Not Afraid of Pawnee

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Not Afraid of Pawnee (Padani Kikipi S’ni), a Yankton Sioux, lived in the late 1800’s. Known for his great prowess and courage as a warrior, he successfully led his warriors against the fierce Pawnee. He is depicted wearing his timber wolf headdress which exemplified craft in war. He is carrying a Spencer Rifle with brass trade tacks, added for religious power, encased in a beaded Sioux gun case with buckskin fringe. His war bonnet, with spiked eagle feathers of the Golden Eagle, is considered sacred and must never touch the ground. The only time a warrior would allow the bonnet to hang free and blow in the wind was on horseback.

Not Afraid of Pawnee celebrated combat in every aspect of his life and fought many battles for personal glory. He went into battle with invisible allies, the Spirits, that controlled the world and held the key to his fortunes. Every element of his regalia – the war shirt with symbolic personal beaded designs, his leggings, the shield, wolf headdress, Spencer rifle, feathers and even his painted face evoke images of powerful medicine necessary for survival and victory against his enemies. His face paint of black coloring symbolized the fires of revenge burned out of his soul and the color red, the power he uses from Mother Earth.

The shield of “Not Afraid of Pawnee” bears the symbol of the Thunderbird, which represented Thunder, “that dreaded one”. It was feared because it struck without warning. This great bird flew through the air with his eyes shut, but when he opened them, lightning flashed and the beating of his wings caused the thunder clap. Hanging from the shield are rows of owl feathers and eagle feathers – used because they are birds of prey. Owls were believed to have night-wisdom and also were known as messengers of the night. Their feathers were placed on Pawnee lances and war clubs. Both birds symbolized the courage and dash needed for success in war.




Masterwork, 41 x 17.5 x 10.5″, Edition of 30


Warrior Series