The Medicine Man

The Shaman and his Magic FeathersI have always been intrigued by the artwork of Howard Terpning.

A legend in oil painting, his artwork embodies the art of storytelling. His subject is predominantly the North American Indian. While many artists dwell on the subject matter, few have been able to put the viewer right in the middle of the action.

“The Shaman and His Magic Feathers” tell a story that fascinate the viewer and the children in the painting. The sky is foreboding… as if all of their hopes lie with the Shaman and his ability to work magic.

The Native Americans believed that the Shaman or Medicine Man had unexplained mystical powers. Their outstanding powers were unexplainable, and so they believed in the Shaman without question, accepting their powers at face value. Some Medicine Men had different areas of expertise, and would bedazzle their audience to create wonder and amazement within the tribe.

             “In   this   scene,   the  Shaman  has  invited  a  small  group  of  children  and adults to witness his ability to perform a great feat. They have walked a distance away from camp to an isolated area, and built a small fire. Sage and Juniper are placed on the fire before the approaching storm arrives. The Shaman goes through his ritual, which ultimately cause the feathers to rise from the ground and hover in the air for as long as he wishes. They never float away. Awe and excitement are evident on the faces of all who witness the amazing sight. ”   
Excerpt by Howard Terpning

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About Geri Dunn

Western Graphite Artist
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