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SIOUX, HUNKPAPA OR BLACKFEET
ARTIST UNKNOWN

PAINTED BUFFALO HIDE ROBE PICTOGRAM
circa. 1866

SIOUX Painted Buffalo Hide Robe Pictogram. Sitting Bull Warrior. Mid 19th Century. Probably Hunkpapa or Blackfeet Sioux. A magnificent example of Native North American Folk Art depicting the spoils of raiding parties against American military columns. Print after the original, on Hahnemuhle White cotton Rag. RestoredPrints.com
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SIOUX (Northern Teton - Hunkpapa or Blackfeet)
 Painted Buffalo Hide, Warrior's Robe Pictogram

A MASTERPIECE OF NORTH AMERICAN NATIVE FOLK ART

The pigments were applied with animal glue and as a result much of the original detail is now worn off, but this very rare survivor still has plenty of interesting detail and information to offer.

Sioux pictograms depicts many individual events in the warrior's life, in this case probably his raiding history over the previous year. The consensus is that this robe mostly depicts the fighting between the Northern Teton (Hunkpapas, Sioux and Sans Arcs) and an expedition led by Colonels Nelson Cole and Samuel Walker along the Powder River, Montana in the Summer and Autumn of 1865. A total of forty-two horses and four mules are shown.  

The two pipes on the ground show that the warrior led two horse raiding parties, one of which returned with six horses and the other with two.  Other raids collected up to seven horses at a time with one notable raid bringing home four horses complete with US Cavalry, McClellan saddles and canteens. Four mules are seen in the lower, left-hand corner pulling a faintly drafted artillery caisson, probably a depiction of the well-know raid on US Cavalry beside the Missouri River on September 1st, 1865. Other cameos show a dead, bearded US scout or civilian, a scout losing out to a thrown war club and cavalry man being shot in the chest complete with blood spurt. Another bearded scout is being hotly pursued by a warrior, probably the robe's owner.  It is noticeable that no rider is shown with more than one foot and that only the mounted scout is riding in a saddle. Several of the horses are shown decorated with blue, red or green war paint, a custom entirely ignored by Hollywood film producers.

This pictogram makes a strong case for suggesting that, for this warrior at least, there was little interest in killing Europeans for the sake of it. The objective of raiding parties was the acquisition of horses, the collateral deaths of US Cavalry and civilians were incidental to that purpose. It is almost certain this warrior rode and fought under Sitting Bull.

Note:

The original buffalo hide is extensively discoloured, worn, torn, repaired and stained. In this image we have retained much of the existing hide toning within the pictograms themselves but have provided a background colour with feint mottling consistent with freshly tanned hide, such as would have been seen when the robe was newly painted.  It has not been possible completely to eliminate the present day distressed hide colours and aging effects from within the  pictograms themselves as the resulting loss of colour and detail would have degraded the image to the point where these would have been virtually featureless. The background tones can be lightened or darkened to suit your individual taste.  

IMAGE REF: ART021

OVERALL SIZE APPROXIMATE
DIMENSIONS
TOTAL PRICE  
INCHES MMS
A2 * 16 x 23 420 x 594 $145


* Printed image is 14 x 22 inches (Larger size on request)
Printed on Fine Art Paper (not buffalo hide!)


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