This is an excellent 19th Century polychrome painted buffalo hide shield attributed to the Sun Dance of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Indians of South Dakota. The piece is comprised of brain-tanned Buffalo Bison hide over a wood hoop and has an original hide shoulder and carryings strap still attached. The front of the shield has old green paint and rare Sioux Sun Dance symbols in colors of yellow, red, and black that represent the Sun Dance’s spiritual awakening. There are two strips of old long horse tail hair with painted porcupine quillwork, dyed horse tail hair with tin cone dangles and two long strips of mountain lion hide attached to the front. Sun Dance shields are immensely rare with one being in a private French Collection and the other in a mid-western museum collection. The shield shows some minor wear from age and use with fading and loss of the paint, old and contemporary repairs and touchups from preservations throughout the years and stains from use. Provenance: According to the collection logbook of Cyrus Eaton the piece was collected from noted dealer and artifacts expert Jim Aplan of Piedmont, South Dakota in 1995 by Cyrus Eaton of London, England. It is noted that Jim Aplan acquired the shield, along with other materials, directly from a Lakota Sioux family at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The shield measures 21” in diameter.