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White Eagle was the hereditary chief of the Poncas when they came to Indian Territory in 1877. As chief, he led the Poncas in their last war against the Souix before they left Dakota Territory and Nebraska. He was also the medicine man and religious advisor. White eagle led the “hot country” Poncas, those who chose to remain in Indian Territory, for 50 years. In his last years when the tribe was engaged in negotiations over allotment, White Eagle reluctantly encouraged his people to comply. Shortly before his death in 1914, he passed leadership of the tribe to his eldest son and the last hereditary chief, Horse Chief Eagle. White Eagle’s death was an occasion of great ceremony. Dressed in his traditional regalia, he was buried in the Ponca cemetery near White Eagle, the village that bore his name near the Ponca agency. The chief’s favorite horse was killed at his grave side. On a hill about ten miles south of the 101 Ranch White House, the Miller brothers had a tall stone pillar erected in memory of the old chief. On top, its eyes watching over the rolling prairie, is a white stone eagle.

From: Thomas Brown, ‘In Pursuit of Justice:
The Ponca Indians in Indian Territory’

Pencil drawing on Schut 160 grs paper, 32×48 cm, 29-07-09
Photo of Edward S. Curtis used as reference.


  • saleire
    saleireover 5 years ago

    This is beautiful, Arie…..a great tribute to White Eagle. Gorgeous work. I love your portraits.

  • Jim Phillips
    Jim Phillipsover 5 years ago

    Terrific rendering Arie. You really caught the rigid nature of this individual.

  • Dawnsky2
    Dawnsky2over 5 years ago

    beautiful work, fabulous tribute :)

  • Elkmaster4
    Elkmaster4over 5 years ago

    Im touched by your art and your words!!!! You are a treasure and true wittness to the things that touch the hearts of us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! D

  • bigg
    biggover 5 years ago

  • Thanks for featuring me!! Wonderful!

    – Arie van der Wijst

  • Starz
    Starzover 5 years ago

    congratulations for your feature Arie,
    your drawing has spirit and is very good
    i really enjoyed reading your description

  • Tahnja
    Tahnjaover 5 years ago

    I once had the most beautiful dream about this Chief whom I had never heard or seen before. He was giving me spiritual counsel in my dream and when I just read what you put with this beautiful sketch I am so grateful for his spiritual visitation in my dreams……he looked exactly like this only so much more beautiful, like his soul was shining in the radiance of God

  • Barbara Applegate
    Barbara Applegateover 4 years ago

    Beautiful Work. A New Group for Western or Rural Life Painting called Paint the West
    Come join us this would an excellent image for this new group.

  • Vivian Eagleson
    Vivian Eaglesonalmost 4 years ago

    You are very gifted in your ability to capture the character of your subject. The written history that you have provided is the “icing on the cake” that adds enrichment for the viewers enjoyment. Great job, great work of art.

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