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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This painting was long in coming. A major inspiration for getting into art was to be able to do historic paintings. I'm certainly no where close to doing what I envision, but this is a start in that direction.
This is a depiction of a band of Arapaho hunters leaving out of South Park Colorado after an unsuccessful hunt in what had been the perfect summer hunting grounds. This year, rather than their old enemies, the Utes, they found numerous whites, mining, ranching, and worst of all, no Buffalo. They leave out, over the Kenosha Range, with little to show for the hunt. Their world has changed, forever.
At 24 x 36 and taking 32 hours to complete, this is my biggest work.
"Kenosha Range. 1861"
 

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I love those Autumn leaves, the choice of colors is spectacular.

On as side note, I have not read this book, but I heard it is very good. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.

The Native American population that pilgrims and pioneers encountered was a mere 5% (one twentieth) of the population that thrived prior to the arrival of Europeans. Ninety-five percent of the population of the Americas was wiped out by diseases to which they had no inherited immunity. It happened so early and so fast that settlers had no way to know they were just seeing remnants of former populations.

Before contact with the first Europeans there were not great herds of bison roaming the plains and prairies. Native peoples had kept the herds very small through thousands or tens of thousands of years of hunting and habitat modification. The great herds encountered by the white "buffalo hunters" had risen only since the decimation of the Native peoples by disease because the bison were free of the traditional hunting pressure.
 

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Thanks for the complements! Good observations, Sean. The plains tribes went through many transformations, most notably with the arrival of the horse. Fortunes of individual tribes ebbed and flowed on singular events. The particular importance of the extintion Southpark colorado herd was that it marked the beginning of the end of an era. Part of my particular heritage is from an eastern tribe of which I know very little. The plains indians have always caught my imagination since the very land I walk yields daily reminders of their long presence in the form of arrowheads, metates. manos, fire-discolored overhangs and tepee rings. Evidence of cultures going back at least 10,000 years have been unearthed here. What you pointed out makes a valid point. Smalpox was the largest negative event to hit native American tribes. What is normal. It seems human existence has always been in flux based on outside influences. All of this discussion would point to hundreds of dramatic paintings, lol. So much to paint, so little time!
 
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