Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Lances and bows... and shields

 Salete Omnes,

I am having problems with my regular PC tower, so trying to use my other old horse PC, hope it will keep on working .

ad rem, 

I am re-looking at the works by George Catlin regarding his visual recording of warriors's weapons and manner of carrying them while on horseback, in the context  of Plains people horse/equestrian horizon. Especially the shield, lance and bow with bowcase - this post

Maestro Catlin made two excursion in to the Indian Country west of the American control, i.e, the Great Plains in the early 1830s; his very first one was the trip  into the Upper Missouri country, where among various Plains tribes he observed the Sioux (Lakota) and then with the US Dragoons he went over to the edges of the Comanche country - I did a post about his meeting (when with the Dragoon command) with the Comanche warriors and their horsemanship.

Many of his painting have plenty of peculiar information on the 1830s Plains warriors that are absent in the other visual sources from the American West.
 So as per my interests in weapons, lances, bows and horses I have got interested in their manner of carrying their lances as evidenced by this painting.

Sham Fight of the Camanchees[Comanches]-   (the museum site has the story behind this oil on canvass painting - see the link below)

this painting is in the National Gallery of Art collection - and it is to depict the special display of horsemanship and martial skill of the Comanche warriors. This feat of equestrian prowess was a special presentation for the benefit of our artist. The whole scene reminds me of the hippika gymnasia of the ancient Roman cavalry, as in Arrian's writings.

For the intriguing part of this visual narrative, it is the manner in Catlin recorded the arangement of spear/bow and shield  in mounted combat, in which the warrior's  spear/lance is secured under his right thigh, when using the bow to shoot at the adversary. nota bene, there is another painting titled Sham Fight of the Comanchees [Comanches]- from the 1850s - and very different  much different.



James Fisher said...

Was the detail of the spear left out of the later watercolour, perhaps?
Regards, James

Dario T. W. said...

Hi James, that may be it - examining many of Catlin's works I always find differences between them - from little details to major discrepancies.
thanks for commenting, my friend