Dec 18 2015

Matagi Hunting Cloak

Published by at 11:13 am under Expeditions and Experiences

In the search for ultra simple winter clothing I have researched Japan quite extensively. Like here the winters are characterised by relatively mild weather with lots of snow. The terrain is also quite similar and walking will make you sweat in either of them.

The Matagi is probably an assimilated Ainu population in northern Honshu. A few of their clothing solutions interests me because of their sheer simplicity.

I have not yet extensively tested this cloak as it has a drawback compared to the parka; it does not cover the front, giving limited cold protection.

My belief is that the main advantages of this garment is that it sheds snow off your back and provides camouflage when sneaking up on animals.

The design has been derived from photos and chances are it doesn’t fully represent how a Matagi cloak would look like or work. The cross attachment in the front I have observed on several photos and has the advantage of the cloak attaching more tightly to your back and it doesn’t strangle you as a neck attachment might. 

The Matagi used serow skins, but since I’m in rather short supply of those I’ve used a reindeer calf skin.

For more cold protection it would be better to use a skin large enough to overlap in front. I believe this design might be the precursor to the open front parka.

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