Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cheyenne Ledger Art

A new art style developed among Plains native peoples during the late 1800s. Pictorial art, made with colored pencils on lined paper often used by merchants, related personal deeds as well as community events. As a result of the Red River War, members of the Kiowa, Comanche and Cheyenne tribes were sent to prison in Florida where locals helped the men develop new skills, including art, that could be sold.

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in OK City offers a postcard of a Buffalo Hunt drawn by Bear's Heart (Southern Cheyenne), produced sometime in the mid 1870s, probably while he was incarcerated at Ft. Marion, Florida. More of his work can be found in Bear's Heart: Scenes from the Life of a Cheyenne Artist of One Hundred Years Ago with Pictures by Himself (1977).

Additional examples of Plains ledger art have been collected and are made available at:

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