FROM CARD: "THE SUN DANCE: THE SHAM BATTLE. THIS REPRESENTS THE WARRIORS OF THE VARIOUS MILITARY SOCIETIES FOR POSSESSION OF THE TREE INTENDED FOR THE CENTER POLE OF THE MEDICINE LODGE. THE TREE, WITH THE WOMAN WHO ARE TO BRING IT IN, ARE DEFENDED BY WARRIORS BEHIND THE BREASTWORK. BESIDES THEIR WEAPONS, THE WARRIORS CARRRY SHIELDS AND "COUP STICKS" OR CLUBS MADE OF INTERWOVEN LEAFY WILLOW RODS, AND BOTH WARRIORS & HORSES ARE DECKED IN THEIR FINEST CEREMONIAL EQUIPMENT OF PAINT AND ORNAMENTATION, EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS SOCIETY OR OFFICE. THE WARRIOR ON THE EXTREME LEFT CARRIES A CEREMONIAL COUP STICK WITH FOX-SKIN PENDANT. THIS WAS ONE OF THE MOST PICTURESQUE SPECTACLES OF THE OLD INDIAN LIFE, HUNDREDS OF WARRIORS FREQUENTLY TAKING PART IN THE SPIRITED MIMIC CONTEST. LENT TO THE MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS, 8-13-1992. LOAN RETURNED AUG. 26, 1993.
Depicting the mock battle preparatory to the cutting of the center pole for the Medicine Lodge. Painted by Hangun [Haungooah or Silver Horn]. 56" (142 cm). Records: The Sun Dance: The Sham Battle. This represents the warriors' of the various military societies battle for possession of the tree intended for the center pole of the Medicine Lodge. The tree, with the women who are to bring it in, is defended by warriors behind the breastwork. Besides their weapons, the warriors carry shields and conj (sic) sticks or clubs made of interwoven leafy willow rods, and both warriors and horses are decked in their finest ceremonial equipment of paint and ornamentation, each one according to his society or office. The warrior on the extreme left carries a ceremonial conj [sic] stick with fox-skin pendant. This was one of the most picturesque spectacles of the old Indian life, hundreds of warriors frequently taking part in the spirited mimic contest. (A). Associated names: Hangun. (from Merrill, William L. et al. 1997. A Guide to the Kiowa Collections at the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, no. 40. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.)
This object was on display at National Museum of Natural History exhibit "Objects of Wonder", 2017.