This blanket is my prayer--a prayer for the all the Kiowa men and women serving in the Middle East to take their rightful place with the Kiowa warriors that have come before them.
Lead by a Kiowa woman Scalp Dancing in her red sleeved Battle Dress; flanked by a Black Leggings Society dancer who served in the United States armed forces in Viet Nam, or Korea, or World War II; topped by an elite Kiowa Koitsenko warrior staked to the ground a previous war with the United States, the soldier in desert camouflage stands in the Milky Way of the night sky—the place where Kiowa people go in death.
From the blue hand of the earth towards the red hand of the Sun world, the soldier in desert camouflage is lead from the terrestrial world to the celestial…belonging, in spite of any political agenda, in the Kiowa cosmos.
The Sun, having given us the Buffalo long ago in mythic times, also gave certain healing medicine with this animal, medicine specifically for battle wounds. Flesh wounds.
During the Black Leggings Society Dances held today, new members are inducted at every gathering. Women now as well as men. The dance, the community recognition of sacrifice, the ceremony is healing medicine for battle wounds. Wounds of the spirit.
This blanket is my prayer--a prayer for the all the Kiowa men and women serving in the Middle East to take their rightful place with the Kiowa warriors that have come before them. Take pity on us.
Teri Greeves, Kiowa, 2006
Permanent Collection of the Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC (click HERE to go to museum online collection)
Materials: size 13 cut beads, bugle beads, silver beads, glass beads, antique bugle beads, hawk bells, brain-tanned deer hide, cotton cloth, wool cloth, silk ribbon
Dimensions: l-52”, w-51.5”