"They were short in height with threatening features and tangled hair on
their heads. Their eyes were large and their cheeks broad."
The Skraeling was the Viking name for
the Indian tribes they encountered during their attempts at starting
colonies in North America. Eric's saga records skirmishes with the
Skraelings as being the reason the colonies were abandoned, "that
although the land was excellent they could never live there in safety or
freedom from fear, because of the native inhabitants."
Anthropologists have tentatively
identified the tribes as Micmac and Beothuk Indians. Our range of
figures are based on these tribal types.
From later written sources; the Beothuk
and Micmac tribsemen were dark skinned swarthy individuals, usually with
dark hair. They wore a variety of animal skins including seal. Not all
garments were sewn, many being just thrown or draped over the
individual. Both tribesman coloured themselves and their weapons with
red ochre. Sources do not say if this was patterns or a total covering;
but it was the original descriptive source of the term - "Red Indians!"
Weapons would most likely have been a
mix of spears, clubs, bows and arrows tipped with bone or stone points,
there are references to javelins tipped with bone in the sagas.
Decorative items such as bracelets could have been made up of beads made
from bone, stones or dried berries.
Wire spears have been used with the
figures below, with the tips painted dark grey to look like stone