|Title:||Evidence of Victory|
|Size:||60" x 40"|
|Medium:||Oil on canvas|
A victorious Cheyenne warrior strikes a dramatic pose in his tepee before heading out to another battle. He wears gauntlet gloves taken from a soldier he has felled - a visible emblem of this warrior’s courage and success in warfare.
This man is a successful warrior and he proudly wears examples of his numerous victories. In addition to the gauntlet gloves, atop his head is an eagle feather headdress - each feather represents times he has successfully “counted coup.” His warbonnet is also adorned with ermine fur to represent his fierceness and tenacity. A military-issue blue wool coat - also won in battle - rounds out this impressive regalia.
The warrior carries two powerful weapons, a spear and a Sharps carbine. The spear has ermine fur and red trade cloth adorning the shaft. Spear points were obtained typically from trade but could also come from converted railroad spikes. The Sharps was one of the choice weapons of the time--it was small but powerful with the benefits of both distance and accuracy.
He holds a shield under his arm, adorned with circles representing hail stones. These markings are medicine that will bring fierce hail down on enemies. Red trade cloth is draped over the top, with hanging magpie feathers.
By showing the warrior posed inside his tepee, I pay homage to the classic Bodmer and Catlin settings they used for their in-field work.
The interior of this tepee is spacious, indicating that this man is a person of high standing among his people. The floor in the dwelling is a carpet of grass; inside the tepee, you can glimpse of the kinds of objects typically found in a Cheyenne home: medicine bundles, bags, buffalo robes, and drums. I painted these items in a purposely impressionistic manner, to keep focus on the central figure.