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 NATIVE AMERICAN SHIELDS

See Also PLAINS INDIANS SHIELDS 9/04/07

    Dependant on the Tribe, males at various times of their lives, went on what could be called Vision Quests. There were many reasons for these quests but the common thread is where the male went either to obtain his “spiritual name” as opposed to the name given him by his people, to seek out his “spiritual guides” or both. While within some Tribes there was certain ceremonies that including what today is termed self-mutilation, the common thread again, was fasting alone, even to the point of not drinking water, at some isolated spot. The more common time period for this was three days. The intended goal could come either via actual “visions” or perhaps even the physical advent say, of a particularly bright “shooting star” or a group of them; many and varied are the things that could very possibly come into play with regard to this Vision Quest.

    When the Quest came to an end, the person took a Gift to the Tribe’s Holy Man, or Medicine Man if you prefer, but NOT Shaman. The word Shaman comes from peoples located in the now known area of Siberia, as does the practice of Shamanism. You try to call a Traditional Native American a Shaman and his “practices” Shamanism, and you are very likely to find yourself in varying degress of trouble! 

    At any rate, many times, what was gained via the Quest and the interpretation of it by the Holy Man, was then transferred to the person’s shield, as well as many times symbolized on the sides/walls of his tipis. 

    The shield, as could be expected, was a very important item to the Native American, because not only of the obvious physical protection, but also because of the Spiritual Protection it provided. Because of the latter, shields did not disappear from the cultural identity of the Native American as it did the European, where the shield aside from physical protection, provided familial linkage and/or identity of the bearer and was judged quit inadequate with the advent of weapons using gunpowder. 

    So, while many of the shields were not used as actual physical protection, they were by many carried with them, attached in some way upon their animals or, were put in places/poles of Honor, to the East of the warrior’s lodge. Thus, it spiritual protection was still maintained.

    Once again, let me assure the seeker that there is no remuneration gained by this site, nor anyone connected with it, from the websites listed. The examples and the sites are here for educational purposes only and they are put here to give credit where credit is do, and so that the seeker can go there and see what other visual treats are in store, for what is shown here are but a tiny portion of what is available at this fine sites.

White Buffalo Authentic Plains Indian Recreations and Custom Art: http://whitebuffalo.freeservers.com/Gallery.html

This site has a lot going for it, very eye catching with very nice examples of various Native American items of interest: the sites only drawbacks, to me, were the constant popup menu’s.

(CLICK ON IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE VIEW)
Blackfoot Medicine Shield Crow Bear Shield Mandan Turtle Shield
Crow Shield – Originally owned by a warrior named: Shavings 

Traditional Native American Art by Michael Crazy Elk: www.folkart.com/crazyelk/
(CLICK ON IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE VIEW)
Representation: Blackfoot Medicine Shield – Michael Crazy Elk – 15/18” diameter Representation: Arapaho Battle Shield – Michael Crazy Elk – 15/18” diameter Representation: Shadow Buffalo - Arapaho Battle Shield – M. Crazy Elk - 15/18”
The Soft Leather Studio: www.thesoftleatherstudio.com
(CLICK ON IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE VIEW)
Cheyenne War Shield Reproduction – Original in Detroit Inst. Of Arts – Shield belonged to Cheyenne Warrior, Little Rock. Plains Indian Medicine Shield –  Tatanka Shield 
Native American: Art, History, Cultural tour: http://members.aol.com/jroache/nativeamericanart.html
Very interesting site. The man is an artist as well as being a bonifide teacher of various aspects of the Native Americans and their ways. One could probably spend the rest of their lives in here. Well, maybe not (grin). However, he says the site is over 250 pages and still growing!
(CLICK ON IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE VIEW)
Kiowa Bear Society Shield – apparently by description, a reproduction
Sioux Thunder Being Shield - Rotten Belly Society – this society was composed of “Contraries”.
SS&A Traders: www.buffalorobe.com
Has many interesting items. As well, you can obtain virtually any part of a Buffalo you wish for your own creative or artistic endeavors. They have some truly beautifully done “war shirts”, and women’s dresses (leather). However, even though I realize how labor intensive it is to create what I have just mentioned, I wish that they were a bit more within reach of my own “financial arms”, so-to-speak.
(CLICK ON IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE VIEW)
Cheyenne Shield Reproduction, circa 1860 Oglala Sioux Shield Reproduction, circa 1890 Sious Shield Reproduction, circa 1900

IF ANY OF THESE LINKS DO NOT WORK PLEASE EMAIL THE WEBMASTER.

Link to Plains Indians Shields

Below are Links to the Other Native American Life Living Art Pages
[ Native American Art Contents Page ] [ Native American Arrowheads Page 1 ]
[ Native American-Artists and Sculptures-Page1 ]
[ Native American Baskets Page 1 ] [ Native American Beadwork Page 1 ]
[ Native American-Corn Husk Dolls ] [ Native American-Dreamcatchers ]
[ Native American Dress Page 1 ] [ Native American-Drums-Page1 ]
[ Native Amercian-Kachinas Article ] [ Native American Masks ]
[ Native American-Moccasins ]
[ Native American Music-Introduction and Contents ]
[ Navajo/Navaho Sand Paintings ] [ Native American-Pipes-Bowls-Bag-Page 1 ]
[ Native American-Pottery Styles-Page 1 ] [ Native American Shields ]
[ Native American Weapons: Tomahawks

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