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From card: "the kiowa pantheon. the gods and mythic creations of the kiowas. The figure at the left upper corner is the thunder, conceived as a great bird which causes the lightning by the snapping of its beak, thunder by the flapping of its wings, and rain by shaking the drops of moisture from its feathers. The second and fourth figures above are different conceptions of the whirlwind, conceived as a winged horse with body of clouds. between is sindi, a lanky naked trickster and wonder worker, equivalent to the mamabozho of the algonquian tribes, always hungry and always going about in search of unwary prey. Behind him are two saiodal (also known as kot-za-pota), great hairy cannibals, carrying skin bags for their human prey, wearing a cedar tree upon their heads. They are sometimes represented as mere disembodied heads, but living and moving about.The two fish figures are differing conceptions of the zemoguani, or great horned fish, supposed to frequent deep water caverns, where it has sometimes been seen for brief moments. According to some accounts it sometimes seizes and kills an unlucky swimmer and wears his scalp upon its horns. Above the zemoguani is the sacred peyote ..." cont. See card.

Depicting figures from Kiowa mythology: the thunderbird, winged horses (Whirlwind), the trickster (Saynday), cannibal spirits (Saidal), horned fish (Zemoguani), water buffalo monster (Tsoigadal), a sacred image of the Big Shield Band (Gadombitsonhi). Also shown at center is a Peyote button and ceremonial equipment. Painted by Hangun. 52" (132 cm). Records: The Kiowa Pantheon. The gods and mythic creations of the Kiowas. The figure at the left upper corner is the Thunder, conceived as a great bird which causes the lightning by the snapping of its beak, thunder by the flapping of its wings, and rain by shaking the drops of moisture from its feathers. The second and fourth figures above are different conceptions of the Whirlwind, conceived as a winged horse with body of clouds. Between is Sindi, a lanky, naked trickster and wonder-worker equivalent to the Manabozho of the Algonquian tribes, always hungry and always going about in search of unwary prey. Behind him are two Saiodal, great hairy cannibals, carrying skin bags for their human prey, wearing a cedar tree upon their heads. They are sometimes represented as mere disembodied heads but living and moving about. The two fish figures are differing conceptions of the Zemoguani, or great horned fish, supposed to frequent deep water caverns, where it has sometimes been seen for brief moments. According to some accounts it sometimes seizes and kills an unlucky swimmer and wears his scalp upon its horns. Above the Zemoguani is the sacred Peyote (or Mescal) plant, with the drum, staff, rattle and eagle feather fan used in the Peyote ceremony. To the left is the Kiowa conception of the mastodon, known to them from the fossil bones frequently found in clay banks, and imagined to be those of a deep river monster under the name of Tsoigadal, the Water Buffalo. The actual buffalo is figured in the lower right hand corner, and above it is the Gadombitsonhi (Old Woman Under the Cliff), a sacred wonder-working image formerly belonging to the "Big Shield" band but mysteriously lost some seventy years ago. The great tribal palladium, the Taime (see 229825) is held too sacred for imitation and the artist steadfastly refused to paint it. (A). Associated names: Hangun. (from Merrill, William L. et al. 1997. A Guide to the Kiowa Collections at the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, no. 40. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.)

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  • Title: Painting On Skin
  • Location: Oklahoma, United States, North America
  • Type: Hide Painting
  • Rights: This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws. http://www.si.edu/termsofuse
  • External Link: View this object record in the Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center
  • USNM Catalog Number(s): E229900
  • Photo Credit: Donald E. Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Field: Ethnology
  • Date Collected: 1904-03-18

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