This is a character concept I’ve drawn as part of an assignment for one of my game design classes. We’re learning storytelling for games this term, and for the current assignment we’re supposed to do concept art for one of the characters from our hypothetical games.
This character would be a warrior princess who has to unite the disparate chiefdoms of her jungle homeland against industrial-tech invaders, braving dinosaurs and numerous other perils along the way. Her game would probably be an open-world action RPG roughly similar to Skyrim or Far Cry: Primal.
This Kushite warrior is practicing his kicking skills, much as I drew him to practice my own drawing of martial arts-inspired poses.
As far as the martial arts in ancient Kush are concerned, they are known to have had a wrestling tradition like their Egyptian brethren further down the Nile. It also seems probable that they shared with the Egyptians a tradition of stick-fighting, which is commonly practiced throughout Africa as far south as the Zulu lands of South Africa. This kicking style however is artistic speculation on my part.
The vast majority of ancient Egyptian mummies are shriveled-up, gross-looking things that have had their vital organs taken out. But this one is better-preserved than most if you know what I mean. 😉
Of course, the fact that it’s the month of Halloween right now influenced me to draw this. I don’t think the Egyptians actually had a belief that mummies would literally come back to life like zombies, but they’ve been a stock Halloween monster since that old Boris Karloff film.
The Sacred Band of Carthage was an elite infantry unit recruited from the upper echelons of Carthaginian society. They did most of their fighting during the fourth century BC, but they would disappear from mention in the historical record after 310 BC (long before Hannibal appeared on the scene, unfortunately). They were unusual among soldiers in the Carthaginian army in that they were all native citizens of Carthage, as opposed to the foreign mercenaries whose ranks formed the army’s greater bulk.
My design for this Sacred Band fighter is predominantly speculative of course, but I wanted to get away from the Greek-influenced outfits Carthaginian warriors are usually portrayed as wearing. The white areas on his face and chest are meant to represent body paint made from white ash, such as that used by the Dinka of South Sudan and some societies in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley.
Queen Nefertiti, the consort of the infamous “Heretic” Pharaoh Akhenaten, is taking her smoke break with a nice blunt of weed. I drew the idea from the popular Fetty Wap song “Trap Queen”, which is about a drug dealer’s girlfriend and partner-in-crime (since a “trap” is a place where you deal drugs). Given how Nefertiti would have almost been Akhenaten’s partner-in-crime during his reign, he too must have thought of her fondly as his own personal “trap queen”.
And yes, the ancient Egyptians did in fact use cannabis (the marijuana plant), as indicated by numerous papyri prescribing it as medicine.
By the way, I don’t smoke anything, let alone weed. I actually consider it a turnoff most of the time. But then everyone has their personal vices, even Egyptian royalty.