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Ledger Drawing of a Native American warrior counting coup on a settler | Donald Ellis Gallery

Ledger Drawing

attributed to Mad Bull
Mad Bull Ledger Book
Southern Arapaho
Central Plains

ca. 1880

graphite and coloured pencil on lined paper

height: 6"
width: 14 ¾"

Inventory # P4353-2

Please contact the gallery for more information.

This page derives from the Mad Bull Ledger Book, comprised of fifteen exquisitely detailed drawings attributed to the Southern Arapaho warrior artist Mad Bull. The image depicts a Native American warrior, clad in a Saltillo serape, counting coup on a white man from high upon his horse. The simple and bold composition draws attention to the contrasting hierarchy between the charging warrior and his opponent, fallen helplessly to the ground. While the Plains warrior is fully integrated with his mount, the white man’s top hat, has fallen far from him. Although we cannot attribute the scene to one specific event, we know that it responds to a period ripe with battles between Native Americans, Euro-American settlers and the U.S. Army.


Collected at Fort Reno, Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, Oklahoma, by Palmer Tilton, Lieut. 20th US Infantry and subsequently gifted on March 27th, 1884 to E.F Riggs, Esq. 
Donald Ellis Gallery, Dundas, ON
Private Collection, Toronto, ON


An undated photograph of Mad Bull from the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Cat. Nr. 4327.3764