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In the Star Trek Enterprise season four episode United, the Andorian ritual Ushaan is depicted. It is a duel to the death with the Andorian ice miners tool Ushaan-tor.

During the duel, Archer and Shran wear gauntlets on their left hand that are bound by a metal cable. Is it ever explained what that gauntlet is? Was it some sort of ice mining safety device so if one miner slipped the other could catch him?

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Just 'Plate Armor Gauntlet'. When the actual set props were auctioned off, it was described just as that.
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None of the major knowledge-bases have any other indication.

And the transcript for the episode refers them them as 'metal shields' (granted, no indication this was from an actual script).

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