Friday, 2 December 2011

Pontiac, Conquest Miniatures

This figure of Pontiac (c. 1720 – 20th April 1769) is from the Eastern Woodland Indians by Conquest Miniatures, Item Number: 500-011. A brief account of his life can be found thanks to Wikipedia.
Pontiac
Pontiac 
Pontiac - note body tattoos. 
I thought I would attempt to depict the figure decorated with tattoos. After a brief Google search which initially resulted in some frankly bizarre and random images I eventually found something more appropriate. These were loosely based on the body art ‘worn’ by the Iroquois character played by Mark Deacascos in the entertaining 2001 French film ‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’.

Following article taken from the Conquest Miniature website, temporary (hopefully) unavailable, covering the appearance of Eastern Woodland Indians by Tim Greene:

Ottawa Tribe
"The Ottawa were too far north for agriculture and their land was poor in the wild rice so abundant in the land of the Dakota and Chippewa. There also was few fur bearing animals in Ottawa country. So the Ottawa became great traders. This honed their diplomatic skill and they eventually produced one of the greatest Native American leaders, Pontiac. The Ottawa had a reputation for cunning, treachery, and cruelty. They were adequate warriors. Very loyal to the French they were the nucleus of anti-British hostility after the French and Indian War.


The French often remarked on the prevalence of nudity among the Ottawa’s. Men usually wore only a robe and moccasins. Sometimes a fitted leather breechclout was worn with flaps in front and back, decorated with quillwork. Leggings, when worn, were thigh length simple tubes of hide, fringed on the outside seams and gartered just below the knees. Among the Ottawa the roach was worn by some men. The head was often shaved except for a central tuft standing high from front to back decreasing in height towards the back and a scalplock hanging from the crown. The hair could be worn in two or four braids sometimes wrapped in fur or thongs. Others allowed the hair to hang loose or shaved it all except for a tuft at the crown. Ottawa moccasins were deerskin and sometimes moosehide one piece soft soled with seam from toe to instep and the sole puckered into it. The seam was often covered with a strip of quillwork. Cuffs were usually attached and could be worn down or up around the ankle fastened with thongs. The sole was later puckered into a U or oval shaped vamp as among the Ojibwa.


Ottawa men were commonly tattooed. Designs included lizards, snakes, and geometrical figures, sometimes covering the entire body. The face and body were painted with red, brown, green, and black."