Mail armour of the Ming Dynasty

Ming Chinese Hauberk
Mail armour, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
Although known to the Chinese by Tang Dynasty at the latest (and probably earlier), mail armour never saw widespread use in China. Even during the Ming and Qing Dynasty period, in which mail armour was relatively common, period sources always speak of mail armour as something foreign and exotic, originated from ancient Qiang/Ch'iang people (Tibetan-Burmese or Tangut people).

Common Chinese name for mail armour is Suo Zi Jia (鎖子甲), but Ming Chinese had another name for this armour — Gang Si Lian Huan Jia (鋼絲連鐶甲, lit. 'Steel wire linked chain armour'). According to early Qing Dynasty dictionary Zheng Zi Tong (《正字通》), Chinese mail utilise 4-in-1 weave pattern, similar to European mail.

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