Though Lloyd Chavez is a Mountain Ute, he poses here with traditional Shoshone Indian accoutrements. Artist James Bama found him to be a particularly striking model and painted him four times over the years, here with a sparrow hawk tied in his hair, a seashell necklace draped across his neck and a deerskin quiver slung across his back.
The animal hide stretched behind Chavez is covered in paintings depicting Indian dances, a buffalo hunt and a captured American flag. In the absence of a written language, such paintings recorded events in the life of an individual or family. Sometimes the paintings were done in calendar style, visually recounting the highlights of each passing year. The paintings often decorated a warrior’s tepee, so that all who passed could recognize the great deeds of the warrior within.