Council of Chiefs

Howard Terpning - Council of Chiefs

Council of Chiefs
A Limited Edition Textured Canvas
by artist Howard Terpning
edition size: 950     Stretched size 36 x 22

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This is the early 1870's period. These men represent chiefs or head men from different warrior societies within the Blackfoot nation meeting in council. In council, these individual leaders gathered to set the course of the nation. Decisions were reached by consensus, youth acknowledging the wisdom of age and the power of experience valued over the experience of power. The man seated on the far right has painted part of his face and shoulders with vermilion, which was a sacred color and symbolized blood or life. The standing figure on the near right has white dots painted on his back; these represent hailstones falling down to destroy his enemies. His knife scabbard is more the design that a trapper or mountain man might carry. The warrior on horseback in the foreground is carrying a banner staff lined with eagle feathers. These so-called flags could be ceremonial in use or employed as a rallying point in battle.

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