This war bonnet design is a stylized view of the familiar eagle feather headdress - when seen from behind, the feathers form a circular, sunburst pattern.
Black is the dominant color of the Black War Bonnet design and in historical Native American culture, black can mean danger, death and intense spiritual devotion.
The white present in this design represents life after death, the spirit world of ancestors and past warriors. Red is the sacred color of life, the color of blood; it lends its name to the Red Road, the path of proper conduct.
Symbolically, this combination states the owner will not go from this life into the next until the proper time. This invulnerability, worn on the robe and shield, marked the wearer as one of the fiercest of warriors. He challenged and held back death and few mortal enemies dared go against such a one.
Running through the middle is a painted strip with three black and white porcupine-quilled wheels and red porcupine quilled bars representing the road of life.
This piece is signed by the artist.