Armored Horseman with Lance, Nigeria, 1820s


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This record was last updated on 05 Apr 2016

Image Reference
279

Source
Dixon Denham, Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa, in the years 1822, 1823, and 1824 (London, 1826), facing p. 279.

Comments
Based on a field sketch by Denham, this engraving is captioned "Lancer of the Sultan of Begharmi." Begharmi is on the eastern shores of Lake Chad. The soldier as well as his horse are in quilted armor. "Clothed in a yellow wadded jacket, with a scarlet cap, and mounted on the horse . . . [which] was one of the finest horses I had seen; and covered with a scarlet cloth, also wadded" (Denham, p. 279). The impact of the horseman's double-headed lance "was sufficient to pierce chain mail and other metal armour" (Christopher Spring, African Arms and Armour [British Museum Press, 1993], p. 38).