EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
In post #27, David has posted an outstanding image of a Mahican chief, and holding a most impressive ball club, but as I look at the portrait, it just dawned on me that this notable chief, aside from that club, is wearing a European sword!!!
The portrait was painted by a Dutch painter, Jan Verelst, in 1710, when a key figure of Dutch New York, took four (actually five but one died enroute) American Indian chiefs to visit Queen Anne in London on a diplomatic mission.
As portraits of the other chiefs (actually Mohawks) were holding items such as muskets, it seems many were of course props provided by the artists (there were three painting sets of portraits).
I have started a new thread "use of swords by American Indians" in order to avoid detracting from the topic here, and hope it will prove as interesting as this thread has been.
With the large ball club in the portrait, and given that it was painted in England by a Dutch artist, it sets me wondering if these chiefs had brought their own weaponry, perhaps as gifts or tokens in diplomatic gesture, or whether these were items previously collected by either Dutch or English colonials.