23 posts categorized "George O'Connor, GUEST BLOGGER"

August 28, 2006

george O'Connor, Journey into Mohawk Country



These are the style sheets I made for the three main characters of Journey into Mohawk Country as I began working on the book. The first is a “before” shot, depicting Harmen, Jeronimus and Willem at the outset of their journey. The second is an “after”, with the three Dutchmen showing all the wears and tears of their winter trek through what is now New York State. They’ve lost some things, and gained some others. These shots are the alpha and omega. Artwise, I gradually brought them from the clean cut image in the before shot to the ragged, but wiser, final image.

August 25, 2006

George O'Connor, Journey into Mohawk Country


Some sketches of time-specific Iroquois rattles. A few of these turn up in Journey into Mohawk Country. I believe this particular selection is from New York’s own American Museum of Natural History. Anytime you see an Iroquois tool or implement in Mohawk Country, there’s a pretty good chance you can see the original in a collection somewhere.

August 23, 2006

George O'Connor, Journey into Mohawk Country


Sometimes while doing research for Journey into Mohawk Country I was frustrated to find that there was simply no information that existed on a topic. A case in point was the subject of Mohawk armor.

In the journals of Harmen van den Bogaert that serve as the text for Mohawk Country, there is a major episode where the three Dutch explorers are witness to a mock battle between two groups of the Mohawk, some of whom wear the aforementioned armor. This armor, made of woven twigs and cords, was discarded by the Iroquois as a group soon after their initial encounters with Europeans (as it was unfortunately not bulletproof) and, to the best of my knowledge, no examples survive.

Furthermore, no picture or drawing of Mohawk armor exists, only a few written descriptions. The closest I could find to a depiction of Mohawk armor were two rather poorly drawn early seventeenth century woodcuts of Huron armor (my sketch of one of them accompanies this text). The Huron were the Mohawk’s neighbors (and longtime enemies) to the north, and shared many similar customs, as well as a similar language. Lacking any other source to go on, I drew the Mohawk warriors wearing Huronesque armor. Maybe it’s close to what they actually wore, maybe it’s not. It goes to show how quickly things changed for the Native Americans after first contact. No one thought to record what their armor looked like and then it was gone forever.

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