The One-Horned Buffalo Dance Mural by Encarnacion Pena
Dancers in this mural re-enact the legend that Little Buffalo pierced the earth's crust so that "the people," led by two koshare, could leave the underworld and enter the upper world by way of Sipapu. Only a few dancers are portrayed here, but large numbers participate in the actual dance. the men wear one horn and seven eagle feathers on their heads: black buffalo pelts blend into their black painted bodies decorated with stars. They carry a bow and arrow in one hand and a gourd rattle in the other. The women also wear eagle feathers plus two brilliant macaw feathers. Black mantas and white leggings complete their costumes.
Encarnacion Pena, who died in 1980 at the age of 78, was the oldest of the mural painters. he came from San Ildefonso Pueblo and was the nephew of the internationally known potter, Maria Martinez. He often helped to dig and mix the clay for his famous aunt and sometimes helped decorate the finished pots. He painted during most of his life, usually in watercolors, and he also made animal fetishes and unusual pottery figurines, meticulously clothed in native dress. Museums in Phoenix, Denver, Houston, Columbus and Nice, france exhibit his work. This talented artist made a significant contribution to Indian art.