Chief Wolf Robe Card
Size: 297mm x 150mm
Original Painting Medium: Graphite Pencil
Region: Oklahoma, America
Since childhood I have always been interested in and greatly respected the Native American Indian way of life. Many moons ago I purchased a greetings card for a friend; the card contained a photo of an Indian with words of wisdom written underneath. I liked the picture so much I photocopied it before posting it, and for many years displayed my photocopied version on my wall.
I loved the character and features in the face of my American Indian and the words of wisdom that accompanied the image. With the passing of time tho', the image started to fade and I realised I ought to draw him before he disappeared completely. Having never portrayed a person before, my pencil drawing of his portrait was a new challenge for me, and a challenge I thoroughly enjoyed.
I was also keen to learn about my Indian; it was important to me to find out who he was, when he was born, the tribe to which he had belonged, where he had lived and so, began my quest.
After making numerous enquiries - all to no avail - I was delighted to receive a reply from George Horse Capture a Native American anthropologist and writer. George works with the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian and he explained that the man in the image was Wolf Robe or Honii-Wotoma (Honihewoomah) of the Southern Cheyenne. According to their records, Chief Wolf Robe was born in 1841 and his home was Bridgeport, Caddo County, Oklahoma. Apparently he was a well-known chief who, probably as part of a delegation, visited Washington DC several times ca.1909. The photographer was most likely a man called DeLancey Gill.
I very much appreciated the help given by everyone that I spoke with regarding my artwork of Chief Wolf Robe. Special thanks to Daisy and the staff from the NAA and to George Horse Capture for his kindness and help.
I thoroughly enjoyed drawing Chief Wolf Robe and through him met some very kind and interesting people.
Native American Wisdoms:
'Judge not by the eye, but from the heart'
Cheyenne Wisdom - (these words are placed at the bottom of my Chief Wolf Robe greetings card)
Lose your temper and you lose a friend; lie and you lose yourself.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river
been poisoned and the last fish been caught,
will we realise that we cannot eat money.
Cree Wisdom. 1909