John Fawcett

Ledgerbook Tales


30 x 40 in.
(framed) TBD
Despite not having a written language, the Plains Indians had a unique way of passing on their history to future generations. There was a centuries-old tradition of recording hunts, deeds of bravery, and battles on buffalo hides (Winter Count Robes) and tipi liners. With the influx of white settlers, especially after the 1840s, the introduction of new materials—pencils, crayons, paper, and notebooks, either by trade, gift, or capture—made recording their history much more practical. The ledgerbook was a perfect tool for a nomadic people and could fit in a small pouch or parfleche. As one Lakota said, “The picture is the rope that ties memory solidly to the stake of truth.”