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May 09, 2008

History of the Balaclava and Ways of Wearing It

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I am interested in any reading about the history of the Balaclava, so send an email if you have any suggestions. No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting has a bit about this. From wikipedia: "The name 'balaclava' comes from the town of Balaklava in Crimea. During the Crimean War, knitted balaclavas were sent over to the British troops to help protect them from the bitter cold weather. They are traditionally knitted from wool, and can be rolled up into a hat to cover just the crown of the head...Additionally, balaclavas are often associated with special forces units such as the SAS, or alternatively with robbers and terrorists, where they act as a form of identity concealment." The balaclava has been iconic for resistance groups like Black Block, Black Mask, Zapatistas and many others. I have only met one person who wore a helmet liner while in the Marines - an American woman from Texas who served during the Gulf War. She mentioned her helmet being too big, and that the liner served to keep it in place.

Posted by cat at May 9, 2008 10:31 PM