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Ledger Drawing of a Native American warrior hunting deer or antelopes | Donald Ellis Gallery

Ledger Drawing

anonymous artist
Tie Creek Ledger Book (pg 192)
Central Plains

ca. 1870

ink, graphite and coloured pencil on paper

height: 7 ¾"
width: 12 ½"

Inventory # P4138-192

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In this drawing we see a rare scene of a prodigious warrior hunting either deer or antelope. Appearing to the right on the page, mounted, with bow in hand, he has successfully landed five of his arrows in the wild hoofed animals likely securing three of them as his prey.

This drawing is page 192 from the Tie Creek Ledger Book. The Tie Creek Ledger is an impressive example among a body of early ledger books created by Native American warriors across the North American plains to record their martial feats and visions quests. Made by an anonymous Cheyenne warrior circa 1870, the pages of the Tie Creek Ledger were penned with a variety of drawing instruments: ink, graphite, colored pencils and natural pigments. From the assortment of drawing materials and the numerous hunting, raiding, combat and visionary scenes created with them, a contextual map of this warrior’s quickly changing life can be gleaned. Native American sovereignty had been greatly compromised following the signing in to law of  the Indian Removal Act by President Andrew Jackson in 1830, almost fifty years prior to the creation of this ledger. The author of the Tie Creek ledger drawings would have been distinctly aware of the omnipresent threat of removal posed by the advancement of Euro-American settlers on the western frontier. Like other ledger artists of his day, the author availed himself of the new materials at hand to record the last days of nomadic warrior traditions on the Plains.

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