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In the second of the Cultural Series, "Intermission", Jerome Tiger captures a moment of rest between stomp dances. The stomp dance is a 'prayer in motion'. It can symbolize thankfulness, supplication for a good harvest, rain, fertility or simply blessings. Typically the dances last through the night, sometimes continuting for days. Needless to say periods of rest and refreshment are neceessary; therefore, "Intermission". The stomp dances are unique in that they are not 'tourist' dances, for they are performed still today in the seclusion of the backwoods. The dancers dance in a circle around an open fire to a plaintive chant intoned by the leader and answered in unison by the dancers. The dances are accompanied by persistent drum beats and the rhythmic sounds of rock-filled turtle shells strapped to the womens' ankles. There is great artistry required in leading the chants, and the best leaders and dancers are awarded a postiion of high respect. Of particular interest in this painting is the adoption of the white man's apparel -- boots, jeans, and hats -- together with traditional Indian dress, symbolizing a subtle integration of the two cultures.
Jerome Tiger gave the following interpretation to his painting "The Guardian Spirit". A small boy is hunting alone. It is dusk, and as night approaches the child becomes afraid. He senses something behind him and glances backward to see if he is being followed. There in the cloud formation is the Great Spirit. The boy knows then that the Great Spirit is guarding over him, and he is no longer afraid. The three feathers on the Great Spirit's shield and the three feathers in His headband are symbolic of the Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The painting was purchased in 1966 by a Muskogee (Oklahoma) woman who in helping her eight year old son with a Boy Scout project took him to Nettie Wheeler's Thunderbird Shop. It was well known that Nettie assisted many young Indian artists by selling their works, and her shop, located North of Muskogee, was considered one of the best places in the area to find Indian art and artifacts. Early on the same day that the woman and her son visited the shop, Jerome completed "The Guardian Spirit" and brought it to Nettie so that she could help him sell it. The painting was propped up on the mantel of the fireplace when the woman and her son first saw it. Instantly, the boy was captivated, even enamored with the work. The boy's uncharacteristic reaction surprised his mother who had never known her son to be interested in art. Nettie said several times, "The boy should have this painting; it is speaking to him." Still, the lady was reluctant to purchase the painting because she felt that she could not afford it. Nettie then offered to let her pay for it in installments, or in anyway she could. To further persuade his mother, the boy volunteered to forfeit a much anticipated trip to Six Flags Over Texas amusement park. The woman, of course, bought the painting but was forced to pay for it over a period of several weeks. A few months after the painting was purchased, the woman met Jerome at the opening of the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee and mentioned to him that she had acquired his painting. The two of them later became very close friends, and on one occasion when Jerome visited her home he told her and her son his interpretation of "The Guardian Spirit".