"The term 'Dervish' is used to describe the Mahdi's followers, although he preferred the name 'ansar'.'Ansar' means 'helper' or 'follower'. It is used in the Koran to describe the people of Medina who helped the Prophet Mohammed when he was in exile. It conveyed the meaning of 'disciple', and implied a reward in after-life. 'Dervish' is a much wider term and describes a variety of Moslem friars. The word literally means 'poor' (from the Persian word, 'darvesh') and all dervishes were supposed to have taken vows of poverty and austerity".
..at last some time to get up into my (freezing) loft and get some pictures.. I've threatened to play DG but the cold up there is positively disincentivising, so many apologies for the delay, matey!
Herewith another couple of bases of ansar for the Colonial project..
According to Warner, the Dervish army comprised four main elements; the cavalry, the camelry, the Jehadia (these were the rifle armed foot soldiers, who were grouped together in specific units), and lasty, and most prolifically, the 'sword and spear men' (who these guys represent).
My research indicates that they were grouped into "rubs", or battalions, armed with swords, spears and some rifles, and were commanded by Emirs.
They were composed of Baggara's (an Arab tribe from the southern Darfur/Kordofan region of central Sudan, and also the tribe of Abdallahi ibn Muhammad the Mahdi's second in command/planner), Ja'alin's (an Arab tribe from around Khartoum), or Danagla's (the Mahdi's own tribe, from Dongola), and my understanding is that the units could be a mixture of all those tribes, even though my further understanding is that the Ja'alin and Danagla didn't get on well.. it seems to have been a strength of the Mahdi (or Muhammad Ahmad ibn as Sayyid Abd Allah to give him his full name) that like some great leaders he seemed to be able to persuade peoples who traditionally disliked each other, to forget their differences.
In his book Slatin [clicky] said there were about 7000 cavalry, 34000 Jehadia, and 64000 sword and spear men, so these guys form the majority of my Dervish force (this would have been around the time of the siege of Khartoum)..
|An Emir of the Baggara tribe|
So.. two bases of Dervish foot, 19 figures, Peter Pig, 15mm..