Original U.S. Spanish American War Hate Belt

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. American soldiers are known for their love of souvenirs War Trophies and there was no exception during the Spanish American War. So, a lot of military history from the war came back across the world with returning soldiers. Hate belts were popular during WWI but this is a very rare example of a Spanish American version.

American soldiers leather belts, and other belts from participating armies, that were festooned with buttons from soldiers uniforms are called Hate Belts / Souvenir Belts / Grave Digger Belts. These made for excellent collector's pieces.

This example offered in broken condition and features multiple Spanish and Philippine period buttons and badges. If it were fully attached it would measures 29 inches in overall length and is 1 3/4 inches wide. This is the only version of a Spanish American war hate belts we have eve encountered.

"Hate Belt": the idea was that if an American soldier had killed or captured Spanish soldier, then he would have the button from the newly deceased or captured soldier attached to his belt as a kind of notch of conquest on his belt. This, no doubt, is the most intriguing explanation for those decorative belts.

"Souvenir Belt": this description is apt for many of the belts that are in circulation today. The souvenir belt would involve a German infantryman's belt being decorated with buttons and tabs from troops BOTH Allied and CENTRAL Powers and kept as a remembrance of The War.

"Grave Digger Belt" description is self explanatory, to a degree. Troops burying dead soldiers would sometimes remove buttons from those they buried as a remembrance. It is impossible to determine the origin of most belts, but some of these highly collectible belts provide some hints as to their origin. Nevertheless, these belts provide for excellent points of interest for collectors.
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