th C)
(c) 2006 Rick Orli
Based on the original in the Badischen Landesmuseum
http://www.tuerkenbeute.de/sam/ museum, Germany.
This illustrates the overall proportions. In the example, the stiffened (probably with pasteboard but perhaps with a thin leather.) and colored portion is a total of 7-8 inches, with a black velvet band toped by a 5 inch green wool broadcloth band. The fall in the back from the fold is 25 inches. (The total length may be proportional to the head size; or, the length of the fall may be a standard 25 inch. other hats as illustrated seem even longer, and a few seem to fall only just past the base of the neck) The max width is 11-12 inches.
Parts include: The spoon, or yunluk, which included a tube for inserting a feather;
the white felt body, or berk; the hanging part is the tiftik or yatyrma
the band, or uskyuf, and the decoration pattern, or deltadj
This figure illustrates the design pattern of the 'sock' or tail of the hat, and of the construction treatment of the corner. The dashed line represents the centerline (no stitches there!) Stitching is neat but quite visible.
The final figure illustrates the construction of the head band portion. The bottom is 2 inches of black velvet. The velvet is overlapped by a folded edge of forest green wool broadcloth, 5 inches wide. A stitch line is visible about 1/8th inch up, all that is visible are the 'dimples' from stitches pushed through from the inside, and are just enough to overlap a thread or two, perhaps 1/80th-1/100th inch. An interior construction line is visible from pressing that shows that the broadcloth or perhaps an interior lining is conically wrapped (diagonally on the cylinder, much like the cardboard inner roll for toilet tissue) The green broadcloth is in turn overlapped by folded white felt, stitched as shown neatly but quite visibly.
The 'spoon' is detailed to the left. I have assumed it was brass but it could be plated. It very much looks like is etched followed with chasseing and reposse. with some decorative wire perhaps soldered on. It is backed with wood, which is painted.
Another view of a very similar spoon is from www.lacma.org/islamic_art/
"described as Silver, gilt, decorated with flattened wire and granulation"
from the Ca’ Pesaro in Venice
Piece captured at the Siege of Vienna, 1683. 32cm x 8cm; "Brass, partially plated/tinned gilt, on wood."
My Hat and Spoon project
This shows the image photocopied on acetate, which I ironed on a brass sheet. I then soaked it in an 'Edinborough etch' solution of ferric chloride and citric acid for a couple of hours. One I then treated with a silver plating solution before removing the resist with acetone, the other shows the natural greenish color that came out of the acid salts bath. The hat takes on a correct shape on the head, it looks a bit flattened because of the way I store it.
I found some 40% wool white felt that seems excellent. I also found a more expensive 100% felt that was rather cream in color, and seems more stretchy. All in all, I was more comfortable using the 40%, given my two limited choices. "Bork" literally means white felt, and the story is that a Muslim saint of the 1300s, now the Patron of the Janissaries, lived as a hermit in the fields, and wore a simple white peasant hat of white felt - that is the original model, according to legend. However, it also bears resemblance to certain Byzantine hats.
Right, a Wallacian shepard
back of spoon (paint on wood)
A different Janissary hat/ ketche from the 16th C. The spoon is
gold-plated silver alloy. The gold band is apparently embroidered with a
metallic thread in a chevron pattern on the red felt. The red indicates a special
function/job: battlefield courier, a job given to pages, young men slated as
future officers, (shown below right behind the Sultan).
Considering only the band, this chevron design is the one most common design portrayed in illustrations.
19th C. Tchorbadji hat.
Officers wore variations:
the Corbetci (captian-colonel)'s Kalafat had a heron feather crest:
Junior officers as below:
Bostanci Division Janissaries sometime used cones: Right, with citation feathers.
Artillerymen are often pictured in green "Bosnian" hats, with an unusual 6-pointed design.
a less pointy Bosnian hat
Janissary Turban with Citation for Valor
Tchorbadji hat with citation. (Hermitage)
Perhaps these low tarbouz (or arakuje) fez-like caps were for fatigue (work) use (these are Janissaries).
These Janissaries are working, while the one standing guard with a musket is wearing the formal ketche (bork) hat. The arakuje/fez cap is covered with the turban or dyulbend.
Polish Janissary Hats around 1700
How to for turbans:
Misurka - cavalry armor cap worn over a padded fez.
What happens to a bork on a windy day?
Ankle boots or shoes ‘mest’ ; or slippers ‘cedik’
In earlier periods the Khuff was heavier-constructed and was the cavalry boot. However, we know specifically that in 1400s north Africa the khuff was worn inside a shoe. The jawrab/Juran sock or wrap can be worn under the khuff,
Ran -legging (not sure what exactly this is.)
Or, a Tatabiq leg wrap, perhaps similar to the modern Russian army practice. (Right) The other model is the Viking style wool leg wrap. The fabric is presumably a stretchy wool - either a broadcloth with the length along the bias so that it is most stretchy, or the cloth is like 'cotton' the loosely woven wool cloth used as lining, children's clothing, and socks.
these seem to be Khuffs in yemeni, like slippers
(original) Note metal heel, like baby horsehoes. The story is that the ground tracks where Janissaries marched looked like a herd of tiny ponies moving in the other direction.
my reproduction effort, in progress:
Once I was done, putting my kuffs together with babouches the effect seems accurate. I put the metal heels on to be accurate - they are only to increase wear-life, but make for a harder and nosier and slippier walk. However all in all it was comfortable. I was a little woried that the 'slippers' would fall off. Indeed, with one set of Kuffs-Babouches I did have that problem, but with 2 other combinations its been perfect.
Embroidered 17th C. ottoman slipper
Modern yemeni (see more here)
Reproduction Infantry Boots from Emir Yenir
Boots ‘basmak’ - higher boots for some infantry units
and of course for the Cavalry.
"Yemeni types include: Halep Annubi, black yemeni, rose and
Colors may be black, annabi (purple), bright red, which is called rose, or peach in colour depending on the type of leather employed.
Five shapes: Halebi, merkup, sharp nosed, long ear and curved and bright."
Carik are Rawhide Sandals.
"Four generations of yemeni makers pursue
their ancient trade at Hayri Usta’s shop.... All were employed at other jobs
when they suddenly realized that this craft of their forefathers was slowly
dying out, so they decided to save it. Part and parcel of Islamic culture, the
yemeni has preserved its existence here for 600 years in styles and with names
unique to each locale. Yemenis are also made in the neighboring provinces of
Kilis, Kahramanmaraş and Elazığ, but unfortunately their fate
is no different from those of Gaziantep.
The leather, which comes worked and tanned, is cut for different shoe sizes using ready-made lasts. The leather pieces are moistened to soften them up and then sewn with cotton thread that has been waxed with beeswax. The softened leather is easily shaped. While only the natural colors of the leather were used previously, black and reds were later added. And now yemenis are produced in every color from brown and orange to green and blue. Some are open in the back like sandals, while others are actual shoes. Even boots are made and dispatched to Hollywood film sets! The leather boots worn in the film ‘Alexander the Great’, for example, were produced and supplied from here.
The shop denizen, Ismail Usta, can always be found perched on his low stool hard at work. Quietly adding pieces to the pile rising in front of him, he can sew twelve pairs of yemenis in a single day! Nor should this figure surprise you. A pair of size 38-39 yemenis requires approximately 120 knots. ..."