The Indian Shield
Indian Warriors created and used shields as a vestige of protection both physical and spiritual during warfare. Shields were sacred, they infused the owner's expression of mystical power, religious faith, giving him physical safeguards. Shields were also used then and today as an important part of some ceremonies.
There were four types of shields used on the Plains; the dance shield was a lightweight version of the war shield, the medicine or holy man's shield, the miniature shield which was a small copy of a warrior's war shield and finally the war shield.
Prior to the arrival of the horse, Plains war shields were quite large, often 90 cm or more in diameter. These were much too cumbersome for mounted men, though, and so the size was reduced until the average war shield measured only about 45 cm in diameter.

Lakota Shield Lakota Dance Shield
Bear Society members always had a bear on their shields, although an individual other than the society members might also use the symbol as the result of a vision. A drawing of a bear or bear footprint meant that the owner believed it would transfer to him the strength and abilities of that animal whenever they were needed. this shield is of deer hide on wood frame, natural pigment paintings, trade cloth and painted eagle feathers.
SH01 - Lakota Dance Shield.... $ 295.00


Canadian Black bear
Mato, the Bear © Assiniboine Tipis

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