Raven Blanket by BarbBarcikKeith

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16×20 scratchboard. Original unavailable, in a private collection in Hinkley, Ohio. Edward S. Curtis photograph used for reference.

As of 05-07-14, 2543 views and 36 favorited.

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The Nez Perce area at the time of Lewis and Clark was approximately 17,000,000 acres (69,000 km2). It covered parts of Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho, in an area surrounding the Snake, Salmon and the Clearwater rivers. The tribal area extended from the Bitterroots in the east to the Blue Mountains in the west between latitude 45°N and 47°N.

In 1800, there were more than 70 permanent villages ranging from 30 to 200 individuals, depending on the season and social grouping. About 300 total sites have been identified, including both camps and villages. In 1805 the Nez Perce were the largest tribes on the Columbia River Plateau, with a population of about 6,000. By the beginning of the 20th century, the Nez Perce had declined to about 1,800 because of epidemics, conflicts with non-Indians, and other factors.

The Nez Perce, as many western Native American tribes, were migratory and would travel with the seasons, according to where the most abundant food was to be found at a given time of year. This migration followed a predictable pattern from permanent winter villages through several temporary camps, nearly always returning to the same locations year after year. They were known to go as far east as the Great Plains of Montana to hunt buffalo, and as far west as Celilo Falls to fish for salmon on the Columbia River. They relied heavily on quamash or camas gathered in the region between the Salmon and Clearwater River drainages as a food source.

The Nez Perce believed in spirits called wyakins (Wie-a-kins) which would, they thought, offer a link to the invisible world of spiritual power. The wyakin would protect one from harm and become a personal guardian spirit. To receive a wyakin, a young girl or boy around the age of 12 to 15 would go to the mountains on a vision quest. The person on quest would carry no weapons, eat no food, and drink very little water. There, he or she would receive a vision of a spirit that would take the form of a mammal or bird. This vision could appear physically or in a dream or trance. The wyakin was to bestow the animal’s powers on its bearer – for example; a deer might give its bearer swiftness. A person’s wyakin was very personal. It was rarely shared with anyone and was contemplated in private. The wyakin stayed with the person until death.

The Nez Perce National Historical Park includes a research center which has the park’s historical archives and library collection. It is available for on-site use in the study and interpretation of Nez Perce history and culture (info from Wikipedia).

  • Complete 08-13-1997 in 8.05 hours spread over 4 days


bbk02500, native american, human, portrait, nez perce

I love what I do and I do what I love.. been drawing for over 60 years now – I hope I’ve got it right.

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  • rockinsue
    rockinsueover 6 years ago

    awesome, my brother was a talented artist one particular piece he had high acclaim for was a piece on sittingbull, unfortunately he lost his sightin an accident, but that particulsr image stays in my mind, this has bought back lovely memories for me

  • SylviaHardy
    SylviaHardyover 6 years ago

    What a proud man he is! Beautifully captured work!

  • H Maria Perry
    H Maria Perryover 6 years ago

    Outstanding. Great detail.

  • JoPix
    JoPixover 6 years ago

    what an amazing skill you have, true talent, I’m in awe

  • richiedean
    richiedeanover 6 years ago

    Great image, expression captured perfectly, attention to detail immaculate, love it :))

  • Marianna Patrauchan
    Marianna Patra...over 6 years ago

    beautiful portrait

  • atomikboy
    atomikboyover 6 years ago

    Love it!!!

  • Jeremy Harrington
    Jeremy Harringtonover 6 years ago

    this is stunning… brilliant work!

  • Kate Purdy
    Kate Purdyover 6 years ago

    Thank you, this is wonderful!

  • rachelle
    rachelleover 6 years ago

    this is such amazing work your portfolio is amazing you have such a talent never stop

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