Thunderbird Symbolic Ghost Dance


The Thunderbird is a powerful symbol in Native American culture. It appears repeatedly in ceremonial objects. Its image is also commonly found carved into stone, known as petroglyphs. The legendary Thunderbird ruled the skies, and was credited with thunder and lightning. Its powerful presence was feared and revered. In 1890, the Plains Indians ceremonially tried to resurrect their way of life through a movement known as The Ghost Dance. This ceremony drew Indian tribes together and was quickly outlawed by the United States/ For this ceremony, many wore specially designated ghost dance shirts, believed to hold great power. Such a shirt, adorned by the powerful Thunderbird, is depicted at the top of the painting, The Government’s efforts to to stop the Ghost Dance once and for all led to the infamous Wounded Knee Massacre on December 29, 1890. This horrendous act, sadly, did end the resistance, as it annihilated 145 Lakota men, women and children. “Thunderbird Symbolic Ghost Dance” 11 x 30” WC & Gouache on Paper. Original watercolor and gouache, image size 11 x 22", floated and framed in a unique acrylic shadowbox. Overall dimensions are 15 x 26" This piece has been reproduced as a giclee on paper, and is available in the print section of this website.