Earlier this week legendary Rare designer, Gregg Mayles, posted a poll on Twitter to see what the fans wanted to see more between old Banjo designs and old Donkey Kong Country designs. Banjo won and with that win Gregg posted a picture of an old Banjo design:
As you can see Banjo was originally wearing shoes and a cap.
Along with the picture he gave a look into the original health system. Apparently one hit and you would lose your cap, second hit and you lost your shoes and three hits and you would die.