Photographed in the North African enclave of Ceuta, this Spanish infantryman had probably been deployed c. 1912 during the Rif Wars in Spanish Morocco.
Based on his numbered belt buckle, he appears to have been a soldado of the Regimiento de Infantería 'La Reina' nº 2. which was actively deployed in Morocco between 1912 and 1925.
He wears the rayadillo type uniform which was made from blue-and-white-stiped cotton fabric and issued to colonial troops stationed in tropical climates from the later 1800s into the 1920s, Ridiculed for its perceived resemblance to pajamas by American and British troops, the uniform was in fact eminently practical. Cool, hard-wearing, and easily laundered, rayadillo was far better suited to the conditions in Cuba and the Philippines than the wool Indian War-era uniforms issued to many American soldiers deployed to those same tropical regions during the Spanish-American War (1898).
His equipment is black leather and he is armed with a Spanish Mauser 1893 rifle. For protection from the sun, his headgear consists of a salacot - the Spanish version of a Wolseley pattern "pith" helmet. His footwear consists of sandals instead of the expected boots or shoe and leggings combination. These sandals were standard issue to many Spanish troops serving in Spanish Morocco at the time.
Small Cabinet-Style Photograph
3 1/2 inches by 5 1/4 Inches
(9cm x 13.3cm)
Francisco Martin - Photographer
Soberania Nacional 3
Ceuta, Spanish Morocco