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Rance Hood was born in southern Oklahoma to a Comanche mother and white father. Most of his early youth was spent with his Comanche grandparents who taught him in the traditional ways, including their native language. When he was finally forced to attend elementary school, he was unable to speak English.
This biography focuses on Hood's art and its place within Native American art, history, and culture. Ceremonial items such as the peyote fan and buffalo skulls are common elements of Hood's compositions. These reflect the early teachings from his Comanche elders and the Oklahoma landscape in which he lived.
"As a person, Rance is not just a famous painter, he is a generous human being and shrewd businessman. He enjoys being anonymous by telling people on the street who ask what he does for a living, 'I'm a painter,' and then lets them ask him what he charges to paint a house. He can also speak before a crowd or make a video about his art or party with rock stars like the Eagles and Stevie Nicks, always staying himself. . . .
"The eagle feathers he inherited from his grandfather were given to the right person, someone who knew how to use them, respect them, and help others in need. He is one of the last of those who speak their original tribal language and know so many of the traditional ways of their ancestors. It is rare to see these old ways anymore, although Rance has been blessed in those coordinates that stop time and transcend centuries of life on this continent."—from the Introduction by Joan Frederick