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"War Dance" - By Robert Griffing

Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Print

Images sze: 25 1/2" x 18 3/4"

Edition size: 750 S/N

Issue price: $125 (When this is sold out it will only be available on our secondary market--call then for current price and availability--800-237-6077)



As the French and Indian War exploded into a world wide struggle, Great Britain expanded its army in North America. Among the many units sent to The Americas were three Scottish regiments: first the 42nd Highland Regiment and later the 77th and 78th Highland Regiments. Throughout the war, English authorities negotiated with the Native Americans for their military assistance. While the English were not as skilled at romancing the Native Americans as their French counterparts, they did experience some success. This was partly due to the influence of the Highlanders.

Perhaps that's because the Native Americans saw in the Highlanders something very similar... themselves! Both cultures were consummate warriors and lovers of the fray. Their people had great respect for the orator and Chieftain. Clan and tribe held ancient traditions in high regard. Their similarities in temperament and philosophy did not escape the English. They sometimes referred to the Scots as "cousins to the Indian."

Preparing for battle had its own Highlander custom...the war dance. The painting, "War Dance," by Robert Griffing shows a soldier of the 42nd Highland Regiment engaged in a tradition as old as the mountains of his homeland. The ritual takes place within the stone walls of Fort Ticonderoga. The dancer seeks a prophecy. According to clan tradition, if the dancer touches the sword beneath his feet during the dance, it's a forecast of doom for the coming battle. A piper provides the tunes. An Iroquois warrior watches...waiting for the results. An amused and approving smile appears on the face of a tribal headsman as he keeps time with his drum.

Native American and Highlander cultures were far removed from British society and understanding. Sadly, the English failed to appreciate their reverence for tradition. By the mid-eighteenth century both cultures crumbled under the oppressive weight of England's expanding empire. Soon all that was dear to them was lost. Their families, homes, traditions, even the sweet sounds of their own language were as distant a memory as the "War Dance."

 

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