We have seen it in natural tan colour, saddle, burnished and even dark brown tending almost to black.
Is there an official colour?
On the occasion of the 30 June 2023 release date of the fifth saga of our favourite Archaeologist, I will take the opportunity to shed some light on this question that I often hear asked.
First of all a distinction must be made between the whips made and used for the trilogy, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade, with the one that appears in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull .
For the trilogy, the whipmaker in charge was David W. Morgan, who supplied the production with dozens of natural-coloured whips of different lengths for stage requirements.
For the fourth episode The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull the whipmaker commissioned was the Australian Terry Jacka who supplied the production with several whips of the same brown colour.

Indiana Jones whip in natural and brown colours

The fact that the whip of Indiana Jones appears in the first three films with different colours is mainly due to two factors depending on the age of the whip and the particular reaction of the vegetable-tanned kangaroo leather that darkens with use and exposure to light.
This peculiarity of tanning literally tends to “tan” the leather by reacting to the use of fats for the maintenance of the whip, the use of the whip itself and its natural exposure to light, gradually transforming over time the original colour making it darker and darker.
Not everyone knows but some of the whips used on the set were owned by Harrison Ford’s personal trainer and stuntman Glenn Randall and Vic Armstrong respectively.
We speak therefore of whips used even before filming to teach Harrison Ford the correct use that for the reasons mentioned above had therefore a burnished colour that gives the whip a perfect lived look.
This explains in the first place why, especially in the first film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, there are whips with different colours .
Some of the whips that ‘survived’ the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark were themselves reused for the filming of Temple of Doom.
For this reason, some will appear darker than others precisely because they were more used and more lived in.

From top to bottom: kangaroo strip just being cut, kangaroo braid with strips cut, processed and greased, kangaroo braid after about two years.

We can conclude that the difference in colours of whips
in the trilogy depends on the fact that whips of different ages were used.


Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *