Dervishes and Arabs by Britains

Toy soldier collectors looking for opponents for their King’s African Rifles will almost certainly want figures to represent the Mad Mullah’s Dervishes (holy men).

Bedouin Arab by Britains

Bedouin Arab by Britains

There are a number of options and a mix is probably best as the brave and fanatical Dervishes knew no uniform.

My preference is Britains hollowcast Bedouin Arabs, which are common as they were produced in large numbers and different colours from 1913 to 1960. The Bedouin Arab figures could also serve as Arab slave traders who plagued the east coast of Africa and were a target of KAR patrols until well into the Twentieth Century.

Britains Abyssinian Tribesman can also serve as a dervish warrior or a slave trader.  This figure is a re-working of the Arab figure but bare-headed and with a fixed arm, and scarcer as it was produced in smaller numbers than its parent.

Abyssinian Tribesman by toy maker Britains

Britains Arab Warriors from the excellent “Deetail” series made in the 1970s are an alternative option for the collector looking for dervishes to oppose his King’s African Rifles.

Arab Warriors by Britains Deetail

Another unusual alternative to Dervishes and Arab slave traders is the African witch doctor made by Lone*Star (below) which represents the KAR’s early years undertaking punitive expeditions and small campaigns to pacify African tribes raised to rebellion by witch doctors, shamans and tribal chieftains.

African witch doctor by toy maker Lone*Star