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What kind of clothes did Hamel and his mates wear when going to Byeongyeong Fortress from Seoul?

What kind of clothes did Hamel and his mates wore during their life in Byeongyeong.

Hamel and his mates had not been provided any clothes since their shipwreck in Jeju on Aug. 16, 1653. As a result, they wore their Dutch clothes during their living in Jeju. 1654 when they were sent to Seoul, King Hyojong highly respected them and presented each two rolls of flax. Using this flax, they made the first Joseon-style clothes.

In March 1655 when Hendrik Janse and Hendrik Janse Bos blocked the passage of an envoy of the Ching China, they took off Joseon-style clothes and showed Dutch clothes. They wanted to protest their situation as captives.
Considering such situations, Hamel and his mates had worn plainclothes of Joseon since their stay in Seoul. Surely, they might have kept their old clothes with greatest care.

They wore official uniforms when working for the Royal Guards of Hullyeondogam, but they might prefer ordinary clothes to an official uniform that suits their taste and comfort as westerners.

In 1656 when they began to live at Jeolla Byeongyeong Fortress in Gangjin, they were given the deer skins which they carried on the Sperwer. According to the record, they sold them to buy daily goods.

They wore Joseon clothes which became familiar during their lives in Seoul, in Jeolla, and in Byeongyeong, but it seemed they might have some difficulties during the passing of the winter.

The new military commander coming in February 1657 canceled free firewood and treated Hamel and his mates high-handed. Another new military commander coming in November 1657 did not care about Hamel and his mates at all. Although Hamel and his mates asked clothes or other things, he refused to give them on the ground that he was not ordered byt the king to provide them anything except for the 50 geun of rice.

If there were something they need, they had to provide and get it for themselves.
When going around mountains to get firewood in a cold winter, they had to wear their tattered clothes.

Their clothes of those days were quite the same as ones the Byeongyeong residents wore. Perhaps it might not be not enough for them to stand the winter with their tattered clothes.

As other poor Joseon people did, they had to patch up clothes several times.
Since the new military commander limited their life to Byeongyeong-related matters, they were provided only with three rolls of cloth which were not enough for their need.

Although they made their clothes provided to them from a government office, its quantity was not enough. So they have to beg or receive used clothes from other people, or work by the day to buy clothes.

If they knew about Korean custom that women usually made cloth or clothes,becoming intimate or living with women might be an easier way to get clothes.
It is guessed that some of them made Dutch clothes by themselves or through the assistance of their women neighbors, but buttons and other accessories were not easily available, so their finished product would be a mixture of Korean and Western style. Their clothes would attract residents' gazes.

They might have tried making Dutch-style hats using some clothes often not used for man or make shoes in their own style.
Although they were occasionally given some clothes from a government office, it was not enough so they have to buy for additional. Finally they began to make clothes by themselves.

They might learn how to make straw shoes from the residents. Straw shoes were very common at that time, but it was easily worn off and took so much labors.
They might make shoes or clothes using animal skin which they obtained from hunting.
They might made clogs made of woods which was similar to their own. They might have felt intimacy or surprise on some similarity with their culture.

On the other hand, they were invited to village parties and make residents happy with strange Dutch costume, song, or dance.


Although their Dutch clothes were old and worn-out, it was surely very valuable things to them to drown their homesickness. When their mates died, they might bury their clothes to drown their longing for home where they could not go back after all.







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