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Meeting of General Brock and Grand Chief Tecumseh at Fort Malden on 13 Aug 1812

Type: Image

Captain Glegg, who met Tecumseh at Fort Malden, left this description of the Shawnee chief: ‘Tecumseh was very prepossessing, his figure light and finely proportioned, his age I imagined to be about five-and-thirty, his height five feet nine or ten inches, his complexion light copper, his countenance oval, with bright hazel eyes beaming cheerfulness, energy and decision. Three small crowns or coronets were suspended from the lower cartilage of his aquiline nose, and a large silver medallion of George the Third, which I believe his ancestor received from Lord Dorchester when governor-general of Canada, was attached to a mixed coloured wampum string which hung round his neck. His dress consisted of a plain, neat uniform, a tanned deer-skin jacket with long trousers of the same material, the seams of both being covered with neatly cut fringe, and he had on his feet leather moccasins much ornamented with work made from the dyed quills of the porcupine.’

Site: National Defence

Grand Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee, circa 1807

Type: Image

Tecumseh (circa 1768 – 1813) had an impressive bearing and a charismatic personality. Canadian militia officer Thomas Vercheres de Boucherville described the Shawnee chief at a diner in 1813: ‘Tecumseh was seated at my left with his pistols on either side of his plate and his big hunting knife in front of him. He wore a red cloak, trousers of deerskin, and a printed calico shirt, the whole outfit a present of the English. His bearing was irreproachable for a man of the woods as he was, much better than some so-called gentlemen.’ It is uncertain that this widely published 19th century print is an actual likeness of Tecumseh. It is reputedly based on a pencil sketch made from life in 1807 at Vincennes, Indiana by Canadian fur trader Pierre Le Dru.

Site: National Defence

Micmac chief, circa 1740

Type: Image

This Micmac leader wears a mixture of Amerindian and European dress. Gifts of military clothing equipment were often made by the French colonial authories to allied leaders. Note the gorget around this man's neck - this small piece of armour was the symbol of an officer in European military fashion. Reconstruction by Francis Back. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

An Ottawa Indian Chief, 1814

Type: Image

This Ottawa leader wears a tanned deershin robe. His hair is worn in a style noted for this culture, with two braids hanging down in the back. Amongst the silver ornaments around his neck, this man wears a European gorget. This piece of ceremonial throat armour was the mark of a European officer, and was a popular item with aboriginal leaders, according to surviving records. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Amerindian warriors, first half of the 18th century

Type: Image

These Amerindian warriors show some of the variations of appearance to be seen in the first half of the 18th century. Despite their adoption of many European weapons and articles of clothing, the first nations preserved a resolutely Amerindian look by integrating all this with their tattoos and body paint. The central figure is a chief. Reconstruction by David Rickman. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Iroquois chief, 1760-1790

Type: Image

This Iroquois leader wears the mixture of native and European items that was used by eastern woodland cultures during the 18th century. Note, for instance, the European linen shirt, worn as an overall smock. Around this man's neck hangs a gorget - a gilded crescent worn by European officers when on duty. Gorgets were considered one of the more desirable gifts an Amerindian chief could receive. Among the particularly North American items seen here are the leggings (known as 'mitasses'), the scalp hair lock decorated by feathers with other hair removed from the head, the face paint and the moccasins. The result is colourful and impressive. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

A Crow nation chief in full regalia

Type: Image

The Crow nation roamed Montana and northern Wyoming, overlapping the Saskatchewan border. Horses, first brought into Mexico by the Spanish in the early 16th century, had profoundly transformed the lifestyle and fighting tactics of the plains Indians by the 18th century.

Site: National Defence

Captain James Cook meeting Nootka leaders at Nootka Sound, 1778

Type: Image

James Cook (1728-1779) is shown meeting Nootka leader Muquinna (died 1798) at Nootka Sound on what is now Vancouver Island, in 1778, during his explorations of Canada’s northwest coast.

Site: National Defence

Pehriska-Ruhpa, Moennitari (or Hidatsa) Warrior in the Costume of the Dog Dance

Type: Image

Pehriska-Ruhpa was a Moennitari (or Hidatsa) leader, whom artist Karl Bodmer and Prince Maximilian of Wied met when they stayed at Fort Clark in the winter of 1834. Bodmer painted a watercolor sketch of Pehriska-Ruhpa in his Dog Dance clothing, then at a later time prepared the image for engraving and posed the figure to show a dance posture.

Site: National Defence

Joseph Brant, or Thayendanegea (1742-1807) in 1776

Type: Image

As Grand Chief of the Mohawk nation within the Iroquois Confederacy, Thayendanegea remained an ally of the British Crown and led his warriors against the Americans. (National Gallery of Canada)

Site: National Defence