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Coloured pencil Ledger Drawing of prisoners and mounted soldiers at Ft. Sill | Donald Ellis Gallery
Coloured pencil Ledger Drawing of a Pawnee and an Osage warrior on horseback | Donald Ellis Gallery

Ledger Drawing

attributed to Nokkoist (Bear's Heart), 1851-1882
Central Plains

ca. 1875-78


ink, graphite and coloured pencil on lined paper

height: 8"
width: 10 ¾"

Inventory # P4445


Inscribed "Indian Prisoners Standing from Ft. Sill"

Although Ledger Drawings had occasionally been sold or traded with locally stationed members of the U.S. Army, a comprehensive commercialization of Ledger Art was fully realized with a group of exceptional drawings created between 1875-78 at Fort Marion, in St. Augustine, Florida. Provided with paper, crayon, watercolour and ink, approximately twenty-six Native American prisoners were encouraged to create drawings of their lives. In contrast to personal records of military feats which had dominated earlier Ledger Art, drawings from Fort Marion frequently depict memories of recent events, such as the prisoners standing from Ft. Sill depicted here. With these drawings, warriors such as Nokkoist (Bear's Heart, 1851-1882) showcased their artistic skills and made a small income from sales to the military men and local tourist community with whom they interacted on a daily basis.

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