I heard about a place near where I was living, where a man claims that he is a decendent of the people who found with rattan/bamboo armor, so I asked everywhere to find out where this place was and made the long and arduous trip to his village, only an hour from my school. I met the man, a veteran of the Vietnam war and a farmer who took me to a very old house and climbed up into his attic space and started sending down pieces of the armor and told me to put them on. It was very different from what I thought and quite heavy (he said the complete armor weighs something like 16-18pounds). I have a couple of pictures, one from a website showing the villagers wearing it at a local festival and a few pictures of me and the man wearing the armor.
I am not sure if this is the armor that is talked about in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but that is his claim and he was one of the kindest, most down to earth people. I also took one of the leaders of our school and others to come and experience this. He believes that this is the place where the soldiers who were beaten fled to as it is seriously in the middle of nowhere. I climbed the mountains in the area looking for other villages nearby but after hours could not find any. It is now down a gravel road that is so bumpy and bad that it feels like the motorcycle carts will fall apart before you arrive. I am not sure the validity of this, but it seems to fit all of the claims. I can say that it would be interesting to get shot with an arrow in the armor...it was definitely strong, but did not seem to allow for a great deal of movement. It would have taken great effort and practice for me to run fast in this, although it was not made to fit me well as my head was far too big.
Email me if you want to see more pictures or have any questions...I could not add the pictures as they are much larger than those I could upload.
I am trying to check my sources and make sure there is some validity to this before I write and send my article to a friend who writes minority news articles in Beijing. If you have any thoughts, comments, or helpful advice please email me back.
Edited by dannyboy520, 18 June 2011 - 12:08 PM.