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Spirit Beings and Sun Dancers (HC)

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During the winter of 1880-81, Black Hawk, a Lakota artist living on the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation, drew seventy-six vivid images depicting complex scenes of ceremonial activity, personal visions, historical events, and nature studies.

Having recently emerged from obscurity, Black Hawk's drawing book now stands as the most complete visual record extant of Lakota art of the early reservation period (1875-95).

It is published here in full, for the first time, with fine quality color plates of each drawing. Detailed commentary accompanies the drawings, providing insight into Lakota religion, art, and culture in the nineteenth century.

Some of Black Hawk's illustrations are the only known drawings of ceremonies described in ethnographic works such as Black Elk Speaks, the famous account of visions experienced by Lakota holy man Black Elk.

The ceremonies depicted in Black Hawk's drawings include the Sun Dance, buffalo transformation ceremonies, and ceremonies honoring the sacred pipe. He also recorded scenes of Lakota encounters with the Crow, of buffalo hunting, and of wildlife.

An invaluable contribution to our knowledge of Native American history and art, Black Hawk's drawing book is a window unto a complex and eloquent world. Seventy-six color illustrations; twenty black-and-white illustrations.