My Collection of Painted Ponies
10" x 16", colored pencil on Levy of Real Estate, St. Louis MO cir.1880's
Black Pinto Horse, Monte Yellow Bird
Arikara and Hidatsa Tribe of North Dakota

In this depiction, a young warrior is stealing enemy horses in order to prove his bravery, stealth and manhood. 

The young man gaining honor, is attacking his enemy without striking his enemy physically.  This feat is referred to by most main stream scholars and the public as “horse stealing”.  To this young brave, it was an act of taking the warriors sacred companions to leave him disabled and afoot.     

This manner of bravery was moreover a non-violent  way of striking the enemy without striking him directly.  It's also widely known among the tribes that the same horses that were stolen could be taken back by that same tribe or another enemy tribe.   

The young man is wearing a purple shirt to represent he is of royalty and also courageous.  His face is painted with red and white to denote the act of innocence as well as striking the enemy.  His shield is decorated with the symbol of a blue horse track to demonstrate his ability to be a great horseman that is given to him by the Creator.  The six feathers represent the six directions; the four directions, the Great Father and Mother Earth.