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Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep


Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Acrylic on Metal


The great American West has many symbolic icons and one that cannot be left out is the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.


The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep is a species of wild sheep in North America with large curved horns. The dramatic history includes reaching near extinction and making a significant recovery with the help of conservation efforts. By 1900, encroachment from human settlers diminished the population to several thousand. Bighorn sheep have made a comeback thanks to a conservation movement supported by President Theodore Roosevelt, reintroductions, national parks, and managed hunting. Hunters, not taxes, pay for bighorn sheep conservation and restoration efforts.


Most unique to bighorn sheep are the vicious head-to-head combat for breeding dominance of the males. The horn size of the bighorn rams is a symbol of power and breeding privilege. Bighorn sheep have double-layered skulls that help protect the brain from the blows of rutting combat. They also have a series of massive tendons that attach the skull to the backbone and allow the head to recoil as it absorbs the blow from another battling ram.


Throughout history, bighorn sheep have played a prominent role in the indigenous cultures of North America. Their ability to survive in some of the West's most inhospitable environments earned them an honorable place in the mythology of Native Americans. Bighorn sheep were considered sacred. They were associated with the sky and were often viewed as guardian spirits. They are commonly depicted across the American West on panels of Native American petroglyphs.


Bighorn Sheep symbolism is a sign of energy and strength. When this spirit animal appears unexpectedly before you, it is a message that you have all the power needed to overcome the battles you are currently facing. You need not flee from a problem but face it head-on. This animal also tells you to acknowledge the greatness that lies within you. Seeing a bighorn sheep reminds you to fight fiercely for what you believe. Believe in your dreams and never stop chasing after them.


This piece is available for purchase. It is drawn on cold pressed steel using acrylic paint pens. The background metal is rusted and painted. Allowing the paint to mix with the rust creates a unique, weathered color and expression. The edges are wrapped in patinaed copper. The back is finished and has D-Rings for hanging. Overall size is Approximately 20” X 26”

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