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Q: Cutural warrior makeup, war paint ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Cutural warrior makeup, war paint
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: studioexp-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 08 May 2006 11:58 PDT
Expires: 07 Jun 2006 11:58 PDT
Question ID: 726623
I'm looking for images of and information about various cultural and
ritual warrior makeup designs (i.e. Maori warrior etc.)  I need images
and info about as many cultures as possible - ancient and modern, well
known and obscure.  Ritual, shaman and deity makeup is acceptable as
well but only secondary.

Subject: Re: Cutural warrior makeup, war paint
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 09 May 2006 00:09 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello Studioexp,

   This was certainly interesting to research! Because there is not an
abundance of images of war paint/face paint, I have included several
paintings and even dolls and toys depicting warrior face paint.

African Warriors

Masai Warrior Images

A close up of the above beading

Karo warriors, Ethiopia (You will have to close the ad to see the photos)

Masai Warriors Information

Samburu Warriors

El Molo, Kenya

Miscellaneous African images

Surma Fighter

US Native American and Canadian First Nations Face Paint Images

   ?Photos and text courtesy of Paul D. Campbell, author of SURVIVAL
SKILLS OF NATIVE CALIFORNIA. Paul's book features living (and now
deceased) Native American California Indigenous people of the greater
San Diego area, and details their traditional Indian hunting,
primitive weapons and aboriginal survival techniques and aboriginal
methods...Paul's book is available for sale at Shumup Ko Hup Indian

Last Horse, Sioux







Inuit Warrior

Inuit body marking

About Native American Warriors

Like most of the original tribes near the mouth of the Mississippi
River, the Acolapissa was not large, probably numbering in 1600 no
more than 3-4,000. In 1699 Iberville credited them with 300 warriors
indicating a population of approximately 1,500. However, the native
populations of the region had been decimated by disease and warfare
during the proceeding 150 years. Judging from the losses suffered by
the Biloxi and neighboring tribes, it is fair to say that the
Acolapissa had lost at least half of their original population. The
decline accelerated after contact with the French. By 1702 another
epidemic had dropped the Acolapissa to 1,250, and twenty years later,
a French census gave them only 200 warriors (1,000 total). By 1739 the
Acolapissa were so few that the French no longer bothered with a
separate enumeration. The combined population of the Acolapissa,
Bayougoula, and Houma for that year was given as only 500,
representing a 90 percent population loss for these three tribes in a
period of only forty years. Currently recognized by Louisiana, the
11,000 members of the United Houma Nation are the state's largest
tribe. However, their petition for federal status was denied by the
Department of the Interior in 1994.?

?A proud people and dangerous enemy, the Catawba immediately attached
themselves to the interests of the English colonists after the
beginning of settlement in the Carolinas during the 1660s. Their
loyalty wavered only briefly during 1715. Otherwise, they fought other
Native Americans for the British and protected the Carolina colonies
from encroachment by the French and Spanish. They also helped the
colonists find runaway slaves when required. It was a common practice
in South Carolina to force new slaves to pass in front of a Catawba
warrior in warpaint to discourage escape attempts. To a limited
extent, their service was appreciated. It is difficult to think of
another Native American group for which South Carolina tried to
establish a reservation so they could stay. By 1720 the Catawba had
started to adopt many of the ways of English colonists but were losing
their own culture in the process. For the most part, they remained
very traditional about religion until 1883. Within a year Mormon
missionaries were able to convert almost all of them. Presently, most
of the Catawba belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day

Other First Nation Histories

Geronimo and others

?Comanche raids were legendary for the distance covered and could
strike hundreds of miles from their starting point. War parties
usually travelled at night following separate routes to a
previously-agreed location. Strings of horses were used to avoid
fatiguing their mounts. War paint was black and usually consisted of
two broad black stripes across the forehead and lower face. Their war
hoop was a collective rah-rah-rah...almost like a high school cheer.
After the sudden attack, a rapid retreat began using separate routes
and dividing into ever-smaller groups as necessary to thwart pursuit.
Returning war parties often wore some of their stolen booty: stovepipe
hats, womens corsets, etc., giving them an almost circus-like

?Except for black, which was the color for war, there was no standard
color or pattern for face and body painting: it was a matter of
individual preference. For example, one Comanche might paint one side
of his face white and the other side red; another might paint one side
of his body green and the other side with green and black stripes. One
Comanche might always paint himself in a particular way, while another
might change the colors and designs when so inclined. Some designs had
special meaning to the individual, and special colors and designs
might have been revealed in a dream.

Comanche women might also tattoo their face or arms. They were fond of
painting their bodies, and were free to paint themselves however they
pleased. A popular pattern among the women was to paint the insides of
their ears a bright red, and paint great orange and red circles on
their cheeks. They usually painted red and yellow around their eyes.?

?War Shirts - fringed buckskin shirts with, in the northern and
central Plains, beadwork panels along the arms and over the shoulders.
In these areas there were often extra beadwork panels or rosettes at
the front and back below the neck opening. Fringes could be buckskin,
hair or white ermine. The whole surface of a shirt could be rubbed
with dry powder paint to give an overall color. Sometimes the top and
bottom of a shirt would be colored differently, in blue and yellow for

Feathers - used to mark coups. Dras did not give themselves feathers,
they would be awarded by Tribal Chieftans or War Chiefs.

Single upright feather - first coup (sometimes with added horsehair tuft)
Feather with red bar - second coup
Horizontal feather - third coup
Feather with red spot - killed an enemy
Notched feather - cut throat and taken scalp
Split feather - wounded many times

War paint - Plains Indian face and body painting was a matter of
individual choice and helped a warrior attune his mind for battle.
Faces could be striped or spotted in one or more colors or painted
uniformly. Bodies were colored in the same manner with a paint and
grease mixture, often with patterns of bold wavy lines. Sometimes
body, shield and horse could all be painted with the same design. Old
wounds were often highlighted in red paint.?

?Older men and young boys wore their hair long. The warrior hairstyle
was to shave the sides of the head, leaving a roach or crest which the
wearer soaked with bear grease. The men plucked all hair from their
faces and bodies with tweezers made in early times of clam shells and
later of wire. Chickasaw warriors painted their faces for ceremonies
and war, the color and design indicating their clan association. They
wore ear and nose ornaments and decorated their heads and shoulders
with eagle feathers and a mantle of white swan feathers, the ultimate
badge sought by every warrior. Most of the jewelry found at burial
sites consisted of shell gorgets, ear spools, bracelets and anklets.
Facial painting indicated the group of the wearer, but was only used
on occasion of war. The Imosakica group of Chickasaws painted across
and above the cheek bones, while the Intcukwalipa decorated only below
the cheek bones. Some Chickasaw men practiced the art of tatooing as

?One thing that is known about the Beothuk was their love of the color
red. While the use of red ochre was common among Native Americans, no
other tribe used it as extensively as the Beothuk. They literally
covered everything - their bodies, faces, hair, clothing, personal
possessions, and tools - with a red paint made from powdered ochre
mixed with either fish oil or animal grease. The growing-season in
Newfoundland is much too short for maize agriculture, and as a result,
the Beothuk did not farm. They were semi-nomadic hunter/gatherers
organized into small independent bands of extended families. The
Beothuk were skilled canoeists who speared seals with harpoons, fished
for salmon, and collected shellfish. Before the arrival of the
Europeans, most Beothuk bands moved seasonally between the coast
during summer and interior in the winter, but several groups are known
to have remained at coastal villages year-around and sent hunting
parties a short distance inland during the colder months.?

?Catawba warriors had a fearsome reputation and an appearance to
match: ponytail hairstyle with a distinctive war paint pattern of one
eye in a black circle, the other in a white circle and remainder of
the face painted black. Coupled with their flattened foreheads, some
of their enemies must have died from sheer fright.?

Latin America


Amazon Shaman

Mexican Shaman


Maya Mask

Mexica Warrior

Videos, maps, culture of the Maya World

Aztec Warriors

Peruvian/ Inca Images

Peruvian Moche Face Paint

About the Moche

Peruvian Shaman

Yanomami Shaman (Scroll to the right to see other face paint.)

Yanomami Warrior

Yanoami body markings

About MesoAmerican Cultures

Asian Warrior Images



Tao warrior

Scroll down the page, please


Yali warriors, Indonesia

Asian Warrior Information

Australia/New Zealand/Papua, New Guninea Images

Maori Images


Austrailian/Aboriginal Information

Pacific Rim

Samoan Warrior


Indian Shamans


?Tattooing was an important aspect of pre-colonial Mäori society.[5]
Men had their faces (as well as other parts of the body) tattooed
during their teen years or in early adulthood in order to make them
look more fierce in battle. These tattoos, ta moko, denoted manhood
and were a sign of courage, strength, and honour. Though I have used
the widely understood term ?tattoo,? it must be noted here that there
are important differences which distinguish ta moko from Western-style
tattoos. The Mäori male facial tattoo is called ta moko, from ta,
meaning ?to strike? (the method of application) and moko, meaning
?mark.? Traditional ta moko were more than mere pictures or designs
inked on skin by multiple needles; they were intricate patterns
chiselled into the flesh and filled in with pigment usually made from
a soot mixture.[6] The process of receiving ta moko was long, arduous,
and painful. The marked warrior was respected for tolerating the
excruciating procedure, and ta moko was not only symbolic of his
bravery and prowess, but also a constant physical reminder of his

 In Both Sides, Kapi (Jimmy?s maternal ancestor) proudly recalls,
?these markings were endured without cry ... not one sound of pain,
not in the days and days of tohunga tattooist hammering and chiselling
them ... they are of beauty.? (BSM 257) Ta moko was also (and still
is) totemic, composed of highly individualised designs and symbols
with mythical significance and ancestral associations. Although some
of the traditional connotations, such as status and achievement within
the tribe, are no longer applicable, many others are still relevant
today: it is considered sacred (tapu), it documents the bearer?s
lineage (whakapapa) and distinguishes one as a member of particular
family group (iwi), and it forms a kind of personal identification.?

Religion of War

Body Marking;jsessionid=1937gf2ah3skp?tname=body-marking&curtab=2040_1&hl=war&hl=paint&sbid=lc01b

Out of all criteria!

   There you go! I hope this is the information you were seeking. If
not, please request an Answer Clarification, and allow me to respond,
before you rate. I?ll be happy to assist you further, before you rate.

Sincerely, Crabcakes

Search Terms
warrior face paint
Tribal face paint
Tribal war paint
Native warrior + face paint
Native warrior + war paint
Inca Warriors
Indigenous warriors
Mayan Warriors
Celtic Warriors
Cacique Warriors
Yanomami Warriors
African Warriors
Australian Warriors
Asian Warriors
Japanese Warriors
Chinese Warriors
cacique indigena
history of war paint
ancient warriors 
body markings + tribal + warriors
war paint

Request for Answer Clarification by studioexp-ga on 10 May 2006 08:19 PDT

I was hoping for more breadth within the search criteria - i.e. "
many cultures as possible".  For instance, the only Eurocentric search
term I saw was "Celtic Warriors".  In general I was hoping for wider
and more specific curtural searches like... "Xth Century X Culture
Warrior rituals/make-up/tattoos/traditions/gods, etc.  Again breath -
My primary need is three or four categorical links for each culture or
sub-culture that I can then jump off of.


Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 10 May 2006 09:25 PDT
Thank you for your clarification. I will search further now that you
have broadend the scope of the question.I worked many hours on this
question, however, and the fact that I did not include other European
warriors in my search terms does not mean I did not find information
about them...   Your original question asked about war paint and
make-up only. As it was worded, I  had no idea you wanted information
on "Warrior rituals/make-up/tattoos/traditions/gods, etc. " I did
include some information on tattoos, as information about war paint
and make-up, and body markings was scarce. "As many as possible..." is
what I found during my intense search.

Every example I found of Eurocentric warriors showed no face paint or
body markings, which is why I did not include information on this
group. I should have commented on this, and that is my fault.

I did include some descriptions of war paint, etc., when images were not available.

I will do further research on the original question, and post when I
have something.Please give me a day or two to respond.

Thank you for your patience.
Regards, Crabcakes

Request for Answer Clarification by studioexp-ga on 10 May 2006 19:47 PDT
I appreciate your time - Just as a further clarification, I do indeed
only want cultural warrior make-up images and info - my search
suggestions were only to illustrate my desire for breath.

Thanks again

Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 12 May 2006 21:44 PDT
Hello again,

  Here is what I have found for you, in addition to the original asnwer:

Early European Tribes

Northern European Warriors


Germanic Warriors

?Ancient Germanic Warriors Ancient Germanic Warriors: Warrior Styles
from Trajan's Column to Icelandic Sagas
Author(s): Speidel, Michael P.
ISBN:  0415311993
Format:  Hardcover
Pub. Date:  8/16/2004
Publisher(s): Routledge

?The reasons for this violent propensity are not far to seek. Prior to
the later nineteenth century, states were ruled more often than not by
warriors; the business of warriors is conquest; and the fruits of
conquest are, frequently, territorial gain. It would be ridiculous to
expect a prideful, militarized ruling class not to make war. It would
be equally preposterous to expect that a warrior elite would yield
territory for no reason after conquering it. In short, the Russian
elite acted like every other military governing class--it fought other
elites for honor and territory. The difference in the Russian
case--which commentators almost always missis that the Russians
usually expanded into territories that were lightly populated by
traditional, indigenous peoples. Siberia is the best case in point.
The Russians were able to conquer (if not control) all of this vast
region in a matter of decades. A look at a map gives the impression
that the Russians were master imperialists. But actually they were
comparatively poor at the game of conquest. Generally speaking,
whenever they fought to advance their western border into heavily
populated, well-organized, technically adept Europe, they failed. When
they succeeded, their victories proved ephemeral. They could never
hold on to their gains.

Choctaw Warriors
There are recommended books on this topic at the end of this site?s article.

?Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. The central tenets of this cult or
religion were transmitted through rituals and through the exchange of
sacred objects emblazoned with symbols such as falcons, crosses, and
rattlesnakes. Often the iconography depicts scenes of violence and
warfare, such as warrior figures holding weapons and decapitated
heads. These symbols were carved, modeled, engraved, and painted on
many materials, most of them probably perishable (like cloth and wood)
or made from exotic materials, such as copper and marine shell,
imported from distant sources.?

Celtic Warriors

Celtic Warriors and gods


PBS Warrior Challenge


Greek Life and Warriors, prior to 1000BCE

Warriors in Bharat

Maori Chief and War leader

Reenactment video of New Guinea warriors

?Bimberg provides a military history of the Moroccan Goums, the
knife-wielding irregular troops who distinguished themselves, fighting
under French command in Tunisia, Italy, France, and Germany during
World War II. Recruited from the hill tribes of Morocco's Atlas
Mountains, the Goums were garbed throughout the war in the traditional
"djellaba" of their homeland and were armed with long sharp knives, in
addition to rifles, machine-guns and mortars. They terrified the enemy
not only by their ferocity, but by their odd appearance. Their
particular skill in mountain warfare prompted General Patton to
request their participation in his Sicilian campaign, and they fought
brilliantly in this and many other key campaigns. This account follows
these forces from their native North African mountains across the
battlefields of World War II to their final triumph in the Austrian

Transgender Warriors (You asked for modern too!)

Women Warriors

Slave Warrior (Movie)

Gaelic Warriors


Fiji Warriors

Manco Inca Yupanqui

Inca Warriors

Beserks and Mad Warriors

You MAY be able to write to Hawaii Press for this article:
?Speidel, Michael "Berserks: A History of Indo-European "Mad Warriors""
Journal of World History - Volume 13, Number 2, Fall 2002, pp. 253-290 
University of Hawai'i Press

Berserks, mad warriors scorning wounds and death, constituted an
Indo-European warrior style on the same order as wolf-warriors. This
study traces their history as far as we can know it, from Mesopotamia
to Iceland, from 1300 B.C. to A.D. 1300. Making use of new
archaeological and literary sources, the study shows berserks to be a
long-lived, cross-cultural phenomenon that lends color and coherence
to the early millennia of recorded history.?

Zulu Warrior

Interesting Commentary


Dani Warriors

French Warrior

Art depicting various warriors

Ethiopian Warrior

Near bottom of the page



Hawiian Warrior


I hope this additional information has helped, and provided more
breadth. I am not able to find any other online images, after an
extensive search.

Sincerely, Crabcakes
studioexp-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Good work, thanks for the extra effort.

There are no comments at this time.

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