Garde Indigene du Dahomey

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Garde Indigene du Dahomey

Post  Sean on Sun 22 Jun 2008, 2:52 pm

Don von Shriltz did some of the best plates I've seen, and on the unusual too.

http://i42.servimg.com/u/f42/12/22/09/10/6186_310.jpg
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Re: Garde Indigene du Dahomey

Post  buistR on Mon 23 Jun 2008, 8:14 am

Neat (as my kids would say) and to think they were probably only glorified policemen. The French made good use of their Zouave pattern of colonial dress - especially in North Africa. The last surviving regiment of tirailleurs in the modern French Army still parades its bandsmen in "tenue orientale", in the classic light blue and yellow of the old turcos.

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Re: Garde Indigene du Dahomey

Post  Animal on Fri 11 Jul 2008, 1:56 pm

One would think that the officer would've been European, unless the one depicted is actually a senior NCO.

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Re: Garde Indigene du Dahomey

Post  buistR on Fri 11 Jul 2008, 5:55 pm

The French did have significant numbers of officiers indigenes in their North African spahi and tirailleur regiments from the establishment of these units in the period 1830-42. In full dress these officers wore the same style of heavily braided zouave jackets as that shown in the print - with rank distinguished by the Austrian knots on the sleeves. The Garde Indigene officer would appear to be either a sous-lieutenant - the lowest commissioned rank; or an adjutant chef (warrant officer). There were few if any indigenous commissioned officers in the Tirailleurs Senegalais or other black African units of the Colonial Army until the 1930s. Perhaps the Garde Indigene (who were a form of gendarmerie) had more enlightened promotion policies or, more probably, the figure shown is an adjutant indigene.

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Garde Indigene du Dahomey

Post  mconrad on Tue 29 Jul 2008, 11:07 am

Yes, "indigene" in French colonial use indicates a native police function, definitely a rung below that of regular army tiralleurs. I can well imagine there being leadership roles for the native elite as officers in these paramilitary police organizations.

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