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Thom Ross
Artist: Thom Ross, Title: The Lesson - click for larger image
The Lesson
30 x 40 Inches  Acrylic on Canvas   Sold
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Both "The Lesson" and "The Shark" come from the same set of circumstances. In 1875 a group of Cheyenne and Kiowa Indians surrendered to the US Army. They were shipped from the West to Fort Marion, near St, Augustine, Florida. Two of them, Making Medicine (a Cheyenne,) and Zotom (a Kiowa,) were artists who captured their life in Florida in a remarkable series of drawings. Beginning with their tribal life in the West, these drawings record their surrender to the Army, their train trip across the United States, and their settlement in Florida. "The Lesson" shows an Indian (now wearing the dress of the US Army,) teaching a local lady how to shoot a bow and arrow. According to an article in HARPER'S WEEKLY some of the most dedicated archery students were the volunteers who taught them English. "In return for the kindness shown them by these excellent ladies, the Indians instruct them in archery, in the practice of which they are becoming very expert." In one instance a woman sent an arrow flying in the wrong direction. She heard a yelp and found herself surrounded by Indians. She later said, "I tell you, I was no little frightened until they all called out, 'Good, much good, white woman shoot Indian!" Apparently the victim was not seriously wounded (at least his status in not mentioned in the book I have,) but, needless to say, she made a hasty exit. (This image will appear on the cover of a book coming out this fall from the University of New Mexico Press entitled "Confronting Race", by Glenda Riley.)
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