story of the long knife
2006, oil, 38"h x 50"w
Winter was the season for telling tales. Surrounded by the warmth of a winter lodge fire, the homey smells of soup cooking, and the bright faces of family and friends, a Blackfeet patriarch recounts the story of an adventure trail to the Always Summer Land. As he weaves the story he reverently displays the proof, and the trophies won from a fight with Spanish riders in a far distant southwestern territory.
According to Blackfeet oral tradition, documented by James W. Schultz and enthologist John Ewers, a large party of Blackfeet warriors made a journey from their home range (in today's southern Alberta and Montana) far to the south. They faced many encounters with hostile tribes and other difficult and dangerous problems along the way, and eventually made raids through present day New Mexico. Actually, it is believed that only a handful of those that began the quest returned, but they returned bearing Spanish armor, weapons, and horses!