Native American ''Ledger Art''

  • American West
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

As we have seen, Native American Hide Art, was a crude form of “written” History, used first many Centuries by The Tribes of The Great Northern Plains. When the Art form “died out”, it was replaced by the equally unique painting style known as “Ledger Art”. From about 1830, many Traders, Settlers and Missionaries, traded with some Tribes. When many Native Americans saw “paper” for the first time (especially paper with pictures or illustrations), they were impressed, and suitably given to idea.


Many Tribes procured Ledger Books in trade. These were large , lined and columned books used for Accounting and Inventory control. Native American Artists began to use the paper, as they had the hides. Still using organically developed paint, they found it easier to design than the process involved in hide preparation. Regardless of the pre-printed lines, Native Americans would pullout the pages and draw or paint their images. In much the same way, Events such as War, “Counting Coup” and other important matters were reproduced. The pages would be carefully kept and used to recount such incidents to the young. A revival in Ledger Art developed again in the 1920s in America. The art firm is not practiced today.