11" x 15" x 6"
A number of Native American tribes have stories which describe that their ancestry originate from the buffalo and that they are the people of the buffalo. To them, the buffalo are their origin of life and continued to sustain their life on a daily basis. That is why they were highly regarded and were a source of strength.
In the piece “Receiving Strength” I have depicted a young girl that was accidentally misplaced among her relatives in the confusion of packing up camp and moving to another location. She finds herself left behind as the camp moves on and she begins to cry for fear of not knowing what to do. Meanwhile, a herd of buffalo comes into the area during her time of distress. Cattle are known for their curiosity and so the lead bull comes over to investigate the movement and soft crying coming from the little girl. Upon discovering the presence of the buffalo the girl remembers that her ancestors, the buffalo, bring strength to the tribe. She reaches up to touch the buffalo in hopes to connect with him, with the understanding that he has come to help her to get through this fearful situation and give her comfort and strength. Finally as her family comes to realize her absence, it is the buffalo that leads them back to the location of their child.
My own ancestors were among the early settlers of this country. They sacrificed all of their wealth to come to America for a chance to worship God as they saw fit. They traveled across the Great Plains through hunger, fatigue and sickness to be among the first to settle the western United States.
I have found that during the difficult situations of my life, and when life seams unbearable, it helps to think of my ancestry and what they sacrificed, suffered, and overcame. I look to them as an example of courage and endurance and know that by connecting with them I can also receive of their strength.