The Challenger by Mario Rabago


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Measuring fourteen by eighteen inches, this original painting by Mario Rabago depicts a spear wielding Native American Warrior riding ferociously through hilly plains. Painted with Acrylic on canvas board, this piece prominently features earth tones, with much of the canvas dominated by soft tans and browns to showcase the vast emptiness of The Great Plaines region. The Bison headdress worn by the native warrior implies he is from one of the Sioux tribes, who adorned their warriors with Bison headdresses rather than the more common feathered headdresses of their neighbors. This Sioux warrior is centered in the frame of the painting, creating a simple and straightforward composition.

The Sioux were a nomadic people, unlike some of their neighboring tribes who made a living from farming corn, Sioux primarily hunted herds of bison through The Great Plaines. Furs and other materials gathered from their hunts would be traded by Sioux with their more domestic neighbors. The Sioux were primarily divided into three distinct groups, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota. Smaller tribal bands made up these three larger groups, who were categorized by cultural variety and differing political alliances. When European colonists began to move west and inhabit The Great Plaines, Sioux would be forced to accept treaties that moved tribal bands into steadily smaller and smaller regions. These settlers eventually met resistance from Sioux. Known to be proficient in battle and expert riders, mighty warriors like the one depicted in this painting became greatly feared for their fierceness and bravery.

Mario Rabago credits Ace Powell as a great inspiration for the style and themes of his paintings. Rabago currently resides in Texas, where he continues to pursue his art.

Item #: 0006