|Both "The Shark" and "The Lesson" 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 Shark" Another activity that the Indians enjoyed was walking down to the beach and tossing a huge hunk of beef into the ocean attached to a hook, rope, and chain, and all of this secured to a post driven into the sand. When a shark would take the bait, the Indians would grab the rope and wrestle the monster. As Captain Pratt wrote, "Sometimes the shark was the stronger in the tug of war and would successfully pull against the Indians until all the line was paid out and only the fastening at the shore end stopped him. It was great sport for the 20 or more Indians who whooped and tugged and pulled until the shark surrendered." Their best one-day catch was five sharks, including one that weighed an estimated 1,200 pounds!