Sherman Chaddlesone – Native American Artist – (2nd June 1947 – 17th August 2013)
“Following the Ragweed Sun Dance”, Ledger Art:
Print on Arches – paper + watercolor; 60 x 43 cm / 2000
“Following the Ragweed Sun Dance” by Sherman Chaddlesone:
An Example for the „Ledger Art“
For Sherman Chaddlesone (ShCh) his prints had been an important part of his artistic activity on “arches” paper.
The selected example print above is typical for his mode of operation and statement intention.
At first sight, the detailed approach of operation is standing out. This statement describes both toward the graphic design of the represented subjects like also on the subtly differentiated coloration of all subjects, oriented at the reality. Furthermore ShCh had given his genuine graphic subjects something unmistakable. By these graphic solutions he awarded a re-reconnaissance value to his work which therefore identifies him, ShCh, as the artist. Examples for this are the form of the teepees, the manner of the representation of the persons or that one of the horses to it.
Such, in the result ShCh had created a complete scene: The work introduced here shows the “Ragweed” – Sun Dance – held every year in the past.
In fact, by talking about the represented reality above, a reality is meant from the past!
At the choice of the subjects for his prints Sherman Chaddlesone pursued namely the intention to show the objects, persons and their clothes at a pictorial level genuinely from earlier times. For this he made if necessary intensive enquiries: “That way, he wanted to document things, situations traditions or customs of the past. This one, what had not could be passed on (not because there had not yet been any photography) but, there were hardly or no ancestors who would have been able to pass something on from the former culture to the next generations!” (See to this: „Art Touches Art – 24“)
Sherman Chaddlesone assigned his prints to the “Ledger Art”.
What is meant with that?
The concept “ledger” is translated by “account book” in the dictionary. These account books then were used for the bookkeeping in the 19th century. The individual sides were printed with horizontal parallel lines going narrowly. With vertical lines, the sheets were divided up into different categories.
These account books, when having been full; they were not used anymore and as a rule thrown away.
Sometime, somebody discovered these account books as a paper source:
During the Red-River war or Buffalo-war, the last herd of buffalos living free should be defended. “Many tribe stores were forced to give up in rough winter of 1874 – 1875.”…”Captain Pratt” wanted to make it possible for the “Indians, taken captive, to take part in the white American culture by education”… “He also provided the Indians with pencils, ink, chalks, water-colors and paper”. And these account books or also the separated pages of the clapped-out account books were the medium at which they then could work.
(Source of the expelled quotations to the historical background of the Ledger Art: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ledger_Art)
Some of the natives of America then continued also later (after the capture), artistic working and had themselves developed in the course of the time to recognized artists. Thematically, these works had referred to this, in order to document the mostly bad events of the current time, or epoch of then.
These artistic remarks described above were therefore the first “voices” of the American natives as persons affected!
Sherman Chaddlesone had related his prints to the Ledger Art in order to remind to the great performances of these first Native American Artists, and to honor them.
While the early artists of American natives were holding tight by their art the events which had snatched them from their original life having brought unutterable pain for them, ShCh documented what had been lost of the past life!…
Interpretation: Renate Hugel
In this place I would like to give the word to two members of the Kiowa personally.
During our stay in Oklahoma (2001) we had received a little booklet with the title “The View from Rainy Mountain”. Kiowa artists come to word in this booklet. Sherman Chaddlesone had written some more texts to topics of the Kiowa. For the Sun Dance I quote here Mirac Creepingbear (page 5), Sherman Chaddlesone (page 8):
Mirac Creepingbear (Native American Artist):
“The Sun Dance was the most important tribal ceremony. This annual religious observance brought together all Kiowa tribal members who, throughout the rest of the year, lived in small bands that were politically and economically independent. The Sun Dance served to reaffirm the spiritual and physical unity of the group. There were renewals of kinship ties, arrangement of marriages, exchanges of property, recitations of recent exploits and political maneuvering among high-ranking warriors. Each year’s ceremony was preceded by a bison hunt (remark of Renate Hugel: in order to hunt one single bison), both to feed the participants and to provide the essential bison skin and head to be displayed on the center pole in the sun dance lodge.
The last Kiowa Sun Dance took place in the 1890’s.
A sweat bath (Skal-Quo) is taken prior to entering the sun dance lodge by the participants. It is the cleansing of the whole person”… (Page 5)
(So far to Mirac Creepingbear)
Sherman Chaddlesone (Native American Artist):
“Our Hearts Lay Heavy on the Ground (old Kiowa saying)
The End of the Sun Dance and the Buffalo
Now on the reservation, the Kiowa faced a bleak future. The huge herds of buffalo soon vanished before the onslaught white hunters, who killed them only for sport or for their hides, leaving the flesh to rot. It was beyond the Kiowa’s comprehension that the buffalo would be killed in so wasteful a manner; it was beyond the Kiowa vision of man’s relation to earth and nature’s creatures.
By the summer of 1879 the Kiowas could not find a single buffalo on the southern plains for their Sun Dance. Without the horse and buffalo, without their song and dance, the Kiowa lost their cultural identity.
A tribe overrun and engulfed by more numerous adversaries with superior weapons understandably suffered deep psychological wounds. (…) Despair and hopelessness formed a shroud over the Kiowas as their hunting grounds were denied them, their religious ceremonies outlawed, and their social system uprooted. The end of the buffalo culture … the Kiowa was defeated.” (Page 8)
(So far to Sherman Chaddlesone)
A quotation of the cover back of the booklet follows: This publication is a production of The Jacobson Foundation, a cross cultural organization inspired by “The legacy of Oscar Jacobson and The Kiowa Five”.
Reference of the Quotations:
The quotations indicated above are to be found on the pages 5 (Mirac Creepingbear) and 8 (Sherman Chaddlesone) in the booklet “View from Rainy Mountain”. A quotation of the cover back of the booklet follows: “This publication is a production of the Jacobson Foundation, a cross cultural organization inspired by the legacy of Oscar Jacobson and the Kiowa Five.”
– – –
These quotations, of M. C. and ShCh, are speaking for themselves!
In connection with this knowledge, the work of art (“Following the Ragweed Sun Dance” of ShCh) is getting an enormous meaningfulness: The eyes of the observer are getting opened for a new way of perception – beyond a possibly folkloric way of interpretation: The visualization by a detail-faithful design means an esteem of the identity-giving ceremony of the Sun Dance in a consciously arranged “snapshot” into memory of the ancestors!
To the Person of Sherman Chaddlesone (Native American Artist), 2nd June 1947 – 17th August 2013
Sherman Chaddlesone (Kiowa) (Picture Details: Renate Hugel: „The Memory of Sherman Chaddlesone“, Or: “The own Person fulfilled with the Life of the Ancestors” – – – Pencil drawing on transparent paper; behind this a part of a photo*, 16 x 25, 5 cm, 2014 (* Part from a photo taken during the Kiowa Black Leggings Ceremony nearby Anadarko, Oklahoma, 2001)
Sherman Chaddlesone had lived “in Anadarko, Oklahoma; his early training in art was received at home from his father (John Chaddlesone) the famous Kiowa War Chief, Santana – Whitebear) who provided basic instruction in anatomy, portraiture, and pencil sketching. Later he studied art at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the mid-1960’s and was profoundly influenced by his close friend T.C. Cannon.
Sherman occasionally” had drawn “subject matter from Kiowa calendric records for his ledger style works. The Kiowa and the Sioux were the only tribes to keep such records and a great grandmother of Chaddlesone maintained a calendar in a ledger book, with the first entry being the summer of 1856 and the last being in 1934.”
This information about the person of Sherman Chaddlesone is a quotation from “Native American Art Calendar” of 2001 (Calendar sheet from March 2001).
(Print of the calendar in the year 2000 in Norman, Oklahoma; sponsored of Levite Apache, Jacobson House Native Art Center, American Indian Cultural Society and Tribes Gallery from Norman)
Remark 1: Current stand: To Sherman Chaddlesone I have written under “Art Touches Art” the contributions “Art Touches Art – 5, 11, 24, 27 and 35”.
In addition, there is a mention under “Art Touches Art – 16” (the contribution to the teamwork “block-pictures”).
Remark 2: The contributions under “Art Touches Art” refer in part 1 (“Art Touches Art – 1 to 28”) to the symposium “Attempt of an Encounter – Five Native American Artists meet five European Artists”. This had taken place in Bremen (Germany), in the year 2000. Whoever would like to ask about the genesis of the symposium can scroll back till “Art Touches Art – 1”, then continue scrolling back till Information about ‚Art Touches Art‘; after that you find then the „Chronology of the Past History“.
In part 2 (as of “Art Touches Art – 29”), the contributions refer to the return visit in Oklahoma (USA) in the year 2001.