Elk Robe Earth Pigment Paints



1 in stock


measurements 42” long by 48” wide

About the paint:

The paint used on this piece is becoming a lost art it is extremely special. Pigment paints are made from crushed stones and plants. I have to mix each color by hand every time I paint, and I usually have to reheat my paint several times throughout the painting process. I use only hand carved painting sticks to apply my paint to the piece.

Today most artists use acrylic paint but when they do it simply doesn’t look “indian”

These are the original paints used by my ancestors. They are mixed with hide paste and or prickly pear.

I am VERY proud to offer these paints in my shop.

I am an Enrolled Cherokee, however I am adopted Lakota and I have been taught by many plains teachers how to paint both rawhide and actual hides. Cherokee people did not traditionally do these sort of robes, these skills were taught to me by my Plains native teachers. Your robe will still come with a certificate stating the art is genuine Native American Made. Just understand that thought I am Cherokee this is Lakota style art.

From what I was taught:

Traditionally women painted Geometric designs and wore them. With the exception of the Warbonnet pattern, that was usually painted by women for a man’s robe.

Men traditionally painted story/winter count robes.

I am Two-Spirit, meaning I was born female and I am now male. In white society I am known as a transgender person. What does this have to do with my work?

For these particular pieces… EVERYTHING.

In almost every native culture Two-Spirit people were considered sacred, learning both Male and Female roles within the tribe.

I have the unique ability to do both Male and Female paintings on robes, and even combine the two.

Robes are of high importance in the Native way. Firstly warriors would never paint their Tipi with their war victories… It made it too easy as to which tipi to attack first to take out the strongest (if you were an enemy) So robes were the #1 way to wear your story.

Specific robes were worn for diplomacy, to help heal the sick, or promote a healthy pregnancy. Robes are an incredible source of power and still are today.

The women usually never revealed what the geometric meanings were EXCEPT to the wearer of the robe. This is what gave the robe it’s protection. I hold that secret, know your robes meanings will never be revealed to anyone but you.

This robe is painted with traditional paints. This means I mix it myself and tattoo and press it into the hide with sticks. No paintbrush no chemicals… Just traditional hide glue and crushed rocks.

I also make authentic wolf robes and bear skin robes but neither are allowed on eBay.

Please feel free to ask me any questions


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