the powder horn
2007, oil, 54"h x 36"w
Buffalo defined the venatic way of life of the Indian tribes on the Great Plains centuries before the arrival of the first horse. By the middle of the nineteenth century there was a steady increase in non-Indian buffalo hide hunters, first on the southern plains and then moving ever northward. Between 1872 and 1874, over four million buffalo were killed for the price of their robes. The archaic way of life for the nomadic buffalo hunting tribes was indeed passing into memory. As the native tribes witnessed the decline in the herds within their territories, they dealt more harshly with trespassers. In the painting, a group of Lakota warriors are pursuing a small number of outsiders encroaching upon the Medicine Rocks area east of the Powder River. The still-smoking fire and abandoned powder horn are a distinct testimony to the hasty retreat of the pursued.