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One Who Watches His Ways

48" x 36" Acrylic on canvas - SOLD 2014
Lakota Peace Chief. Late 1800s.
One Who Watches His Ways

This Peace Chief was sometimes known as a Principal Man. There is no Lakota word for “integrity” but the translation is “one who watches his ways”. It is said that if you encountered one of these men in your life and learn nothing from them, you were a fool.
Although this warrior was a peace chief it did not mean that he did not go to war.
The blue paint on his forehead was made out of berries or bird droppings mixed with buffalo or bear grease and represents power from above. The polka dots represent hail that is associated with power.
The feathers are from a bald eagle. The single feather with a red felt wrapped quill signified that he was a peace chief.
The earrings are made of shell that was traded from other tribes.
This warrior is wearing a war shirt decorated with dyed porcupine quills and minimal bead work across the bib. Typically the red wraps on the shirt was red felt wrapped around horse hair or hair of an enemy tribe. The stripes running horizontally across his chest represents how many times he struck his enemies.

One Who Brings The Thunder

Original acrylic on canvas, 40x40 SOLD 2014
One Who Brings The Thunder

This is a Southern Cheyenne Dog Soldier. These warriors were known as Dog Men or Dog Soldiers being a part of the warrior society that started from very humble origins and later became one of the most prominent and powerful warrior society among the Northern and Southern Cheyenne.
The headdress was usually made of any birds of prey. This particular one is made of raven feathers. The white tufts attached to the tips of the plume are from an eagle.
The powder white face paint (war paint) is made from clays and ash mixed with bear or buffalo grease. The blue strike over his eye was made from berries and bird droppings also mixed with buffalo grease. The strike represents his power that came from above.
The hair pipe choker and beads were traded from the French as well as the silver earrings (crescent moon).
The bear claw necklace speaks of the power of this warrior which was taken as a trophy from another warring tribe known as the Pawnee.
The tattered blanket represents the humble beginnings.

Creating a visual past

James tells a story, sometimes an historical representation of something he was told as a child.

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Telling the stories of the Grandfathers and Grandmothers.

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