Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Wonder: Sitting Bull's Drawings

Below is a video, produced by Trent Gillis of OnBeing, in which the Smithsonian ethnographer Candace Greene, collections and archives resource officer for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, offers her insightful commentary on 22 drawings or pictographs made by Sitting Bull (1831-1890), leader of the Lakota who defeated General George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn. I was unfamiliar with these drawings, which were created by Sitting Bull during his incarceration at Fort Randall, Dakota Territory in 1882 and are archived at the Smithsonian. I found Greene's descriptions to be fascinating. I hope you do as well.

Earlier this month, OnBeing rebroadcast "Reimagining Sitting Bull, Tatanka Iyotake"; available in mp3, flash, and as a podcast, it is worth the 51.09 minutes of listening time. You'll find a number of other videos at the program site, including a clip of archival audio about Sitting Bull's signature and a nearly two-hour-long interview with Ernie LaPointe, Sitting Bull's great-grandson. 

7 comments:

shrinkingthecamel.com said...

Maureen, this is so cool, because I have been listening to podcasts of "On Being" in my car whenever I'm driving. It's been such a GREAT discovery. Have you heard the John Donahue interview on "The Inner Landscape of Beauty"? You should cover that, too. I haven't listened to this one yet, but there is is, cued up, ready to go on my next communte trip!

M.L. Gallagher said...

What a fabulous find! Her description of his drawings is wonderful and informative.

thanks so much Maureen.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Serendipity -- Hi again, So... I watch the video, click on a couple of links and am inspired by Sitting Bull's work and its interpretations etc.

And then, I open my email and read my "Daily Quote".

"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make
for our children."

-- Sitting Bull

Cool!

Robin Arnold said...

Interesting the horses are drawn facing left. I'm also interested in the cursive "Sitting Bull" that appears at the top of the pages. I'll have to know more so thank you for the references. I was just thinking about the early Native Americans, and how they managed in the winds in the mountains and through the valley out here.

Maureen said...

Brad, yes. It was the O'Donohue feature that first brought me to OnBeing well before it was renamed. I have O'Donohue's books.

A. Jay Adler said...

The Sitting Bull drawings are a revelation to me and On Being is a discovery. Thanks, as always, for both.

S. Etole said...

It's fascinating what artwork reveals.