If Native Americans developed Iron and Steel, what would their Armor look like?

Hypothetical: If native americans (and lets say mesoamericans and south americans as well) had developed iron and steel metallurgy on their own, what would their weapons and armor look like?

(This is a question mainly for the After the End mod for Crusader Kings 2)
 
Without any parameters, the weapons and armor of the Native inhabitants of the New World with knowledge of metallurgy could realistically be anything. It could be the most advanced by 1492 or on par with the Bronze age.

Moving towards giving an answer though, it depends on the societies that develop. In the case of both Mesoamerica and South America (at least the Andes and Rain Forest), full body plate armor would probably never been the norm. I'd look to similar climate societies in India and the Muslim world for inspiration, but instead of silk substitute cotton. So metal for maybe helmets or bracers or chest plates but nothing like the knights of Europe.
 
Hypothetical: If native americans (and lets say mesoamericans and south americans as well) had developed iron and steel metallurgy on their own, what would their weapons and armor look like?

(This is a question mainly for the After the End mod for Crusader Kings 2)
Do you work on that mod?
 
Maybe some type of mongol armor. It would be interesting to have a Comanche's Gengis Khan analogue in the great plains, After the End is a great mod.
 
Hypothetical: If native americans (and lets say mesoamericans and south americans as well) had developed iron and steel metallurgy on their own, what would their weapons and armor look like?

(This is a question mainly for the After the End mod for Crusader Kings 2)
Even if they developed iron metallurgy there is long way from smelting iron to make iron/steel tools very common. I'd say Bantu people would be good analogue-they used iron knives and spearpoints, but no armour.
 
Chain mail-like stuff seems to have developed independently, so I'm sure any of the more sedentary natives could make something like that.
 
Amerindians favored textile armor. The Aztecs and Mayans used padded cotton tunics, with the former using wooden helmets and masks. The Incas used camelid wool armor and helmets of basket like construction sometimes with copper attachments to cushion impact blows from slings.

If they had iron, some sort of iron helmet is probable. Although given the difficulties working iron into complex shape, maybe it would be wood with iron fasteners and reinforcement pieces.

Fabric armor could easily be upgraded by sewing small metal plates or rings into them, like a jack of plate.
 
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Didn't the Native Americans in the North West United States in Washington State area work iron that drifted in from Japan? Does that count?
 
Didn't the Native Americans in the North West United States in Washington State area work iron that drifted in from Japan? Does that count?
They mostly made it into tools or ornaments through cold-working it, and a lot of the iron working came after initial European contact in the 18th century (thanks to more shipwrecks and of course trade). They did wear armour though, they used strips of wood (red/yellow cedar IIRC) reinforced with elk hide. So perhaps have it reinforced with strips of iron in this case (once the supply of iron through local mining is enough to get the idea across)
 
They mostly made it into tools or ornaments through cold-working it, and a lot of the iron working came after initial European contact in the 18th century (thanks to more shipwrecks and of course trade). They did wear armour though, they used strips of wood (red/yellow cedar IIRC) reinforced with elk hide. So perhaps have it reinforced with strips of iron in this case (once the supply of iron through local mining is enough to get the idea across)
That's exactly what I thought of when I read the question. Plains Indians wore breast pieces made of strips of bone (I think) that could easily be replicated using metal with only simple forging methods.
Sioux-warrior-indigenous-Amerindian-54mm.jpg
This might eventually lead to laminate armor like that of the samurai.
samurai.jpg
 
Most of the continent has a pretty hot climate. Anywhere between Bahia and say, Florida, is usually pretty hot most of the year (big exception: The Andes). So even if they have the tech, I don't think anyone is going to be dumb enough to fight in Full Plate Armor in the middle of the Amazonian Jungle, or the Caribbean.

I think something more like the armor the aztecs and mayans used, but with some lighter metal protection.
 
I think the "standard" armor model in the Americas would look something like this. Leather armor reinforced with metal plates for the chest with light metal protection for the arms and legs. There would be heavy variations across the continent due to cultural and climatic conditions.

Helmets and shields would have cool and interesting models and designs
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This is interesting as it's armor that develops in the absence of cavalry. Protecting against men coming at you on horseback has been a major driver of innovation in infantry armor. Not to mention using a horse to multiply the force of arms and armor also a platform for innovation. In a world like that the biggest threat is probably from archers with some sort of long or compound bow equivalent. So something with angles to deflect maybe. I could also see pairing up lightly armored or non-armored warriors with a smaller group of heavily armored warriors in a manner you see infantry and tanks paired in modern battlefields. The lightly armored guys keeping the heavy armor safe and clearing a path for them until reaching an enemy formation, then the nearly invulnerable heavy armor soldiers acting like shock troopers to open a hole in the lines.
 
Sharp and heavy blunt weapons were the primary driver for armor use. Pick up a one ounce fishing weight. Think about that coming at you at a velocity of four to five hundred feet per second. David aimed at Goliath's open forehead, not his helmet.
 
Did some reading and it seems that the obsidian that was abundant in at least Mesoamerica area of the Aztecs might be the main reason for no iron and then steel smelting. From what I gathered obsidian was considered scared and when mined they were getting material from the gods. The common thread was that obsidian cut better than the bronze that was common. Hence they made it into weapons instead of moving onto iron then steel.

Just throwing that out there. But I'm not sure they would have wanted to wear a full steel suit of armor in the heat of "Mexico" anyway.
 
I think the most common armour in mesoamericana and south América BEFORE the the european contact will be some form of brigandine or lamellar armour.
A brigandine for mesoamerica and a lamellar for the Andes.
I mean this is could easyly be a brigandine with a helmet, we know histórical y were akin to gambenson, so in case of having iron the obvioilud evolution is a form of brigandine or armor of plates, that have theadvantage that are more "fresh" than a chain mail or plate

In the case of the Incas we probably will see something like this:

Obvious this imagen is from the king an their priest but is an option to have something simple done in iron
Ot like this one

We know that histórical the collar is a form of jewelry, but they bring protección and could be made of iron
 
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It should also be remembered that, through out most of European history, metal armor was only available to those wealthy enough to afford it. The majority of men in a Medieval army would have been wearing non-metal armor like an boiled leather jerkin or quilted arming jacket. If they could afford any metal armor, it would have been some kind of helmet. I think the same would have been true for Native Americans.
 
Feathers and Scales could be a great inspiration for a pagan people.

Kópia – Heavy_cavalry_of_Rhun_by_Merlkir.jpg


1-volh-vseslavevich-olshanskiy.jpg


I know these are fantasy drawings. Forgive me if this is against forum rules.
 
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