pigments, ink on muslin

Custer's War, c. 1900

Not on Viewexpand_more

In the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Cheyenne, Lakota, and Arapaho warriors won a stunning victory over the United States Army. Euro-American and Native American military historians still discuss the battle, but accounts through Indian eyes are relatively rare. One Bull fought in the 1876 battle and later painted this comprehensive view of events. Across the top and to the right, he portrayed various episodes from the confrontation, carefully annotating some in pencil. At the left center, he drew radiating circles to represent the tipi encampments of the principal Lakota and Cheyenne groups, while the heads at lower left depict the warriors' families camped near the battle. In the center of the piece, One Bull illustrates himself holding Sitting Bull's shield, which is light green, while mounted on a horse. He rushes to the battle scene and rescues a friend who has been wounded.

One Bull uses pictographic methods to portray this scene. He carefully rendered each horse and provided details on important items such as Sitting Bull's shield.

Custer's War
Artist Life
Hunkpapa Lakȟóta, 1853 - 1947
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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pigments, ink on muslin