Council (or more properly, Sun Dance or Medicine Lodge)

Bear's Heart, or Nock-ko-ist (Cheyenne),
drawn between 1875 and 1878 at Fort Marion, Florida
"Council" (or more properly, Sun Dance or Medicine Lodge)
Collected by Richard Henry Pratt about 1878
Colored pencil, ink, colored ink, and watercolor
The drawing of a Sun Dance or Medicine Lodge gathering offers a partial view of one moment in the most sacred of Plains Indian ceremonies. The event is represented here by the Sun Dance lodge with its cloth and tree-branch offerings flying. The people stand outside to bear witness to the sacred offerings being made, while four painted Sun Dancers stand ready to make their sacrifices inside. Four men, probably warrior society officers, stand guard over the ceremony.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
date made
ca 1875-1878
original artist
Bear's Heart
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 12.8 cm x 20.4 cm; 5 1/16 in x 8 1/16 in
Place Made
United States: Florida, Anastasia Island, Fort Marion
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Ledger Drawings
Cultures & Communities
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Ledger Drawings
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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