Three Painted Horses: Print of original artwork

Artist Butch ThunderHawk
Nation Yanktonai Dakota/ Hunkpapa Lakota (Western Sioux)
Date 2017
MaterialOriginal: coloured pencil and ink pen on ledger paper
Gifted by Butch ThunderHawk

“The thunderbird heads of four different colors symbolize powers of the four directions. Black /west.. white/north.. red/east.. yellow/south. Lightning bolts are the symbol of power and strength. The thunderbird controls all powers of the destructive forces of nature, by using these symbols [you] protect the horse and warrior from any destructive forces. The red hand print symbolizes that the warrior and horse has defeated an enemy in battle. If a warrior has killed an enemy in hand to hand combat he has the right to have a red hand print painted on his war pony. The blue hand print represents peaceful times. Hail on the horse is protection against destructive forces. The dragonflies on the red horse protect the horse and warrior from being hit by bullets and arrows. On the blue horse are camp circles or families. When the horse is in battle the tail is always folded and tied in a knot with buckskin or red cloth.”

Butch ThunderHawk