Walter Bone Shirt Ledger, circa 1890  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Bone Shirt, Walter
Walter Bone Shirt Ledger
circa 1890 (inclusive)
1 item
Collection Number
Mss 571
Bound volume of eighteen colored pencil and India ink drawings believed to have been done by Brulé Lakota artist Walter Bone Shirt.
University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
Missoula, MT
Telephone: 406-243-2053
Fax: 406-243-4067
Access Restrictions

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana-Missoula. Because of very fragile nature of ledger, image reproductions will be provided to researchers.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Very little is known about Walter Bone Shirt other than that he was a Brulé Lakota artist and his Indian name was Never Misses. He is generally referred to in the ethnographic literature as Walter Bone Shirt, though census records indicate he was called Junior Bone Shirt. A few other examples of his ledger art are known to exist in private holdings and this collection of drawings has been attributed to him based on artistic similarities.

There is no written documentation about the origin of this particular ledger, but it is likely that John S. Parke acquired the ledger while serving as Assistant Adjutant General of Command at Rosebud Agency during the winter of 1890-1891. A 1938 note, written on envelope bearing the name Mrs. John S. Parke, and given to the University along with the ledger, refers to 'interesting set of coloured pictures (in crayon?) made by an Indian at Rosebud Indian Agency during Sioux Campaign in 1890.’ It is unclear who wrote the note or why. In 1962, this ledger book of ‘original Indian sketches’ was presented by John S. Parke’s daughter, Mrs. Ferdinand [Genevieve] Prochnow, to the Montana State University Library (now the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at The University of Montana-Missoula) through the Friends of the Library. Mrs. Prochnow was living in Missoula at the time.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The cloth bound ledger contains eighteen drawings, many depicting what may be ceremonial dress or dream scenes.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

To insure that the content of the ledger is appropriate for access and display, library personnel consulted with individuals in The University of Montana's Native American Studies and Anthropology Departments, and with experts at the Smithsonian and at the Sicangu Cultural Heritage Center on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Descriptions in this finding aid have been drawn from appraisal documents and are intended to facilitate discovery but are not guaranteed to be exact or perfect representations of ledger images.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Prints from digital images and online digital images of ledger pages are available for access.

Restrictions on Use

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes.

Preferred Citation

[Image number], Walter Bone Shirt Ledger, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Cloth bound cover
Image from inside front cover. Not done by Bone Shirt. Warrior astride war pony. Penciled note "Picket Pin," but uncertain if this was written by artist or another.
page 1
Animal Dancer - Buffalo Dreamer
page 2
Sun Dance ceremony
page 3
Social (Society) Dancer
page 4
Warrior on horseback
page 5
Animal Dancer - Elk Dreamer
page 6
Military Society warrior
page 7
Social (Society) Dancer
page 8
Courting couple
page 9
Social (Society) Dancer
page 10
Animal Dancer / Dreamer
page 11
Animal Dancer / Dreamer
page 12
Social (Society) Dancer
page 13
Warrior with horse
page 14
Woman dressed in Society Regalia
page 15
Social (Society) Dancer
page 16
Warrior on horseback
page 17
Animal Dancer / Dreamer - Buffalo Dreamer
page 18
Animal Dancer / Dreamer - Elk Dreamer

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Brulé Indians
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Indian ledger drawings -- South Dakota--Rosebud Indian Reservation
  • Occupations :
  • Indian artists--South Dakota--Rosebud Indian Reservation