following the buffalo
2011, oil, 44"h x 64"w
The arrowleaf balsamroot blooms golden yellow and their sunny faces freckle the prairie hills. Their presence signals the time of year when buffalo calves are born. Amid a flurry of activity, lodges have been taken down and their furnishings packed, food stored, and all in painted rawhide containers. Men and women make everything ready as they load horses and dogs with travois laden with tipi poles and covers, and all the possessions of these nomadic people.
As the camp mobilizes, the chiefs lead the march while scouts are sent in advance of the column. Warrior society members set out to their assigned places driving the horse herds and protecting the flanks of the procession. This colorful cavalcade slowly progresses forward, traveling to a new location with better grass, as they follow their essential food source, the buffalo!