The 4 Indian Kings

Originally published June 15, 2018


 

Issued on April 19, 2010, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the portraits representing the 4 Indian Kings from the Iroquoian Confederacy who travelled to London, UK to meet with Queen Anne. Having been so impressed by her visitors, the Queen commissioned John Vereslt a court painter to paint their portraits. Each portrait shows a King with their hereditary clan animal at their side. In all of the portraits, the four kings are wearing red cloaks that were made for them and were gifts from Queen Anne.

The first stamp in the souvenir sheet (the stamp on the left below) features Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row of the Wolf Clan. His name means Double Life and he was said to be over 6 feet tall. Baptized as Hendrick, he was also known as King Hendrick Peters and was known as being Christian. In his portrait, he is holding a wampum belt. To his right, you can see the wolf. The portrait is titled: Emperor of the Six Nations.

                         
Next is Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow (the stamp on the right above) of the Bear Clan. Christened as Peter Brant, he was the grandfather of Joseph Brant. He was pictured with a musket and his very elaborate tattoos. To his left, you can see the bear representing his hereditary clan. Peter Brant was a Catholic and was the leading king of the Mohawks. The portrait is titled: King of the Maquas

The third is Ho Nee Yeath Taw No Row (pictured on the left below) of the Wolf Clan. King of the Canojaharie as he was baptized as John. He is pictured with a Bow and his quiver of arrows on the ground to his right. To the left is the wolf. The portrait is titled: King of Generethgarich

                         

The last portrait is of Etow Oh Koam. Baptized as Nicholas, he was known as the King of the River Nation. He was a Mahican of the Turtle Clan. Painted holding a ball-headed war club and English dress sword you can see the turtle representing his clan to his right. The portrait is titled: King of the River Nation.

These portraits were presented to Library and Archives Canada by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second in 1977. Prior to being given to Canada, they resided in London, England and at one point they were in Queen Anne’s London residence Kensington Palace. The portraits are among the earliest surviving portraits of North American native people.

Sources:
Philately News.com – http://philatelynews.com/2010/canada/the-four-indian-kings/
Virtual Vault, Collections Canada – http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/virtual-vault/4-kings/index-e.html
Courtly Lives – http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/4Chiefs.html
Canada Post – www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/personal/collecting/stamps/2010/2010_Four_Kings.jsf
Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Mohawk_Kings

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