Medicine Shield of the Blackfoot–2006

Giclee on Canvas
23" x 22" inches
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Masterwork Fine Art Edition on Canvas
Edition of 650

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"Among the Blackfoot people the shield was the most cherished and protective possession and above all it was a medicine object. Medicine shields have dream or vision origins. Making a shield could be a lengthy process involving several people, but it had to start with the hide taken from the neck and shoulder of a Bull Buffalo. Once the hair was removed, this thick hide was then placed over a fire pit filled with hot stones and staked to the ground. The heat of the stones gradually shrinking the hide until it was about one inch thick. It was then painted and decorated to conform with the owners dream. When the shield was not carried by the owner on a war party, it was supported on a tripod outside the tipi on sunny days, and as the sun moved, the tri-pod was turned so that the face of the shield would always be in direct sunlight. ~~ Howard Terpning~~