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San Ildefonso Comanche Dancer on Horseback [SOLD]


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Romando Vigil (1902-1978) Tse Ye Mu - Falling Cloud
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Medium: opaque watercolor on paper
  • Size: 19” x 25” image; 31” x 36-1/2” framed
  • Item # C3827i
  • SOLD


San Ildefonso Pueblo members dance the Comanche Dance every year on January 23rd, which is the pueblo’s feast day.  The peaceful Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Arizona never wore feathered headdresses popular with tribes believing in the virtue of warfare.  The Navajo, Apache, Ute and Comanche were the ones who raided the pueblos.


San Ildefonso Pueblo celebrates the Comanche Dance to honor the end of hostilities between the tribes and their peaceful co-existence.  The dancers have painted faces, wear a feathered head bonnet, and some carry a flag that has meaning in Plains Indian custom; a warrior proved his valor by planting his flag in the ground during battle, tied himself to it, and defended it to the death against all-comers.  He earned a feather bonnet after accomplishing this feat.


Artist Earlier Signature - Romando Vigil (1902-1978) Tse Ye Mu - Falling CloudIn this painting, the warrior is on a horse so it is not part of the Comanche Dance as enacted at the pueblo.  He wears a feather head bonnet and carries a spear and shield.  His face is painted and his clothing has beadwork. 


Above the warrior is a large rainbow, the ends of which have clouds.  A green Avanyu emerges from underground.  Legend has it that the Avanyu lives under the arroyo and comes up when time to deliver water.  The painting is signed in lower right.


Condition: very good condition.  Originally delivered to us in an unframed manner and we had it framed with archival materials and a dark brown wood frame.

Provenance: San Ildefonso Comanche Dancer on Horseback from the collection of a family from Santa Fe

Recommended Reading:  Modern by Tradition: American Indian Painting in the Studio Style by Bruce Bernstein


Close up view of the Comanche Dancer