The shields of the Plains Indians are prized more for their Spiritual Protection than for their ability to fend off wounds from weapons. Each shield is painted and adorned to give the bearer a certain power.
This shield represents the Thunder Being. The Thunder Beings are spirits or perhaps extraterrestrial visitors that harbor in the Spring season bringing new growth and abundance but can also bring lightning and destructive storms.
The designs on this shield are to protect the owner but to send harm (hail and lightning) to the enemy.