Totem Animals

Page 79

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The Great Spirit Wakan Tanka

(see picture on header above)

Symbols and colors used on the war horse.
(There were so many tribes of Native American Indians it is only possible to generalise the most common meanings of the colors
and patterns of Horse War Paint.)

A circle around the horse's eye and nostrils for alert vision and a keen sense of smell.
Arrow points in a line which brought victory.
Thunder stripes in the horse's front legs to please the Indian's god of war.
Arrowheads on all four hooves made the horse swift and nimble-footed.
Fire Arrows would cause trouble for the enemy, which in turn would add strength to the warrior.
Right/left hand prints were outlined upon the horse's chest, which showed that he'd knocked down an enemy.
Hail Stones were a prayer for hail to fall on the warrior's enemy.
Two crossing bars meant that the horse and his rider had escaped ambush.
Hoof prints were drawn on the horses and stood for the number of horses captured in raids.
The horse's Battle Scars (always painted red) and the Pat Hand Print (left hand drawn on the
horse's right hip) were the highest honors. The Pat Hand Print was always reserved
exclusively for the horse who had brought his master back home from a dangerous mission

For the men who would be going on a do-or-die mission, the Upside-down Handprint would be
used. It was the most prized symbol a warrior could place on his horse.

From the Apache and Comanche tribes, legends about this handprint tell of a furious battle in
which a warrior was fatally wounded. Before the brave warrior's death, he patted his horse on the
right shoulder, thus leaving a bloody handprint on his horse for all his people to see his "message
of death" when the horse returned to camp.

War paint colors.
Red Color Symbolized war, blood, strength, energy and power
Black was used to symbolize victory and might be applied to the horse before returning home to the camp
White Color Symbolized mourning but might also mean peace
Blue Color Symbolized wisdom and confidence
Yellow Color Symbolized the color of death. Yellow indicated that the wearer and horse were
brave and were willing to fight to the death
Green Color Symbolized endurance, and is seen as a great healing power and believed to
improve vision - green circles might be painted around the eyes of a horse
Purple color Symbolized power, mystery and magic

The Great Spirit
Wakan Tanka

Dragonfly (web designer):
Paint is also used on horses who are taking part in a Ceremony, such as the Dakota 38 + 2 Ride in MN, and the Unity Ride from Canada

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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