Thursday, May 28, 2015

Plains Indians Infographics

Visual Narrative. Information Graphics. Storytelling. One artifact in The Plains Indians, Artists of Earth and Sky at the Metropolitan Museum of Art included those three disciplines and then some. "Winter Count" by a Brulé Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist from South Dakota was completed around 1902. The wall text noted that :
The keeper of this winter count maintained and created a pictorial history for his village. Each year, from one winter to the next, he drew an important event in Lakota life. The images served as memory aids for the keeper, who would recite the history to others. This count begins in the upper left corner, with the picture of a person dragging a sled, probably in 1826–27; the image may symbolize a harsh winter.
The winter wasn't the only thing that was harsh. Many key images in this spare, clear and concise visual count show gunfire. I'm amazed that the ink and watercolor on muslin have held up so well—and astounded by the icon-like clarity of each year's event.

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