Lithograph printed from three plates in light gray, brown, and black depicting a coyote laying on its back holding four shadow puppets. Printing order: light grey, brown, and black.

Copyright %C2%A9 Julie Buffalohead%2C published by Highpoint Editions

Revisionist History Lesson, 2014

Not on Viewexpand_more

The deconstruction of long-held myths about Native American culture and traditions lies at the heart of Julie Buffalohead’s artistic practice. In her lithograph Revisionist History Lesson, Buffalohead addresses the long-standing conflict over how the colonization of North America is portrayed in mainstream history and, by extension, popular memory. Here, a coyote, the traditional embodiment of a Native American trickster, lies on its back and plays with four shadow puppets representing the North American continent, a running rabbit wielding a tomahawk, a sailing ship like those of Christopher Columbus and other early European explorers, and an openmouthed turtle grasping an arrow. The two animal figures represent Native culture, while the continent and sailing ship symbolize the foreign subjugation of the continent. Though playful in tone, Buffalohead’s pictorial narrative challenges the widely embraced but largely mythic tale of the founding and expansion of the United States, along with its political and religious ideologies, and suggests instead a revision, one that includes the horrific consequences of colonization on Native life and culture.

Details
Title
Revisionist History Lesson
Artist Life
(Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma), born 1972
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2020.85.9
Provenance
Highpoint Editions, Minneapolis (publisher); sold to MIA, 2020.
Curator Approved

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Lithograph printed from three plates in light gray, brown, and black depicting a coyote laying on its back holding four shadow puppets. Printing order: light grey, brown, and black.

Copyright © Julie Buffalohead, published by Highpoint Editions