Mahdist Warriors 1885


This photo of Hadendoa warriors, the fiercest and most effective of the Mahdi's Sudanese army, shows the hairstyles that prompted the British soldiers to call them Fuzzie-Wuzzies. They were armed with swords and shields made of rhino skin. But they were also skilled at firing rifles. Lt Hibbert wrote: 'The bravery of the enemy is simply wonderful, and the worst of it is they are such good shots, people say as good as the Boers.'


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by Stephen Luscombe