Ledger Book Drawing
Arts of the Americas
Beginning in the 1860s, Plains warriors illustrated their battle exploits in ledger books and on ledger- book paper that were acquired through trade, gift, and booty. This practice continued a long visual tradition of Native warriors’ depictions of individual and tribal histories on hide shirts, robes, tipis, and tipi liners. Plains artists often represented warfare between Native tribes, as well as against the U.S. Army. Here, a warrior wearing a long eagle-feather headdress is scalping another fallen warrior, who just dropped his bow and arrows.
Ink, crayon, woven paper
A. Augustus Healy Fund
The reservation era of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when Native American tribes had ceded their land to the federal government and were confined to set aside tracts of land, created profound cultural changes for the Plains peoples. The masculine artistic tradition of painting warrior's exploits on hide shirts and robes declined but men continued to record their deeds and their changing way of life in paintings and drawings on canvas, muslin, and small notebooks, or ledger books. Many of these works memorialize individual achievements in hunting and warfare. Some ledger books were carried into battle and "captured" on the battlefield. U.S. Army men who had amicable relations with Indian scouts or were guards of Native American prisoners commissioned others. This drawing depicts one warrior scalping another fallen warrior who is dropping his bow and arrows.
This item is not on view
Possibly Cheyenne. Ledger Book Drawing, ca. 1890. Ink, crayon, woven paper, 7 1/4 x 14 in. (18.4 x 35.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, 1992.76.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1992.76.1_transp3554.jpg)
overall, 1992.76.1_transp3554.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.