Color Shield

A sun-shaped shield commonly used in dances during prayer ceremonies for livelihood and protection. The sun symbolizes protection, livelihood, health, and all that is good in the life of the tribe. The shield is painted in red for love, blue for health, black for protection, and white for communion with tribal ancestors. The lines delineating the geometric pattern symbolize the family unit and project a visual message: Joint effort begets strength, livelihood, protection, and a good life. Two small, human-shaped faces are carved at the center of the shield, with two small, round eyes; a small, round, hollow mouth; and a long nose that divides the face in two and merges with the geometric pattern that fills the space. A handle at the bottom is used to hold the shield up during ceremonial dancing.