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Peta Olowan (Fire Song)

My newest painting Peta Olowan (Fire Song) is finally complete.

I originally sketched this out about five years ago and was hesitant to get started on him as the style is a bit different than what I normally paint. I have also never taken so long to physically paint one piece due to a number of interruptions, but he is finally ready to find a new home to reside in.

Largely inspired by the style of the late artist Antowine Warrior (1941-2019, Sac and Fox), this one has actually been in process for a number of years. Fire Song is a warrior shown in first contact northern plains style dress and war paint. Wearing a headdress typical of the time it contains golden eagle tail feathers notched and decorated to show various specific war honors. It also contains striped red tailed hawk wing feathers and a split raven “Scout” feather.

The headdress also features a number of barn owl feathers not uncommon to the time period. While many southern tribes view the owl as a bad omen, northern tribes used large amounts of owl feathers in their headdress as they were connected to success in battle. An ermine skin hangs from the headdress that is secured to his head by a thin band decorated with porcupine quill work.Three miniature arrows are also attached to the back of the headdress to show the number of people killed using a bow.

He is shown wearing brass “ear bob” earrings as well as large muscle shell disc earrings, and has typical neck tattoos along with brass beads and dentillium shells in his hair.


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