Siwolo – American Bison Skull

Darlene Meader Riggs, East Texas Artist, American Bison Skull, Hand painted, Embellished

Siwolo | American Bison
Available at The BossLight
123 E. Main St., Nacogdoches

Life is full of all kinds of surprises.  Some of the most fun I have had on this journey were the unexpected side trips to new places.

Earlier this year, I was commissioned to embellish some longhorn skulls.  I freely admitted that I had never done that kind of work but that I was eager to give it a try.  Those three skulls terrified, exhilarated and gave me sleepless nights!  But when fully “born” .. they were amazing and I couldn’t wait to do it again.

“Siwolo” is buffalo in the Shiwi language of Zuni Pueblo.  Having spent a lot of time there in the past, and still having friends there, I feel completely comfortable in using their term for the American Bison.

I had a idea for this bison skull early on and the use of the prairie rattler skin seemed fitting since, in the old days, they occupied the same turf.  I was able to get my hands on some buffalo hide leather strips, Indian head pennies and other bling to complete the project.  Painting the forehead was a first but I am sure it is going to be showing up in future skull projects.  I was also able to find some perfect Turkey feathers which I embellished with the same turquoise (blue howlite) stones I used on the skull.

Siwolo was delivered yesterday to hang in The BossLight, right on the square in beautiful, downtown Nacogdoches.  Tim Bryant and crew are hosting a talented group of artisans and authors there, along with the occasional book signing, live bands, story telling nights and all kinds of activities to showcase local talent.  I hope you’ll stop by.  Tell ’em Darlene sent you … 

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