Z.S. Liang (b. 1953)
Z.S. Liang (b. 1953)
Z.S. Liang (b. 1953)
Z.S. Liang (b. 1953)
3 More
The Legend of the West: Iconic Works from the T. Boone Pickens Collection
Z.S. Liang (b. 1953)

Transferring the Bear Knife

Details
Z.S. Liang (b. 1953)
Transferring the Bear Knife
signed 'Z.S. Liang' (lower right)
oil on canvas
44 x 70 in. (111.7 x 177.8 cm.)
Painted in 2007.
Provenance
Texas Art Gallery, Inc., Dallas, Texas, 8 November 2008, lot 80.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott

Lot Essay

Although born in China, Z.S. Liang established himself among the ranks of the finest Western painters of the United States through his authentic and historically accurate narratives of Native American peoples. Each of his paintings are created with meticulous attention to detail and extensive research on the ways of life and unique cultures of tribes across the country. Inspired by the book The Blackfeet Artists of the Northern Plain by Bob Scriver, Transferring the Bear Knife represents a significant ceremony within the Blackfoot Indian tradition in which a sacred weapon is transferred from one warrior to another. Full of suspense and spirituality, the scene depicts the recipient at right waiting for his attempt to catch the bear knife. The artist said, “Among the Blackfeet people of old, the power of the Bear Knife was legendary, believed to be so powerful as to immobilize an enemy with fear at the sight of a warrior holding it!”

American anthropologist Clark Wissler described the bear knife transfer ceremony: "The chief object was a large dagger-like knife to the handle of which was attached the jaws of a bear...the recipient must catch the knife thrown violently at him...he can use no other weapon...its power was thought to be very great, so great that its owner was seldom killed, for its appearance frightened everyone into submission, after the manner of bears...there are many songs in the ritual; all war songs, since the bear is a fighting animal." ("Ceremonial Bundles of the Blackfoot Indians, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, vol. VII, part 2, New York, 1912, pp. 132-34)
;

More from The Legend of the West: Iconic Works from the T. Boone Pickens Collection

View All
View All