Comanche Mother, acrylic on canvas by Eric Tippeconnic
A fancy dance shawl depicts horse regalia, a metaphor for the life of the Comanche people
A Comanche woman gracefully performs a fancy shawl dance, one of the most popular dances at a pow-wow.
Pow-wows are intertribal social dances that are not exclusive to any one tribe. Any Indigenous person is free to participate in a gender-based category of their choice, with prize money going to the best individuals in each dance category. The fancy shawl dance requires agility, poise, and stamina. Dancers combine light, fast-paced footwork with jumps and spins and wear a colorful fringed shawl with intricate beaded or silk applique designs. The blend of graceful movements and colorful regalia is said to mimic a butterfly floating over the arena.
Comanche Mother depicts a fancy shawl dancer moving forward with horse imagery on her regalia, a metaphor for the life of Comanche people. The yellow and blue scarf at her neck features a snake indicating the Snake River, the place of origin for Comanche people. The horse imagery on the gray shawl is reflective of a time when the horse permeated all aspects of Comanche society. The blue, yellow, and red are the colors found on the Comanche seal and flag, the vibrancy of these colors a metaphor for a living people belonging to a thriving culture in the 21st century.
Comanche women protectively carry the future of our nation in their wombs. Without them our people could not persevere, move forward, or thrive in a constantly changing world. Comanche women provide the stability and guidance that allow our nation to move bravely into the future as this painting depicts. Eric Tippeconnic, Artist
Courtesy Abraham and Susan Sasso, Norman, OK
Time Period: 1971 - Present
Exhibit: Comanche Motion: The Art of Eric Tippeconnic
This artifact is currently on view.