“Warrior” is one of the paintings I’ve done from the pictures I took at The Artists’ Ride this summer. Juwan Lakota was a great model, very proud and self assured. I wanted to portray that in my painting. I can imagine that he would have been a great warrior of the plains, had he lived in an earlier time.
As I understand it, the painting of a man’s face and body among the plains tribes during the buffalo days was said to be a form of mental conditioning. The process drew on the natural powers of the universe to enhance the individuals own personal power and gifts. Each tribe had some tradition as to the use of color and design, but each warrior would paint himself with personal protective designs and colors before they engaged in battle with an enemy. It was believed that prayers said were taken into the paint and when applied, the power of the prayers were conveyed upon the wearer. The combination of color and motif was very important to the individual, who saw it as his ‘medicine’, his personal protective spirit. Red was the accepted color of war.
The base for red paints was varied. Some red was derived from red clay. A brownish red paint could be made by baking yellow clay over ashes until it turned red. Red paint was created from berries, dogwood bark or beets. Because of the ceremonial uses many tribes had for red paint, the bright vermilion red paint offered to tribes by European Fur Traders was highly sought after at a very early date.
This warrior also wears a feather with a red spot, which was indicative of his killing an enemy.
Warrior” is an oil, 36″ x 24″.
Juwan Lakota was a great model. Now having his permission, I can give you his Facebook page. He is interesting in more modeling, or related work I am guessing that honors his Oglala Lakota Sioux heritage. Movies too, perhaps? Artists of all persuasions, take note! Juwan is also interested in poetry and is studying Sociology and Native American Studies in college. He’s a multifaceted guy.