Some Aspects of Warfare of the Reindeer Lamut in the 17th Century

Alexander K. Nefëdkin and Richard L. Bland


Various aspects of warfare among the Reindeer Lamut (Even) of 17th-century Russia are examined with emphasis placed on reindeer-mounted archers. The Even were famous archers whose main long-range weapons were composite bows and various arrows, while spears and palmy were weapons used for close battle. Warriors were protected by two kinds of lamellar armor as well as a plate helmet. The militia from various Even clans consisted of 300 to 1000 warriors who were between 16 and 60 years of age. They formed a lose array divided into two flanks. The main battle tactics employed involved long-range archery assaults on the enemy. Some of the possible tactics of reindeer riders on the battlefield and their role during the course of military action are discussed, as well as the origin of these tactics from horse-riding neighboring groups.

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