Squint Eyes, Cheyenne

"Buffalo Hunt" (1876)
pencil and colored pencil 8.50 x 11 in

Squint Eyes was only seventeen when he was selected to be sent to Fort Marion for incarceration. After his release from prison, he traveled extensively. He worked for the Smithsonian as a taxidermist and collector of natural history specimens; he accompanied ethnologist Frank Cushing to the Southwest. He later served as an Indian scout at Fort Reno and Fort Supply before marrying a Northern Cheyenne and settling on their reservation in Montana. The drawing here is from his time in Fort Marion: hunters ride on horseback after their prey. They are armed with revolvers, bows and arrows, and quivers made of mountain lion skin. Squint Eyes experimented with a semi-abstract design of humped buffalo backs behind a ridge, abstracting the bison forms so that they provide a rhythmic silhouette against the page.