Monday, 8 January 2007

Iroquois Civilians

I will shortly be posting some images of woodland indians, but here as an appetiser are the six figures from Conquest Miniatures' "Iroquois Civilans" pack. The first photo shows four Iroquois ritualists, two wearing maize corn husk masks and the other two wearing more general false face masks. Medicine societies wore these masks whilst delivering prayers and thanksgiving songs to deities and earth-bound spirits. The Husk Face Society prayed to agricultural spirits and celebrated the supernatural beings who taught man the arts of hunting and agriculture. The False Face Society ritualists are holding turtle shell rattles in their right hands.

In the background are the last two miniatures in the "Iroquois Civilians" pack, a clan matron and a sachem. They also appear in the photo below together with the Joseph Brant figure from the Perry "Indian Chiefs" pack (at some stage Brant will have a post all to himself). The sachem holds a treaty belt of wampum beads (which were made from the round clam shell, found along the Atlantic coast). White wampum, as shown here, signified peace and purity. These are very well-made, interesting figures which would also fit in as extras in a French & Indian Wars game. If and when I manage to realise my plans for a game of the Battle of Oriskany (1777 - essentially a large and bloody skirmish between Iroquois and American militia), these civilians will be on the table somewhere with some longhouses to add a bit of native colour.

Anyone painting up Iroquois is strongly advised to look at three Osprey Men-At-Arms titles, No.228 "American Woodland Indians", No.395 "Tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy" and No.428 "Indian Tribes of the New England Frontier". All three books contain extensive information about Indian clothes, war-paint and decorative work as well as the tribes' customs and history. Painted July 2006. 6 figures.

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