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Original War Admiral depicts a Comanche warrior with a lance and shield charging into battle atop his favorite war horse. As a historian I find inspiration in stories both Indigenous and non-Indigenous and the name War Admiral comes from the horse some consider to be the greatest American triple crown (1937) racing champion in history. Comanche’s typically trained horses for specific functions including racing, hunting, and battle. Certainly there were occasions in which a favorite horse would serve multiple functions. Comanche’s were avid horse racers and gamblers and would often challenge outsiders to racing contests. When I created this piece I imagined a horse utilized by a Comanche warrior for both racing and for battle. A Comanche was incomplete without his horse and much less effective in combat. Therefore, it was imperative that the Comanche warrior had a horse that he completely trusted with his life. This Comanche warrior rides into battle confidently with his trusted horse that makes him feel unbeatable, therefore it is titled, “Original War Admiral.” While the name of this painting would not resonate with a nineteenth century Comanche warrior it certainly could with a contemporary American with a good grasp of American history.

Filled with symbolism and meaning, Tippeconnic’s paintings highlight the strength, beauty, and grace of the Comanche past and present. The paintings are rich with history and the unbroken connection the Comanche people have with their roots, but they are not romanticized or stagnant expressions of a bygone era. Rather, Tippeconnic’s art is full of movement, color, and life — a bold statement that Comanche culture is vibrantly alive in the modern world.
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