Monday, June 25, 2012

Risâle-i Tatar-i-Lech - Tatars of Poland 1557 AD

I have not written specifically yet about the history of the Polish-Lithuanian Tatars but here and there I have been making references to their presence in our Polish history and culture.

 ''Risâle-i Tatar-i-Lech'' or the "Treatise on the Tatars of Poland" (not Lithuania!, mind you -:) ) is a Turkish language manuscript written in 1557/8 by an anonymous Polish Tatar pilgrim (bound for the Holy City of Mecca) for the Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha Opukovic (minister to greatest Ottoman emperor Kānūnī Sultān Suleimān). I re-discovered it (for you and I ) and now would like to share with you ( examples of English language  books that mention this work - Muslims in Poland , Religious Language of a Belorussian Tatar Kitab) - caveat - you need to read Polish or translate it word for word for it is a Polish XIX century translation:  Antoni Muchliński, ''Zdanie sprawy o Tatarach litewskich,'' published in ''Teka Wileńska,'' vol 5, 1858 printed by Marcinkowski Print Shop (Wilno -now Vilnus - was one of the centres of Polish culture in XIX century, and our scholar and famous XIX century Orientalist pan Antoni saw no reason to write Polish Tatars in his translation since Polish and Lithuanian were synonyms at that time for one nation - see Adam Mickiewicz, Invocation to 'Pan Tadeusz,' starting O Lithuania, my fatherland! You are like health; , unfortunately the most cruel XX century changed that)
 I will try and translate a few portions of the manuscript as it is an early portrait of our Tatars - and for me, this has more significance because my wife is of the Polish-Lithuanian Tatar ancestry.

 But allow me use this happy moment of re-discovering this book and let us turn for a moment to the term ''Lipka Tatars''  as you will find no mention in the 'Risale Tatar-i-Lech' of Lipka (Turkish name for Duchy Lithuanian) in the ''Risâle-i Tatar-i-Lech'' and throw some light on the history of the term - so generously used by Nobel prize winner Henryk Sienkiewicz in his 'Trylogy.' - epic adventure novels set in XVII century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The most esteemed Polish-Lithuanian Tatar scholar Stanisław Kryczyński [Radwan Coat of Arms)wrote in his groundbreaking monograph on the history of the Lithuanian Tatars (Warsaw 1938) that the term ''Lipkowie'' (plural for Lipka Tatars, singular is 'Lipek'/Libek') was a loan word from the Crimean Tatar/Ottoman Turkish diplomatic missives  (starting in the 1520s AD) to the Polish Kings [who at them sam time were Grand Dukes of Lithuania], where amongst others  when referring to the history of diplomatic relations between the parties the Turkish clerks called  'Libkanum beyi'  the famous (and quite treacherous but he was playing 'big politcs' with the Holy Roman Empire , Teutonic Knights, Golden Horde and his cousin our king Władysław Jagiellon's treacherous cousin Lithuanian prince Witold Kiejstutowicz (Vitold/Vytatuas but ''Wattad'' in Crimean Tatar), and 'Libka' was the name the Ottoman Sultan and/or the Crimean Khan chanceries used for Duchy of Lithuania .
Thus during the course of XVI century the Ottoman/Crimean writers in their diplomatic letters to Kings of Poland changed the name 'Litva-Tatari' to ''Libka Tatarlar'' and continued using it alone in the correspondence until in the 1650s when the Polish-Lithuanian chancery adopted the Turkish name for out Tatars and finally started using it as well. With the mutiny and rebellion of the Tatar and 'Czeremisi'/Cheremiss companies/banners in 1670s and these rebels crossing over to the Ottomans, the term Libkowie or Lipkowie was adopted into our everyday language denoting these turn-coat Tatar soldiers at first, and then all our Tatars  (variations are 'Libka,' 'Lipka,' 'Łubka,' 'Łupka Tatar')  - said Pan Kryczński.   But this only happened in 1670s and after.
Balkan historian and Ottoman politician Demetrie Kantemir in his "History of Ottoman State" published in 1745 (in German) wrote about this etymological transformation and thus introduced this term to the Western historiography.
Prior to this period -1670s-1740s, our writers, chroniclers, heraldry researchers and diplomats, court documents and private correspondence [ starting in XV century  until the 1650s-70s] used name ''Tatarzy Litewscy'' Lithuanian Tatars (to name a few more famous writers of the XV- mid XVII century period - Jan Długosz, Kromer, hetman Tarnowski, rotmistrz Pretwicz , Bielski, Heidenstein, Strykowski, Paprocki, Pasek, Sobieski, hetman Żólkiewski , Fredro  Łoś etc).


Another noted Polish-Lithuanian Tatar history scholar pan Piotr Borawski, in his monograph (Warszawa 1986) ''Tatarzy w Dawnej Rzeczypospolitej,'' goes even further and states that term ''Lipkowie'' was used for the Tatar/Cheremiss (Mari)/Cherkiess settlers who settled around castles of Bar (Podolia) now in Ukraine  and Ostróg (Volhynia) now Ostroh in Ukraine and in general around Podole/Podolia abd Wołyń /Volhynia during XVI century about and after Volhynia  became part of the Kingdom of Poland, so technically they were not part of the old , duke Vitold's Lithuanian Tatars, but rather new arrivals from the steppe, from the defunct Golden Horde, the Volga steppe and the north Pontic steppe [one day I will go into the various Tatar entities around the Pontic). He states further that term 'Lipkowie' was used for the Cheremiss settlers (who around 1610 reverted back to pastoralism across Polish Ukraine and further south once again) exclusively  in the Polish primary materials during the period, and later, during the Lipków's Rebellion this generic name  was transformed to the entire Commonwealth Tatar population; and that he is not sure, as sure was Kryczński before him, where the name comes from.   Please note that the majority of the rebellious companies some (3000 soldiers with families) that crossed over to the Ottomans  in 1671/72, came from the Polish Kingdom i.e., Volhynia and Podolia, and not from settlements further to the north, i.e., Duchy of Lithuania.  Also, in light of the  state of historiography in the German states (that prior to Jan Sobieski's reign German language writers had the most knowledge and info on Poland) between XV to mid-XVII centuries regarding Polish Kingdom and its inhabitants, one would be really fishing in the desert expecting that the German chroniclers and writers, contemporary to Jan Dlugosz or Marcin Bielski, or eg  works compiled in Sricptores Rerum Prussicarum, to have used name 'Lipka/Libka' for the Lithuanian Tatars during the XV or XVI centuries.
   Hence, using term Lipka (again the German variation of our Lipkowie/Lipek) for the  Lithuanian Tatars prior to the Lipka Rebelion of 1671/2 is not consistent with the historiography and it's use for Poland and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, unless it will be used when writing from the position of the Ottoman/Crimean Tatar historiography, and even then it would be appropriate to use it only for the period after 1520s. Especially use of the term 'Lipka' for the Polish-Lithuanian Tatars (often found in the English language books and articles) when referring to XV-XVI century and Polish-Teutonic Order wars is anachronistic and inappropriate.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Little Spaniard and other Comanche warriors in Catlin's art

with the shields, horses and Plains warrior ethos in mind we will explore the paintings by George Catlin showing Comanche warriors.

    Maestro George Catlin painted Comanches in their village during the 1834 excursion onto the Great Plains, amongst them the noted warrior Little Spaniard. Here are his words describing this warrior:
 “A gallant little fellow [. . .] represented to us as one of the leading warriors of the tribe; and no doubt [. . .] one of the most extraordinary men at present living in these regions. He is half Spanish, and being a half-breed, for whom they generally have the most contemptuous feelings, he has been all his life thrown into the front of battle and danger; at which posts he has signalized himself, and commanded the highest admiration and respect of the tribe for his daring and adventurous career. This is the man  who dashed out so boldly from the war-party, and came to us with the white flag raised on the point of his lance  I have here represented him as he stood for me, with his shield on his arm, with his quiver slung, and his lance of fourteen feet in length in his right hand. This extraordinary little man, whose figure was light, seemed to be all bone and muscle, and exhibited immense power, by the curve of the bones in his legs and his arms. We had many exhibitions of his extraordinary strength, as well as agility; and of his gentlemanly politeness and friendship we had as frequent evidences.”

Here is the painting showing Little Soldier meeting with the US Dragoons under colonel Henry Dodge - the first US newly organized cavalry expedition onto the Plains.
Catlin described Little Spaniard in the moment of the meeting between the forces:
''He rode a fine and spirited wild horse, which was as white as the drifted snow, with an exuberant mane, and its long and bushy tail sweeping the ground. In his hand he tightly drew the reins upon a heavy Spanish bit, and at every jump, plunged into the animal's sides, till they were in a gore of blood, a huge pair of spurs, plundered, no doubt, from the Spaniards in their border wars, which are continually waged on the Mexican frontiers. The eyes of this noble little steed seemed to be squeezed out of its head ; and its fright, and its agitation had brought out upon its skin a perspiration that was fretted into a white foam and lather. The warrior's quiver was slung on the warrior's back, and his bow grasped in his left hand, ready for instant use, if called for. His shield was on his arm, and across his thigh, in a beautiful cover of buckskin, his gun was slung—and in his right hand his lance of fourteen feet in length. Thus armed and equipped was this dashing cavalier; and nearly in the same manner, all the rest of the party ; and very many of them leading an extra horse, which we soon learned was the favourite war-horse''    (  both the Eurasian and Americas  warrior practice of leading the war horse along, saving it for  the battle or chase only  )

On the Comanche horses:
No sooner were we encamped here (or, in other words, as soon as our things were thrown upon the ground), Major Mason, Lieutenant Wheelock, Captain Brown, Captain Duncan, my friend Chadwick and myself, galloped off to the village, and through it in the greatest impatience to the prairies, where there were at least three thousand horses and mules grazing; all of us eager and impatient to see and to appropriate the splendid Arabian horses, which we had so often heard were owned by the Camanchee warriors We galloped around busily, and glanced our eyes rapidly over them; and all soon returned to the' camp, quite "crest-fallen" and satisfied, that, although there were some tolerable nags amongst this medley group of all colours and all shapes, the beautiful Arabian we had so often heard of at the East, as belonging to the Camanchees, must either be a great way farther South than this, or else it must be a horse of the imagination.
The Camauchee horses are generally small, all of them being of the wild breed, and a very tough and serviceable animal; and from what I can learn here of the chiefs, there are yet, farther South, and nearer the Mexican borders, some of tho noblest animals in use of the chiefs, yet I do not know that we have any more reason to rely upon this information, than that which had made our horse-jockeys that we have with us, to run almost crazy for the possession of those we were to find at this place. Amongst the immense herds we found grazing here, one third perhaps are mules, which are much more valuable than the horses.
Of the horses, the officers and men have purchased a number of the best, by giving a very inferior blanket and butcher's knife, costing in all about four dollars! These horses in our cities at the East, independent of the name, putting them upon their merits alone, would be worth from eighty to one hundred dollars each, and not more.
(Interestingly, this is another piece of evidence to show that the Comanches were principally horse trades on the Plains, selling and exchanging their capture, mustangs and Spanish horses, to the other Plains tribes and Anglo-Americans)

In my post Comanche war bridle I gave Catlin's description of the Comanche horsemanship and further he states: 
  these people have several other feats of horsemanship, which they are continually showing off; which are pleasing and extraordinary, and of which they seem very proud. A people who spend so very great a part of their lives, actually on their horses' backs, must needs become exceedingly expert in everything that pertains to riding—to war, or to the chase; and I am ready, without hesitation, to pronounce the Camanchees the most extraordinary horsemen that I have seen yet in all my travels, and I doubt very much whether any people in the world can surpass them. The Camanchees are in stature, rather low, and in person, often approaching to corpulency. In their movements, they are heavy and ungraceful; and on their feet, one of the most unattractive and slovenly-looking races of Indians that I have ever seen[...]

 Here, a bison hunts:
with bows

with lances

War Party 
seeing the enemy

fully armed

Comanche and Osage warrior duel


 Mountain of Rocks  -“the largest and fattest Indian I ever saw [..] A perfect personation of Jack Falstaff, in size and in figure, with an African face, and a beard on his chin of two or three inches in length. His name, he tells me, he got from having conducted a large party of Camanchees through a secret and subterraneous passage, entirely through the mountain of granite rocks, which lies back of their village; thereby saving their lives from their more powerful enemy"
 Corpulency is a thing exceedingly rare to be found in any of the tribes, amongst the men, owing, probably, to the exposed and active sort of lives they lead; and that in the absence of all the species of life, many of which have their effect in producing this disgusting, as well as unhandy and awkward extravagance in civilised society.

Dragoon NCO officerHugh Evans was a Sergeant, Company G, United States Dragoon Regiment ) gave a brief description of Mountain of Rocks - '' the old chief come riding on a, verry[sic] fine horse he was a verry[sic] large man corpulent and muscular in appearance he inquired where our great Captain was and repaired thither immediately he imbraced[sic] Col Dodge and called him his great white brother.''

 Beaver - “a warrior of terrible aspect, and also of considerable distinction.”

He Who Carries a Wolf - a distinguished brave; so called from the circumstance of his carrying a medicine-bag made of the skin of a wolf; ho holds a whip in his hand. This man piloted the dragoons to the Camanchee.

 Hair of the Bull’s Neck

Bow and Quiver  - “pleasant looking [..] without anything striking or peculiar in his looks; dressed in a very humble manner [...] his hair carelessly falling about his face, and over his shoulders,”[..]“the only ornaments to be seen about him were a couple of beautiful shells worn in his ears, and a boar’s tusk attached to his neck, and worn on his breast.”

Wolf Tied with Hair 
 James Hildreth, describing the US Dragoon expedition to the Plains in 1834 said this about the Comanches:

''The Camnnches are a very numerous tribe, and extend themselves over that vast extent of country extending between the Red River and the north fork of the Washita, which you may easily point out upon the map. They have no established villages, but wander about from place to place, living chiefly upon game and wild fruit. They are armed with bows and arrows, and spears, and clothe themselves in the skins of the buffalo, elk, and deer. They are of a bright copper color, their faces broad and large; they are generally muscular men, and differ only in appearance from their squaws in the manner of wearing the hair, the latter having their heads cropt very short, whilst the former wear their hair in long tufts. They are the allies of the Pawnees, Kioways, and Arripahoes [Arapahoes]  and together, when prepared for battle, form a host not easily conquered. Among the Camanche women we discovered several Spanish females who had probably spent the greater portion of their lives among the Indians, and had assimilated their manners to their wild habits.
The Camanche, when mounted, presents a fine classic appearance; with his covering of variegated hide, his broad shining face, his spear and target, he is apt to remind one of the more chivalrous days of ancient Britain, when the tilt and tourney claimed no less the prowess of the bold than the plaudits of the fair; when the knight templars laid lance in rest, and sovereigns marshalled their followers on the plains of Palestine.''

and time to say - until the next time:
 ...a sketch of one of these extraordinary scenes, which I have had the good luck to witness; where several thousands were on the march, and furnishing one of those laughable scenes which daily happen, where so many dogs, and so many squaws, are travelling in such a confused mass; with so many conflicting interests, and so many local and individual rights to be pertinaciously claimed and protected. Each horse drags his load, and each dog, i.e. each dog that will do it (and there are many that will not), also dragging his wallet on a couple of poles; and each squaw with her load, and all together (notwithstanding their burthens) cherishing their pugnacious feelings, which often bring them into general conflict, commencing usually amongst the dogs, and sure to result in fisticuffs of the women; whilst the men, riding leisurely on the right or the left, take infinite pleasure in overlooking these desperate conflicts, at which they are sure to have a laugh, and in which, as sure never to lend a hand.

* all Italicized text by Catlin himself  from George Catlin, ''Letters and Notes,'' vol. 2,  1841

Mustangs and methods of catching them in Catlin's journey across the Great Plains in 1834


    summer is upon us and let us stay on the Great Plains of US, the homeland of the horse  - :) .
well, our artist-traveler George Catlin saw many wild horses in his journeys across the prairies - the image above was sketched during the First Dragoon Expedition in 1834 and finished in his studio some time later :

“There is no other animal on the prairies so wild and so sagacious as the horse . . . I made many attempts to approach them by stealth, when they were grazing and playing their gambols, without ever having been more than once able to succeed. In this instance, I left my horse, and with my friend Chadwick, skulked through a ravine for a couple of miles; until we were at length brought within gun-shot of a fine herd of them, when I used my pencil for some time, while we were under cover of a little hedge of bushes which effectually screened us from their view. In this herd we saw all the colours, nearly, that can be seen in a kennel of English hounds. Some were milk white, some jet black-others were sorrel, and bay, and cream colour - many were of an iron grey; and others were pied, containing a variety of colours on the same animal. Their manes were very profuse, and hanging in the wildest confusion over their necks and faces - and their long tails swept the ground.”
 but then:
''After we had satisfied our curiosity in looking at these proud and playful animals, we agreed that we would try the experiment of " creasing" one, as it is termed in this country; which is done by shooting them through the gristle on the top of the neck, which stuns them so that they fall, and are secured with the hobbles on the feet; after which they rise again without fatal injury. This is a practice often resorted to by expert hunters, with good rifles, who are not able to take them in any other way. My friend Joe and I were armed on this occasion, each with a light fowling piece; which have not quite the preciseness in throwing a bullet that a rifle has; and having both levelled our pieces at the withers of a noble, fine-looking iron grey, we pulled trigger and the poor creature fell, and the rest of the herd were out of sight in a moment. We advanced speedily to him, and had the most inexpressible mortification of finding, that we never had thought of hobbles or halters, to secure him—and in a few moments more, had the still greater mortification, and even anguish, to find that one of our shots had broken the poor creatures neck, and that he was quite dead.
The laments of poor Chadwick for the wicked folly of destroying this noble animal, were such as I never shall forget; and so guilty did we feel that we agreed that when we joined the regiment, we should boast of all the rest of our hunting feats, but never make mention of this.''

''The usual mode of taking the wild horses, is, by throwing the laso, whilst pursuing them at full speed, and dropping a noose over their necks, by which their speed is soon checked, and they are " choked down." The laso is a thong of rawhide, some ten or fifteen yards in length, twisted or braided, with a noose fixed at the end of it; which, when the coil of the laso is thrown out, drops with great certainty over the neck of the animal, which is soon conquered."
''The Indian, when he starts for a wild horse, mounts one of the fleetest he can get, and coiling his laso on his arm, starts off under the " full whip," till he can enter the band, when he soon gets it over the neck of one of the number''  - George Catlin wrote - [then the warrior ]“instantly dismounts, leaving his own horse, and runs as fast as he can, letting the laso pass out gradually and carefully through his hands, until the horse falls for want of breath, and lies helpless on the ground; at which time the Indian advances slowly towards the horse's head, keeping his laso tight upon its neck, until he fastens a pair of hobbles on the animal's two forefeet, and also loosens the laso (giving the horse chance to breathe), and gives it a noose around the under jaw, by which he gets great power over the affrighted animal, which is rearing and plunging when it gets breath; and by which, as he advances, hand over hand, towards the horse's nose, he is able to hold it down and prevent it from throwing itself over on its back, at the hazard of its limbs. By this means he gradually advances, until he is able to place his hand on the animal's nose, and over its eyes; and at length to breathe in its nostrils, when it soon becomes docile and conquered; so that he has little else to do than to remove the hobbles from its feet, and lead or ride it into camp.”

''This "breaking down" or taming, however, is not without the most desperate trial on the part of the horse, which rears and plunges in every possible way to effect its escape, until its power is exhausted, and it becomes covered with foam; and at last yields to the power of man, and becomes his willing slave for the rest of its life. By this very rigid treatment, the poor animal seems to be so completely conquered, that it makes no further struggle for its freedom; but submits quietly ever after, and is led or rode away with very little difficulty. Great care is taken, however, in this and in subsequent treatment, not to subdue the spirit of the animal, which is carefully preserved and kept up, although they use them with great severity; being, generally speaking, cruel masters.
The wild horse of these regions is a small, but very powerful animal; with an exceedingly prominent eye, sharp nose, high nostril, small feet and delicate leg; and undoubtedly, have sprung from a stock introduced by the Spaniards, at the time of the invasion of Mexico; which having strayed off upon the prairies, have run wild, and stocked the plains from this to Lake Winnipeg, two or three thousand miles to the north. *
This useful animal has been of great service to the Indians living on these vast plains, enabling them to take their game more easily, to carry their burthens, &c.; and no doubt, render them better and handier service than if they were of a larger and heavier breed. Vast numbers of them are also killed for food by the Indians, at seasons when buffaloes and other game are scarce. They subsist themselves both in winter and summer by biting at the grass, which they can always get in sufficient quantities for their food.''
 and then he writes about their own party pursing the wild horses: 

 ''Beatte and several others of the hunters asked permission of Col. Dodge to pursue a drove of horses which were then in sight, at a distance of a mile or more from us. The permision was given, and they started off, and by following a ravine, approached near to the unsuspecting animals, when they broke upon them and pursued them for several miles in full view of the regiment. Several of us had good glasses, with which we could plainly see every movement and every manoeuvre. After a race of two or three miles Beatte was seen with his wild horse down, and the band and the other hunters rapidly leaving him.
Seeing him in this condition, I galloped off to him as rapidly as possible, and had the satisfaction of seeing the whole operation of "breaking down," and bringing in the wild animal. When he had conquered the horse in this way, his brother, who was one of the unsuccessful ones in the chase, came riding back, and leading up the horse of Beatte which he had left behind, and after staying with us a few minutes, assisted Beatte in leading his conqured wild horse towards the regiment, where it was satisfactorily examined and commented upon, as it was trembling and covered with white foam, until the bugle sounded the signal for marching, when all mounted; and with the rest, Beatte, astride of his wild horse, which had a buffalo skin girted on its back, and a halter, with a cruel noose around the under jaw. In this manner the command resumed its march, and Beatte astride of his wild horse, on which he rode quietly and without difficulty, until night; the whole thing, the capture, and breaking, all having been accomplished within the space of one hour, our usual and daily halt at midday.
Several others of these animals were caught in a similar manner during our march, by others of our hunters, affording us satisfactory instances of this most extraordinary and almost unaccountable feat.

The horses that were caught were by no means very valuable specimens, being rather of an ordinary quality; and I saw to my perfect satisfaction, that the finest of these droves can never be obtained in this way, as they take the lead at once, when they are pursued, and in a few momenta will be seen half a mile or more ahead of the bulk of the drove, which they are leading off. There is not a doubt but there are many very fine and valuable horses amongst these herds; but it is impossible for the Indian or other hunter to take them, unless it be done by " creasing" them, as I have before described; which is often done, but always destroys the spirit and character of the animal.''

Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, 1841

original spelling

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sarmatian with a lasso - a sketch

Ushta os,
in this post on my blog I quoted a passage from Flavius Josephus' writings about the Alans raiding across the Caucassus Mountains the kingdoms of Armenia and Media Atropatene during I century AD.

Here I sketched, with a ball pen, a warrior astride a galloping horse with a lasso already in a swinging montion and at his side a long sword slung  from a second belt-loops with a scabbard slide (Asian invention brought to Europe by the nomads), about to cast his rope...I worked the drawing a bit with GIMP (GIMp Painter)
By the way, nowadays I use as my operating system the Linux Mint 11, and thanks to the maestro David Revoy's instructions the digital painting (with GIMP-PS & GIMP-Painter and MyPaint) has just become even more of a joyful pursuit.

                  +++ * +++++ * +++++ * +++

   Some more good news for all the enthusiasts of the history of horsemanship - on I found a nice copy of 1854 publication of the 1430s manuscript (in Paris, France) by philosopher-king of medieval Portugal Dom Duarte (Edward of Portugal). The thick volume (in original XV century Portuguese) contains the most famous horsemanship treatise - Livro da ensinança de bem cavalgar toda sela . [starts of page 497 of the original publication]

 Almost 10 years ago the definitive English translation, by the Preto family team of father and son,  of the entire ''Bem Cavalgar' was published [I am happy to have a hardcover of that edition]. Prior to that happy moment scholar Sidney Anglo had quoted profusely from the manuscript in his ground-breaking work ''The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe.''

Do enjoy your study of Bem Cavalgar - :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Plains Indian Shields - historic references II

Salve amigos y amigas,
this is a continuation of my Plains Indians shield historic references theme
George Catlin


 Keokuk, chief of the Sauk [and Foxes], a frontier (woodland and prairie) tribe that was affected by the horse and Plains Indian equestrian culture, and eventually fought wars with US - Black Hawk War - and the tribes of the Great Plains

 Karl Bodmer

 Alfred Jacob Miller



Remington's warrior
and finally the best late XIX century and XX century 'Plains chronicler' Charles M. Russell

Plains Indian Shields - historic references part I

Salve amici mei,
it is almost the summer and my blogging will slow down considerably starting in mid-July until September. But I promise to pick up again in mid-Spetmeber as I should have plenty of interesting topics to tackle and artwork/photos to share.

My last post was about the shields and armour of the Plains Indians. Allow me to share with you some period (XIX century) iconographic material demonstrating the method of carrying such shield when on foot or on horseback. Let us start with the ledger drawings and Kurz drawing of Rotten Tail










... Rudolph Friedrich Kurz


Note, that in the future I will 'go deeper' in many of these images, especially regarding the horses, horsemanship and tack as well as other aspects of the material culture of the XIX century Plains tribal peoples.