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War Pony

War Pony


War Pony

Original Pen & Ink

In Native American cultures, painting a warhorse was a sacred act, horses meant power, wealth and survival. To paint a horse for battle or for a buffalo hunt was a sacred act, believed to enhance power for both horse and rider, and physically.


Each warhorse was carefully adorned with carefully chosen war, or power symbols which would give him protection, or which spoke of the courageous heart of the warhorse. Some symbols told of the horse’s affection for the warrior.


While the symbols used and their meanings varied from tribe to tribe, there were some common symbols used. The most common was the belief of a kinship with nature and the earth.


Circles around the horse’s eye or nostril strengthened its senses for battle.

A handprint meant vengeance against an enemy or, sometimes, indicated success in hand combat. Zigzags represented thunder that indicated harmony with the war spirits in the sky.


Each power symbol has its own specific meaning and the purpose for which it was used was determined by the nature of the task that the warhorse would be asked to do.


With reverence to the rich cultural heritage of Native American people, I look with understanding at the wisdom of the ancient ways and see them as guides to what could be.


This Pen & Ink drawing is on cold pressed watercolor paper using my version of stippling. Color ink was used to enhance the markings. It’s framed and wrapped with patinaed copper. Overall size is 22” X 28”.

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