Blessing from the Medicine Man by Howard Terpning
When the thunderstorms on the Plains heralded in the end of winter and the beginning of spring, the Blackfoot People gathered for the Thunder Pipe Ceremony, during which certain people were allowed to dance with the pipe in order to receive its power.
Afterwards, the spectators came forth to receive individual blessings from the medicine man, whom Howard Terpning has identified by four sacred streaks of red pigment – one on his forehead, one on his chin, and one across each cheek. While we speculate today that the marks identify the four directions, the true meaning of the marks is shrouded in time.
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