This Cheyenne painted elk hide, currently at the Armory Show in New York, allegedly depicts the Head Chief and Young Mule affair (Lame Deer, Montana, September 13th 1890): the killing of Hugh Boyle. The drawing doesn't fit with what I know about the events and I suspect it depicts something that happened 15 to 20 or so years earlier, but it's an interesting hide, nevertheless:
Last Edit: Mar 20, 2017 13:54:41 GMT -5 by grahamew
Post by kingsleybray on Mar 20, 2017 14:20:37 GMT -5
the incident at bottom left with the fallen warrior is also depicted in the Little Finger Nail ledger book. The headdress and shield seem identical. The relevant pictograph is reproduced in Mari Sandoz's Cheyenne Autumn.
In fact the hide and the ledger book are clearly the work of the same artist. I just checked Fr Powell's People of the Sacred Mountain, where several pages of the Little Finger Nail ledger are reproduced. At least two other incidents depicted on the hide feature in the ledger, by the same artist and presumably very close in time as the hide was completed. The battle represented with its distinctive action, including Cheyenne pursuit of troopers riding in formation, should be identifiable.
Ha! I just logged on to tell you that I checked Powell and that the killing of Boyle is there in Little Finger Nail as counting coup on a fallen white man - and I think it's more than apparent from the hide that it's a soldier, which Boyle wasn't, but you beat me to it! Bearing in mind how the Little Finger Nail book was acquired, I'd love to know where this came from...
I informed the gallery - we'll see.
Last Edit: Mar 21, 2017 12:54:12 GMT -5 by grahamew
Post by kingsleybray on Mar 21, 2017 13:47:25 GMT -5
by the way Cheyenne shield authority Imre Nagy believes that the translation 'Little Fingernail' is misleading or anyway ambiguous -- and that the ledger book should be re-identified as the Little Shield ledger. Little Shield was a headsman in the Northern Cheyenne Elk or Crooked Lance society, killed in the Ft Robinson outbreak in January 1879.
So... the Little Shield already known as a ledger artist? There is one page that shows a warrior riding under a hail of bullets that isn't a million miles away form one of the Little Finger Nail ledger drawings, though the clothing is slightly different.
Thanks!...will contact them as well...oddly enough am reading John Monnett's new book Eyewitness to the Fetterman Fight. Highly recommend it - first class primary source research and analysis that is John's forte.
Powell seems to think the events in the Little Finger Nail ledger possibly depict Mackenzie's attack on the Cheyenne (perhaps based on the presence of coats among the soldiers), but if they're another version of the Little Shield drawing, then we're possibly talking about ten years earlier - although there's no reason why they can't be some kind of mix, I suppose. For what it's worth, the style of the drawing of the horse in the Little Shield picture below doesn't seem similar to those on the hide, although - as Kingsley says - they similar to several of the Little Finger Nail drawings.
Last Edit: Apr 3, 2017 10:27:55 GMT -5 by grahamew