This Tribal Shield heralds all that is Lipan, all that was Lipan, and all that will be Lipan and all these Truths reside with in the Sacred Hoop of Life.
Fourteen bones each engraved with an arrow, separated by four colored beads form a circle. Mountains, river, sky, desert, plants and a buffalo with calf are with in the confines of this circle. Four Eagle feathers are carefully wrapped and hang in quiet eloquence from this Circle of Life.
Our Ancestors are represented by the bones. To our Grandmothers and Grandfathers we owe honor and reverence. Arranged in a ring, this speaks to the Circle of Life. Fourteen arrows signify fourteen bands and the arrows track in a circular motion from East to West, a pathway Sacred to our People. The beads that unite our all of our Ancestors are painted in the colors of the East (black), the West (Yellow), the South (Blue), and the North (White). The pattern is of life and blessing prayers with smoke.
The People of the Forest and the People of the Plains, all of the Nde are seen as one family under the Great Sky of blue. Nopalito and Yucca plants reveal how the land gives life as food, medicine, and provides for gifts of shelter and daily needs.
At the very center of all is the Buffalo, for he represents the hunt and the knowledge that Creator will provide for His People.
Standing within the Buffalo is a light grey and pure calf, a symbol of rebirth and strength of a new generation. Here is the promise to teach the children of the old ways, to preserve the traditions, language, and culture of all that is Lipan Apache.
In prayers to the Creator for all that has past, all that is, and all that will be are four Eagle feathers. The ties that unite the Feathers to the Sacred Hoop of Life are red for the blood of the People and are wrapped in sinew four times, as the number four is a metaphor that names the Lipan Apache. The Feathers are the gift of Creator for prayer and through His Will; the Lipan Apache People will endure. And having been prepared, the Lipan Apache will walk in Beauty.
About the Artist: The Tribe's Shield was designed and entirely painted by artist and Tribe member Juan Villareal from Alice, Texas. The image presented on this page is a digital representation of Juan's original painting. Juan was part of a committee who conceptualized the basics of what was to be incorporated into the shield design. He then worked on and presented the current shield design to the committe which was accepted. Juan Villareal also painted the Paleo Texas mural in the first Tribal Office in Corpus Christi, Texas. When space permits, this mural will be reassembled in the Tribe Office in McAllen, Texas.