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A Kiowa's Odyssey: A Sketchbook from Fort Marion

January 22 - March 16, 2008

 

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens presents A Kiowa's Odyssey: A Sketchbook from Fort Marion on January 22, 2008. The exhibition, on view through March 16, features a 32-page sketchbook of drawings by the Kiowa warrior Etahdleuh Doanmoe, which chronicles the experience of 72 Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne & Arapaho, and Caddo Indians who were captured by the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1875 during the Plains Wars. The Indian prisoners were then exiled to Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marco) in St. Augustine, Florida, where, under the direction of Lt. Richard Henry Pratt, they were made to adopt Western values, appearance, behavior, language, and beliefs. Doanmoe's drawings illustrate the capture of the Indians, their 24-day passage to Florida, and their three years at Fort Marion. (right: Etahdleuh Doanmoe, A Kiowa camp on their reservation, from A Kiowa's Odyssey, Richard Henry Pratt Papers, Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Haven, CT.)

"This exhibition of self-taught art draws attention to the history of Native Americans in Florida, the role of the Fort in St. Augustine in the 19th century, and ultimately, the creativity, ingenuity, and survival of the Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribal members in very adverse circumstances," said Museum Director Maarten van de Guchte. "This is the first time The Cummer has had an exhibition about Native American culture and we are excited to present these historical drawings to our visitors."

The sketchbook is attributed to Etahdleuh Doanmoe (1854-1888), a mixed blood Kiowa-Mexican who was among the 72 detainees. It was made at Fort Marion in 1877, presumably for Pratt, who ultimately regarded Doanmoe as one of his most successful students. While other sketchbooks and hundreds of individual sketches survive from Fort Marion, this one is among a select group that Pratt kept and the only one to which Pratt added type-written captions that he composed. Pratt gave the sketchbook to his son Mason, who subsequently reorganized it into an album and supplemented it with a preface and photos of Doanmoe. Thus, the sketchbook represents a layering of "voices" that span more than a century.

Despite the importance of this sketchbook, it has not been fully understood, largely because prior to scholarly study, it was disassembled and divided between two institutions: Dickinson College and Yale University. This exhibition is the first to reunite the materials at Dickinson and Yale and to properly reconstruct the original sketchbook and the subsequent album.

This traveling exhibition is organized by The Trout Gallery, Dickinson College in cooperation with the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

The Cummer and FOCUS Cummer are hosting special programs and events for visitors throughout the exhibition in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine.

 

(above: Etahdleuh Doanmoe, The prisoners entering Fort Sill., from A Kiowa's Odyssey, Richard Henry Pratt Papers, Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Haven, CT.)

 

(above: Etahdleuh Doanmoe, The arrival in Jacksonville, from A Kiowa's Odyssey, Richard Henry Pratt Papers, Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Haven, CT.)

 

(above: Etahdleuh Doanmoe, An Omaha Dance given by the prisoners, from A Kiowa's Odyssey, Richard Henry Pratt Papers, Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Haven, CT.)

 

 

(above: Etahdleuh Doanmoe, One of the classes in the casements of the Fort, from A Kiowa's Odyssey, Richard Henry Pratt Papers, Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Haven, CT.)

Schedule of Events:

 
Wednesday, January 30: Public Pow-Wow in St. Augustine
Location: Ketterlinus Elementary School Gymnasium - located at 60 Orange Street,
St. Augustine
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Programming includes: Tribal leaders, artisans and performers
Media interviews and photo opportunities
Free and open to the public
 
Thursday, January 31: Pow-Wow Dinner Ceremony in Ponte Vedra Beach
Location: Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, 1000 PGA Boulevard, Ponte Vedra Beach
Time: 3 to 5 p.m. Native American Art & Craft Sale (Free and open to the public)
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. ­ VIP Reception
6 to 7 p.m. ­ General Admission Reception
7 to 9 p.m. ­ Dinner & Program
Estimated attendance: 300 - 400 people
Fee
To purchase tickets, please call (904) 899-6007
Special Guests: Tribal leaders from the Kiowa Tribe, Cheyenne & Arapaho tribes and Delaware Nation
Programming includes: Tribal leaders, musicians, artists, art exhibition and seated dinner
Reception and Dinner sponsored by FOCUS Cummer, Flower arrangements by Kuhn Flowers
 
Friday, February 1: University of North Florida Seminar
Symposium of Native American Impact: Then and Now
Location: University of North Florida campus - University Center, Board of Trustees Room, 12000 Alumni Boulevard, Jacksonville
Time: 9 to 11 a.m.
Estimated attendance: 100 people (Limited seating)
Free, open to the public, Free parking - map to be distributed
Programming includes: Panel discussion with tribal leaders, UNF historian and exhibition curator Phillip Earenfight. They will speak about the impact of Kiowa's Odyssey on their tribes and the history and tell where the tribes are today.
 
Friday, February 1: School Outreach at the Beach
Location: Schools in Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine
Time: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Programming includes: Native American visiting artists, musicians and dancers
 
 
Friday, February 1: Ponce de León Society Private Viewing
Location: Cummer Museum
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Estimated attendance: 150 - 200 people
For PDL Members ONLY
Programming includes: Tribal leaders, musicians, artists and exhibition curator Phillip Earenfight
PDL Reception Sponsor: Fidelity Investments
Exhibition Sponsors: FOCUS Cummer, Elkins Constructors, Inc. and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
 
Saturday, February 2: Pow-Wow Family Day
Location: Cummer Museum
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Estimated attendance: 500 -1,000 people
Free and open to the public
Programming includes: Tribal leaders, artists, musicians, dancers and art-making projects
Sponsor: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida
For more information, call (904) 355-0630.
 
Wednesday, February 20 and Thursday, February 21:
Especially for Seniors Talks & Tea
A Woodcock Foundation Lifelong Learning Initiative
Time: 1:30 p.m.
A Kiowa's Odyssey: A Sketchbook from Ft. Marion
Seated gallery talks with reception immediately following.
Seating is limited and reservations are required.
Fee
Please call (904) 355-0630 to register.

Editor's note: RL readers may also enjoy:

and this book:

A Kiowa's Odyssey: A Sketchbook from Fort Marion by Janet Catherine Berlo (Contributor), Phllip Earenfight (Contributor), Brad D. Lookingbill (Contributor), George Miles (Contributor), Phillip Earenfight (Editor). 230 pages. Publisher: University of Washington Press (October 30, 2007). ISBN-10: 0295987278. ISBN-13: 978-0295987279 (right: image of front cover of A Kiowa's Odyssey: A Sketchbook from Fort Marion)

Book Description by Amazon.com:

A Kiowa's Odyssey recreates a sketchbook of drawings that chronicle the experiences of seventy-two Southern Plains Indians captured by the U.S. Army in Oklahoma in 1875. To stem their ability to lead raids against white settlers, the army exiled these Arapaho, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Kiowa Indians more than 1,000 miles, by wagon, train, and steamboat, to Fort Marion, Florida. The prisoners, dazed by travel and unfamiliar surroundings, quickly found themselves subject to a process of Westernization and assimilation. Under the direction of Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt, the Indians were made to adopt Western appearance, behavior, language, and beliefs. Pratt was a prominent advocate of Indian assimilation and many of the practices that he introduced at Fort Marion were subsequently institutionalized at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, which he founded in 1879.
 
The thirty-two-page sketchbook illustrates the Indians' capture, their trek to Florida, and their years at Fort Marion. The drawings were made by Etahdleuh Doanmoe (Kiowa) at Fort Marion in 1877, possibly at the request of Lieutenant Pratt. While other sketchbooks from Fort Marion survive, this is the only one that adheres closely to Western historical narrative structure and for which Pratt provided typewritten captions. After Pratt's death, his son, Mason, reorganized the sketchbook into an album - A Kiowa's Odyssey - and supplemented it with a preface and photographs of Etahdleuh. Etahdleuh's drawings illuminate the historical consciousness of a warrior artist, but despite their importance, they have not been fully understood, largely because the sketchbook was twice disassembled and eventually divided between two institutions, the Trout Gallery at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University in Connecticut. This publication is the first to draw together the disparate elements of the original sketchbook, reconstruct its original form and subsequent transformation into an album, and distinguish it from drawings by other artists at Fort Marion. It includes essays discussing the history of events, reconstructing the sketchbook, analyzing the drawings, and studying other Fort Marion sketchbooks and drawings.

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