The Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue Eagle by Gae Matthaei, Jewell Grutman - 1999 Edition - Vintage Child Book, Native American Art, Indian Schools

$16.00

The Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue Eagle by Gae Matthaei and Jewell Grutman, the story of a Lakota boy's life before the Carlisle Indian School.

Written by Gae Matthaei and Jewell Grutman. Illustrated by Adam Cvijanovic. Lakota Advisor, Arthur Amiotte. First published in 1994 by Thomasson Grant. Republished in 1999 by Lickle Publishing Inc.

The authors, who are twin sisters, created Thomas Blue Eagle's "picture story" as they imagined a young Lakota boy from the Plains might have drawn and written it as a student at the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. During the 19th C, as the United States expanded West and native peoples across the frontier were confronted by white settlers, many of their young people were taken and installed at Indian schools. Their hair was cut and their native clothes were replaced by conventional clothing, and their languages were banned to force them to learn English and assimilate. From 1879 to 1918, the Carlisle Indian School was attended by over 12,000 children representing more than 140 tribes, and became the model for the 150 Indian schools across the country.

According to the authors, "...the children recorded important events from their earlier lives using the same traditional pictographic methods of their ancestors as they had observed their elders use in robe painting. Among the Plains Indians, pictographs were used in two distinctly different ways. Some were used mnemonic devices to record historical events called winter counts and were painting on hides. Others were used in narratives, or stories, and were painted on robes, tipis, shields, and other objects. Stories told in pictographs normally read from right to left. Portions of figures often represented the whole. Cartoon like, wavy lines were used to indicated dreams. ..."

As students learned English they eventually adapted to communicating through written rather than pictorial forms. The artwork in the Ledgerbook is inspired by rare 19th C ledgerbooks held in private collections and museums, notably the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.

New York artist Adam Cvijanovic's drawings beautifully capture the form and spirit of the Plains Indians' pictorial storytelling, assisted by Lakota adviser, Arthur Amiotte.

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Condition*: Near Fine. Lacks dust jacket, as issued. Blue cloth cover w/ black lettering and cover graphics: Small rubbed spot in upper right corner. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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