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LAKOTA SIOUX LEDGER ART – MILWAUKEE PUBLIC MUSEUM REPRINT SERIES MADE FROM THE “RED HAWK LEDGER” CAPTURED AT WOUNDED KNEE, 1890:  Ledger art is a well known art form of the Plains Indians, developed during the reservation period as the Native Americans applied their pictographic art style to the pages of cast off ledger books.  As the entries in the ledger books were normally made on only one side of the page, the blank side of the page and the unused pages at the back of the book were salvaged and used by the native artists.  

This set of reprints was published by the Milwaukee Public Museum in 1961.  The thirty-one reprints that originally made up this portfolio were taken from the Red Hawk Ledger Book which was purchased by the museum in 1897.  According to a note found in the ledger at the time of purchase, Captain R. Miller originally "captured" the book from Red Hawk at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota on January 8, 1891, just days after the infamous massacre at Wounded Knee.  Another note found in the ledger, written in Lakota, identified Red Hawk as a part of Red Dog's band of Oglala Sioux and census rolls of the Pine Ridge Reservation area from 1874 - 1905 list two men named Red Hawk.  

The Red Hawk ledger art is drawn in the characteristic Sioux style with no background and few identifying traits for the warriors pictured. The majority of the drawings show episodes of warfare and horse capture, particularly between the Sioux and Crow.  Many of the drawings include the name of the pictured warrior written in Lakota, English, or both, as well as descriptive captions. The captions are written in a different hand from the names suggesting that someone, possibly Captain Miller, added the captions at a later date. 

This portfolio contains sixteen (16) of the original thirty one reprints that comprised the set, and each piece measures 15 ¼” by 11 ¾”.   Each of the prints is still in excellent condition with no damage.  These are very attractive pieces and well worth the reasonable asking price.  (0508)  $80

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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