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  • Mandan Storm - Mandan Horseback Warrior - James Ayers Painting

Mandan Storm

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Title: Mandan Storm
Tribe: Mandan
Size: 44" x 30"
Medium: Oil on canvas
Price: Sold


More about Mandan Storm

Breathe in. Breathe Out. The warrior fills his lungs with moist air as he steels himself for combat.

The Mandan warrior rides forth to prove himself through deed. He approaches his quarry—perhaps rivals or even enemies—with both outward and silent strength. This encounter is significant: life as his people know it may rest on the outcome of his actions. He knows the coming storm will be strong, but he must face what opposes him first.

About the composition

Mandan Storm is all about the drama that can be created by contrasting colors and values. The warrior sits horseback, backed by a giant wall of storm clouds. This contrast is especially strong when looking at the yellow paint on the warrior’s shoulder: In a field of cool tones with giant blue-gray clouds, the yellow pops.

The warrior’s face is a strong focal point. His face being in profile adds flavor to the piece. Looking at him, you can see his determination and focus (both important qualities for a warrior). You are forced to ask the question, “What is he so determined to face?” The feathers on his head and coup stick, as well as his hair, add an impression of the blowing winds present that day.

About the subject

The warrior carries in his hand the ultimate status of combat prowess, the coup stick. Warriors would bring this stick into battle and attempt to touch and taunt enemy warriors with it. The message was clear to everyone: I am so unafraid of you that I do not even need a weapon to shame you.

He wears traditional clothes, leather leggings adorned with beads. He rides shirtless, another display of his bravery and physical strength. His shield also brings him strength. It is adorned with personal symbols that would have been acquired through a vision quest. On his back, he carries a beaded quiver and bow.

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