A discription and story of what this bronze is about is found below the photos below.
Photographs I took this evening in my studio of the finished bronze.
A friend of mine, Joe Redfeather, a member of the Lakota Tribe wrote the following, concerning my bronze War Stories.
"I have watched the progression of this piece and agree with all that has been said and done. I am glad you went with the strike claw in his hand rather than a scalp lock, in this depiction of a War Story."
"To many none Indian people think that battles were only with other men. That taking scalps was the only trophy taken. Never mind that scalping was started in the East by the French. This tradition caught hold there and and gradually moved west late in the 1800's. This depiction, shows another side of my ancestors way, a way that helped us survive for thousands of years, without hurting or damaging our land, and our four legged brothers. It was the white man who almost killed off all the buffalo, not the Indian."
"The claw he holds is a Strike Claw. This is the claw on a Bear's paw which is the longest." Joe continues, "I am thinking he is talking about how close it came to striking him in battle, He survived his battle with an aggressive Grizzly, and is still living. This mighty warrior is telling the story of his battle with this great bear, because another battle is near, another bear has declared war, he is giving a warning to this new enemy, through his stance, and the showing of the Strike Claw, taken in victory, from the last bear who dared declare war against him and his tribe."Joe talks about the warrior himself. "His clothing and buffalo robe, also tell stories This is a great warrior, with many great deeds that he has done for his people."
"This warrior is of the Bear Clan."Joe talks about the four directions, and the deeper meaning of the colors associated with those directions. "The direction West, being the Black Road. This road which travels the opposite of the good or Red Road (North to South). The Black Road is East to West. The West being the Bear which is introspect the ability to look within the darkest corners of the mind, to know your own weakness and to be able to conquer that weakness.""If people didn't have a dark side, they could not recognize the dark side in others, including our four legged brothers."Joe continues, "In most Native American tribes, the predator animals are never taken for food, (unless the tribe was starving) . If a bear, or cougar attacked the village, his family, or a hunting party, as with any aggression, they would have declared war on that animal." Describing the tactics of an enemy bear, "The bear will stand when fighting so War Arrows are used in a battle with a bear. War Arrows are constructed different from hunting arrows."Joe gives meaning to the the items worn and carried by this great warrior. "The buffalo robe tells the stories of this warriors most remembered events. The center shows the bear, his clan, also his spirit helper."
"The lance he carries is a buffalo honoring lance. With buffalo hide to honor the buffalo and the seven eagle feathers, honoring the God head. The first three are for the Father, Son, & Spirit, and the bottom four feathers are for the four directions, North, South, East, and West of the medicine wheel. The total number seven is a sacred number.""The stories this warrior tells will be passed down for generations."